Gordon is the fastest and most powerful engine on the rails and he knows it. He is extremely proud and inclined to boast. He is goodhearted, always willing to forgive and uses his superior strength to help smaller engines out of trouble.
Gordon's important position as the engine who usually pulls the Express has made him proud, pompous and self-important, with good reason too; he is the strongest engine on Sodor. Gordon's philosophy "tender engines don't shunt" meant that he looked down on tank engines and tender engines who do shunt, but after being locked in the shed with Henry and James after going on strike and before the seventeenth season, he seemed to have abandoned this philosophy.
Because of his rank in the social order of the North Western Railway, Gordon expects to get the important jobs and either sulks when he does not, or gets jealous of those who do. Sometimes, Gordon acts as a bully, particularly towards Edward, but following misadventures where Edward had to help him, Gordon had to acknowledge that despite being old, Edward is still a very useful engine. However, sometimes Gordon still doubts Edward is still reliable, such as the time he did not believe Edward could win a race against Spencer because "he's only a back engine" and "a waste of steam". However Gordon would soon stop bullying Edward after being tricked by Thomas, he learn his lesson after apologises to Edward saying that he promise not call him old or unreliable anymore.
Sometimes Gordon shows a kinder side and gives the younger engines advice, usually after he has had some mishap as a result of his foolhardiness. Some of his advice is not exactly honest, though, as James and Sir Handel have discovered.
According to The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways, Gordon is the experimental prototype for Sir Nigel Gresley's A1 Pacific design for the Great Northern Railway. Gordon was built at the GNR 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" - the /1 indicating he is slightly different to the rest of the class.
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.
As "The Shooting Star", Gordon's appearance is based on a streamlined Pennsylvania Railroad K4 (Hank's class), specifically #3768.
Gordon is painted NWR blue with red-and-yellow lining and the number "4" painted on his tender sides in yellow. Before arriving on Sodor, he was painted Doncaster green with white and black lining.
In The Great Race, in his streamlined form, he is painted NWR blue with silver, red, and dark blue linings. His number is still painted on his tender in yellow, now smaller and surrounded by a dark blue circle.
- Season 1 - Geoffrey's Real (cameo), Percy's Oil Spill, Tankers of Doom (cameo), Edward Tries His Best (does not speak), Henry the Warrior, The Great Western Way, Skarloey Comes Home (cameo), Spencer the Show-Off, Big Strong Murdoch (mentioned), and Gordon, Spencer and the Flying Scotsman
- Season 2 - Haunted Henry's Forest, Trouble on the Line (cameo), The New Controller, Trouble with Brake Vans (does not speak), Jealous James, The Return of Boulder (mentioned), Duncan's Discovery (cameo), and Back to Misty Island (does not speak)
- Railway Show Engines - Vinnie's Vicious Deed (does not speak), Red and Fast (does not speak), and Brave, Sleek and Strong
- Gordon is named after a rude boy that lived on the Awdrys' street when Christopher was a child.
|North Western Railway|
|Thomas • Edward • Henry • Gordon • James • Percy • Toby • Duck • Donald and Douglas • Oliver • Bill and Ben • Daisy • BoCo • Bear • Neil • Harvey • Emily • Fergus • Arthur • Murdoch • Molly • Neville • Rosie • Whiff • Stanley • Hank • Flora • Victor • Charlie • Bash and Dash • Ferdinand • Scruff • Belle • Porter • Timothy • Marion • Logan • Glynn • Ryan • Geoffrey • Diesel • Mavis • Derek • Diesel 10 • 'Arry and Bert • Salty • Dennis • Den • Dart • Sidney • Paxton • Norman • Philip • Flynn • Winston • Stafford • Dustin|