Edward is a blue Furness Railway K2 class mixed-traffic engine. He runs his own branch line with BoCo. Edward is one of the oldest engines on Sodor and is occasionally made fun of for his old age. Edward is very wise and optimistic and spreads his knowledge and encouraging attitude towards the other engines.
Edward is kindhearted and always keen to help a friend in need. The small engines trust him to lend a listening ear and sympathetic advice. He is a hard worker too, and always does his best to finish a job. If ever an engine misbehaves or acts out, it's Edward that the Fat Controller turns to in order to soothe things out.
Sadly, the big engines often see Edward as old-fashioned and slow. While it is true he is the oldest engine on the North Western Railway - it must be noted he helped build it - he has proved time and time again that he is more than capable of working as hard as any engine, but he is a more clever and wiser engine, too. In fact, he and BoCo are the only engines who look after Bill and Ben, and know when to put them in their place should they misbehave, and like any other wise old engine, he stands for no nonsense from anyone, especially from the bigger engines.
From the sixth season onward, Edward's kindness was differed, as he has acted very unsympathetic and cold, such as the time when he insults Harvey in Harvey to the Rescue. From the ninth season and The Great Festival Adventure to the fifteenth season, Edward's persona was altered, despite his reputation of being kind and friendly. He has acted cheeky. Edward also expressed some insecurity in himself in that he keeps secrets from the other engines and Sir Topham Hatt, when he was once leaking steam and likewise when he was told to pull the post train whilst Percy was being repaired. Sometimes, Edward even shared the same personality as James, such as when he decided to show off his special waterwheel and laughed at Thomas when he was wearing a funny funnel.
Since the seventeenth season onward, Edward has been portrayed with his original personality.
The Reverend W. Awdry stated that Edward is based on a heavily modified Sharp, Stewart and Co. "Larger Seagull" K2 Class, supplied to the Furness Railway in 1896.
Sodor "historian" Martin Clutterbuck notes that Edward bears a close resemblance to an LNER D3/4 "Glen" (NBR Reid Class K) 4-4-0 from the London and North Eastern Railway. At any rate, the Reverend W. Awdry used an engine of this class to represent Edward on his model railway.
Visible Crovan's Gate Works modifications are: making the rear splasher flush with the cab, new cab windows as opposed to cutaways in his cab side sheets, and square cab lookouts as opposed to the original round ones.
Edward is painted in the NWR's blue livery with red and yellow lining and the number "2" painted on his tender sides in bright yellow with a red border. In the Railway Series, he carries two builder's plates on the sides of his cab.
It can be assumed that, before arriving on Sodor, Edward was painted in the Furness Railway's Indian Red livery with the letters "FR" written in yellow on his tender sides and black wheels.
- Season 100 - Geoffrey's Real (cameo), Toby and Philip (cameo), Henry the Warrior (cameo), Trouble with Brakevans (cameo), Jealous James, Porter the Perfectionist (cameo), The Crashing Kipper, The Lost Letters (cameo), Snowploughing at Christmas, The Christmas Engines (cameo), and Henry in the Darkness
- Keith Wickham (UK; Hero of the Rails onwards)
- William Hope (US; Hero of the Rails onwards)
- Yasuhiro Takato (Japan; first - eighth seasons)
- Nozomu Sasaki (Japan; Calling All Engines! onwards)
- Øyvind Borgemoen Lyse (Norway; Hero of the Rails - Tale of the Brave)
- Herman López (Latin America; Hero of the Rails onwards; except Tale of the Brave)
- Christos Topulos (Germany)
- Henry König (Germany; Audio Books only)
- Wojciech Chorąży (Poland; Hero of the Rails onwards)
- Fabrice Trojani (France and French speaking Canada)
- Petteri Hynönen (Finland; Hero of the Rails onwards)
- Reinder van der Naalt (The Netherlands)
- Dan Shatzberg (Israel)
- Celso Alves (Brazil; Hero of the Rails onwards)
- Jordi Estupiña (Spain)
- Anh Tuấn (Vietnam)
- Alexander Kotov (Russia; thirteenth - sixteenth seasons)
- Denis Bespalyy (Russia; King of the Railway - Last Train for Christmas)
- Anton Savenkov (Russia; nineteenth season onwards)
- None of Edward's type was preserved. They were all scrapped by 1931.
- Despite having a number "2" on his tender, Edward was the very first character created for the Railway Series, in 1943.
- Edward is the only engine whose crew has been named in the Railway Series. In the foreword of "Edward the Blue Engine" their names were given as Charlie Sand (driver) and Sidney Hever (fireman). Their surnames came from their duties (one of the driver's jobs is to sand the rails when they are slippery to let the engine's wheels grip, while the fireman "heaves" coal to the firebox); their Christian names came from an engine crew from the Wisbech and Upwell Tramway.
- Two of Edward's models are currently on display; one at Drayton Manor, and the other is in Japan at the Hara Railway Museum (previously on display at Nitrogen Studios).
- Edward was not in any known draft of Thomas and the Magic Railroad. According to Phil Fehrle, there was not enough screen time and opportunity to utilise him in a way that added any real value to the film.
- In Steady Eddie, Charlie and Eddie and Edward the Hero, Edward refers to himself as "Eddie". Charlie also refers to him by this name. "Eddie" also happens to be Edward's real name in the Greek narration and in Italy from the fifteenth season onwards; however, in the Engine Roll call he's referred as Edward.
- In the television series, Edward went through numerous changes:
- Season 4:
- His whistle was at a lower pitch.
- Season 6:
- His safety valve disappeared.
- His eyebrows become smaller and longer and are raised up slightly.
- Season 8:
- His eyebrows become thinner.
- Season 9:
- His eyebrows are lowered and become even thinner.
- Season 10:
- The riveting on his front bufferbeam disappeared.
- His buffers were moved downward and widened in length.
- Season 12:
- The gap between his second and third red stripes on his boiler became larger.
- His pupils also became smaller.
- His eyebrows become thicker and change shape.
- Hero of the Rails:
- He slightly decreased in height.
- His buffers became bigger and moved towards the centre of his bufferbeam.
- His pupils become larger.
- Season 17:
- He gained a lamp and tail lamp.
- Season 18:
- His handrails were painted black.
- The Adventure Begins:
- His handrails were painted silver again.
- The inside of his tender became blue.
- His side-rods become silver.
- Season 4:
- The 2014 re-designs of TrackMaster and Take-n-Play Edward and an illustration the annual story Edward Cracks a Nut incorrectly depict him as a 2-6-0.