"Devious" Diesel, as his name implies, is a sinister diesel shunter and the first diesel engine to arrive on Sodor who originates from the Other Railway. In the television series, Diesel is a permanent resident of Sodor.
When Diesel came on trial to the North Western Railway, Duck was asked to show him around. Duck was unimpressed by Diesel's claims of being "revolutionary" and left him to his own devices. As a result, Diesel was made into a laughing stock by the trucks for trying to pull some rusty old trucks and failing spectacularly and Diesel blamed Duck for not helping him. Diesel swore a vendetta and spread rumours that Duck had given the big engines rude nicknames. Duck was sent to Wellsworth pending an inquiry into the matter, but Diesel got too big for his buffers and tried telling lies about Henry. He was found out and sent home in disgrace.
But Diesel proved to have a good side inside him when he told Emily about his record he made for shunting lots of trucks and proved to Thomas that he did not ruin the photograph for the billboard on purpose.
Although Diesel made fun of James when he was painted pink, he tried his best to prove himself to be as useful as the steam engines when he took all of the Jobi wood to the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre - only to put himself in danger requiring Thomas to rescue him. However, Diesel tried again to prove how special he is when he took Thomas and Rosie's loads to market and stole James' pigs so that the children could see them. But it was only when Diesel brought the load of slate for the school that he proved himself Really Useful.
Diesel was annoyed when Percy thought he was the Monster of Brendam and later teased Thomas for being a stinky engine and teased Gordon when he was fitted with a yellow and black diesel bufferbeam. When he and Percy collected a Calliope, he thought Percy would not be able to make it play, but was surprised when he did.
In the seventeenth season, Diesel was one of the diesels that brought the Christmas decorations to Tidmouth Sheds. Later, he was biffing trucks around even when Edward told him to stop. Diesel spilled the milk in the trucks and when the Fat Controller opened the truck doors, the milk splashed all over his trousers. When Hiro told Diesel, he told Hiro to toughen up with the trucks. But when Hiro would not listen, he coupled himself up on the back of his train and helped the trucks play tricks on Hiro. To make the trucks stop, Hiro braked suddenly before the platform, causing three barrels of cream to splash all over Hiro, Edward and the Fat Controller. Diesel tried to get away, but was blocked off by Thomas. As punishment, Diesel had to learn the proper way of handling trucks by Hiro.
In the eighteenth season, Diesel, along with Sidney, Den and Dart, hid from Paxton at the Dieselworks, which resulted in Paxton going on a wild goose chase to find all of the diesels and ended with Diesel running out of fuel, so Paxton helped him to the next station to get some more. Later, he argued with Thomas over who should be the back engine for a train of trucks heading from Ffarquhar Quarry to Brendam Docks and when he tried to delay Mavis returning to the quarry, Thomas took the train by himself, which resulted in him having an accident. Diesel even tried to blame Mavis for it, but the Fat Controller was wise to his tricks and he let Thomas work with her instead. He later joined the engines at Knapford during the Christmas Holidays and agreed with Sir Topham Hatt that the last train might have to be cancelled. He also teased Samson about how the tank engine got lost when he first came to Sodor.
In the nineteenth season, he tricked Percy into going to an old quarry so that he could do Percy's job of picking up the mayor to take him to a ceremony. Diesel later found Percy stuck in a flood with his fire out. He tried to rescue the tank engine but only made the situation worse when the water damaged his generator, so he got stuck too. After the two were rescued by the Search and Rescue team, Diesel was sent to have his engine repaired. He later covered Paxton in a cloud of black smoke from his engine, leaving Paxton's face covered in black spots.
At Christmas time, Diesel was being very unhelpful with the extra work, so Thomas and the other engines made a plan. On the night before Christmas morning, Thomas, Emily, Salty and Paxton pretended to be ghosts to scare Diesel, scaring him to the point where he flew off the line and derailed. After he was recovered the next day, he learned the true meaning of Christmas. On Christmas morning, Diesel was feeling very merry and he brought the Fat Controller to the Earl's Christmas lunch at Ulfstead Castle.
In The Great Race, Diesel wanted to go to The Great Railway Show, but the Fat Controller was hesitant. To prove himself, Diesel had crates put over Den, Dart and Paxton so that they would resemble trucks and put them in a long train. When the Fat Controller was in the final stages of choosing who would go to the show, Diesel would then demonstrate how strong he was by pulling the train, while in reality, Den, Dart and Paxton would be doing most of the work. However, his unusual train was blocking any way into Knapford Station Yard. Thomas was coupled to the train both so that he could get into the station and so that he could prove himself worthy to go to the show. The diesels hear Thomas's whistle and thought it was Diesel's horn, so they began pushing, much to Diesel's horror. Thomas then collided with Norman at a set of points and lost his left buffer as a result. Diesel later got stuck inside one of the crates, and was accidentally loaded onto a boat by Cranky.
Diesel is, in essence, the average pantomime villain. He is oily, malicious, devious, scheming and full of ideas to get revenge. However, despite his antics giving diesels on Sodor a bad reputation, he still wants to prove himself to be a really useful engine. He is also very proud to be the first diesel on Sodor.
Diesel is a BR Class 08 0-6-0. Over seventy members of this class survive today in preservation. They were in fact the most successful shunting engines in the world, with 996 of them built. The Diesel Shunter, Splatter, Dodge, Harry, Bert, Paxton, Sidney and the 5 Diesel Shunters are also members of the class.
Diesel is painted in the black livery used by British Railways for shunting engines in the 1950s. His siderods were silver until the sixth season and have been black in every season after.
- Kerry Shale (UK (thirteenth season onwards) - US (nineteenth season onwards))
- Michael Brandon (US (thirteenth season - Blue Mountain Mystery))
- Martin Sherman (US (King of the Railway - eighteenth season))
- Diesel was the first diesel to be introduced in both the Railway Series and Television Series.
- According to the magazines and the DVD Bingo game, he and Bulgy are good friends.
- Between the thirteenth and sixteenth seasons, Diesel was the only character from the model series to still be voiced by the narrator in the CGI series, though this was only in the US narration.
- Diesel has had a few modifications in the television series:
- Season 6
- His siderods changed from silver to black.
- His brakepipe began facing upwards.
- Season 14
- His horn sound changed to that of a generic diesel.
- Day of the Diesels
- His horn sound changed back to how it originally sounded.
- Season 19
- He gained a light above his face.
- His coupling chain became red.
- He gained a permanent tail lamp
- Season 6
- In some merchandise lines he is referred to as "Devious Diesel". It wasn't until Blue Mountain Mystery that they referred to him by this name.
- Diesel has travelled at well over his top speed of 20 miles per hour on numerous occasions.
- Diesel's face in the magazine stories is often smaller than in the television series.
- Nathan Clarke did an audio sample for Diesel on his DAA Management Page.
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