Gordon is a big blue express engine who works on the Main Line. Gordon is mainly used for passenger duties, but has occasionally pulled goods trains, much to his dislike, as he believes that these are below him.
Gordon was built at Doncaster in 1920 as an experimental prototype for Sir Nigel Gresley's A1 Pacific design for the Great Northern Railway. Inevitably there were faults which needed correction; so Gordon was kept "hush hush" and apart from test runs, was never put into regular traffic or given a GNR number. He was used experimentally until all defects had been cured and the first batch of Pacific's had appeared in 1922/23. In 1923 therefore Gordon was no longer needed and was sold to the North Western Railway together with a spare boiler and firebox.
During Gordon's early years on the railway, he often looked down on the smaller engines like Edward and Thomas. However, he would soon find he needed help from Edward to be his banker after he got stuck on a hill with a train of trucks. He also needed Edward and Henry to pull his passenger train after he broke his safety valve in front of Henry's Tunnel.
Gordon often found Thomas very annoying for whistling rudely at him, so he taught him a lesson by bringing him along with his express train before he could be uncoupled. Thomas usually fetched the coaches for him, however, after Thomas left the yard when he was given a branch line, Gordon, along with Henry and James, soon found that they had to fetch their own coaches. After the big engines had several mishaps, one of which involved him having to pull his train backwards, Gordon proposed that they all go on strike, where they would only pull their coaches if another engine fetched them. Edward was the only engine left and since he was a tender engine and that Gordon proposed that tender engines do not shunt, they started to discriminate against Edward until the Fat Controller decided to leave them in the shed until they learnt the error of their ways.
After Gordon, Henry and James saw how silly they were, the Fat Controller let them out, reminding them to behave and bought a tank engine named Percy to help fetch their coaches. Gordon almost had a run-in accident with Percy when he carelessly stood on the Main Line. After Percy ran away backwards and stopped in a pile of dirt, Gordon helped him out. Gordon was still arrogant and insulted Henry for the way he whistled. However, he ate his own words when his whistle jammed and he went running down the main line whistling continuously. He did not stop until a fitter climbed up and knocked his whistle in place.
Gordon can be quite kind, nice and often helpful. Sometimes, he can a rude and arrogant engine and looked down to tank engines as tiny shunters that do tender engine's shunting and belittled them. But besides his arrogance, he is willing to protect his friends at any cost
Gordon is the experimental prototype for Sir Nigel Gresley's A1 Pacific design for the Great Northern Railway. Gordon was built at Doncaster Works in Yorkshire. Once the first batch of A1 Pacifics appeared in 1922 Gordon would have more than likely have been reclassified A1/1 indicating he is a slight deviation from the "standard" A1 design.
Gordon, being an experimental engine, never received a number and was never put into regular traffic; he was only ever used on test runs. Owing to various problems, Gordon was rebuilt in 1939 at Crewe. Sir Topham Hatt and Sir William Stanier worked together to rectify these problems - everything under the running board is of Stanier's design while the running board itself is that of Sir Topham Hatt's.
Gordon is painted in NWR bright blue with red and yellow lining. His number is painted on the sides of his tender in yellow with red lining and the lining around his cab windows is yellow.