Chuggington logo.JPG
Format Children's show
Created by Ludorum plc
Developed by Ludorum plc
Voices of Charlie George
Morgan Overton
Jadie-Rose Hobson
Arthur Lee
Pax Baldwin
Clare Corbett
Sacha Dhawan
Frankie Sandford
Theme music composer Chris McHale
Country of origin United Kingdom
Language(s) English (dubbed into German, French, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Norwegian, Hebrew, Korean, Spanish, Russian)
No. of series 2
No. of episodes 104 x 10 min (As of July 2011)
52 x 4 min [1]
Running time 10 min / 4 min
Production company(s) Ludorum
Distributor BBC
Original channel BBC Two
Picture format 16:9 (HDTV/SDTV unknown)
Original run 22 September 2008 (2008-09-22) – present
External links

Production website
The characters in their sheds from left to right going down: Dunbar, Irving, Harrison, Old Puffer Pete, Olwin, Hodge, Koko, Wilson, Brewster and Zephie
Chuggington characters in their roundhouse

Chuggington is an international computer-animated television series for children produced by Ludorum plc and broadcast in 175 territories throughout the world including the BBC children's channel CBeebies. Chuggington currently airs on the Disney Channel Disney Junior’s preschool block in the United States. The series is set in the fictional town of Chuggington, and follows the adventures of three young trainee locomotives, (or "Trainees"), named Wilson, Brewster and Koko. Throughout each episode the Trainees learn the value of loyal friendship, telling the truth, listening carefully, persisting under adversity, completing tasks, resolving conflict without violence, and many similar important life values.

The town of Chuggington has a central area of large modern buildings; some of the scenes go out into countryside which includes a farm, a safari park and a quarry. There are at least 3 railway tunnels under the town centre which can be used by all trains. The backgrounds and scenery are all computer-generated, and there are turning-camera and moving-camera shots. "Old Chuggington", an apparently abandoned old town overgrown with wild vegetation, is often mentioned and visited.



Ludorum plc was founded in 2006 by Dick Rothkopf, Charlie Caminada and Rob Lawes. Rothkopf had previously been the chairman of Learning Curve International, a company which designed and manufactured educational toys. Caminada and Lawes had previously been executives for HiT Entertainment, the distribution company behind Bob the Builder and Thomas and Friends. The core creative team behind Chuggington consists of Sarah Ball, a producer/director who had worked on Bob the Builder, and Don Toht who designed the characters and sets.[2]

The computer animation was produced using Autodesk Maya software.[3]

As well as the regular 10 minute episodes Chuggington Badge Quest, a collection of 4 minute shorter shows, has been produced. These focus on the "Trainees" efforts to earn various reward badges as part of their "Chugger" training.[4]

Three Chuggington specials have been commissioned for release on DVD from 2013 onwards[5].

Broadcast details

The first series of 52 episodes was sold to broadcasters including the BBC, ABC (Australia), TF1 (France) and Super RTL (Germany) in a deal announced in February 2008.[6] A second series of 26 episodes was purchased by the BBC and many other broadcasters throughout the world. Aimed at children between the ages of 3 and 6, Chuggington made its UK debut as a "soft launch" on BBC Two on 22 September 2008. In January 2009 it was moved to CBeebies, the BBC's children's television channel.

Chuggington debuted in the United States with localized dubbing on January 18, 2010, on Playhouse Disney which was renamed Disney Junior on February 14, 2011. The second series premiered in the U.S. on the same day. Currently Disney Junior airs Chuggington daily, and features "Chuggington" on its website.


Brewster, Koko, Wilson, Hoot and Toot, and Piper are the “Trainees” and main characters in Chuggington. With the help of experienced “Chuggers”, the Trainees learn to ride the rails by completing daily tasks and badge quests.


  • Wilson (voiced by Morgan Overton in U.K. Series 1[7] and 2 and Tony Terraciano in U.S. series 1 and 2) is a lively red engine based upon an EMD F-unit. His enthusiasm is opposed by his short attention span, and most of his adventures revolve around this.
  • Brewster (voiced by Charlie George in U.K. Series 1[7] and 2 and Miles J Harvey in U.S. series 1 and 2) is a strong diesel-electric locomotive built for heavy loads. He is British Rail blue with yellow face; Brewster is similar to a BR Deltic diesel engine, but with a single end-cab. He likes to haul heavy loads on pick-ups, and often picks up too much load. Other Chuggers may rush when given a task, but Brewster asks questions if he is unsure. He is dependable and can be relied on when there is trouble.[8]
  • Koko (voiced by Imogen Bailey in the U.K series 1[7] and 2, and Brigid Harrington in the U.S. series 1 and 2), is an electric engine, modelled on the bullet train. She is green and purple, and was built for high speed. She loves to explore and have adventures, and to challenge her friends to a dare or a race. Although she can get into mischief, she always means well and knows when to apologise.[9]
  • Hoot and Toot are twins.[10] They are always seen joined back-to-back, but in at least two episodes by strong pulling they manage to separate. Toot is green, female and has blue eyes; Hoot is blue, male and has green eyes - he is also red-green colourblind[11].

Other train characters

  • Calley is the small shunting engine who is normally seen shunting rolling stock. She is Dunbar's assistant and helps in training the Trainees. She is also the 'Emergency Chugger' who is sent to rescue stranded chuggers, and is fitted with a siren and flashing light; she also has a range of emergency rolling stock that she can use to get the other Chuggers out of trouble – such as a fuel car, firefighting car, and crane car.[12]
  • Dunbar is the large shunting engine. He is largely responsible for the training of the trainee Chuggers. He is in a dark green livery, and is based on GM Electro-Motive diesel locomotives like the EMD GP38-2.[12]
  • Emery is the Rapid Transit train often to be seen on elevated lines or in underground tunnels. He is based on the Urban Transportation Development Corporation Intermediate Capacity Transit System Scarborough RT-type electric train. He likes tricking and harassing other trains into thinking that they have a problem. He is the only engine who carries an additional carriage or truck with him permanently, although in at least two episodes, he disconnects his carriage to go faster.[13] He often announces his actions with transit announcements. His right eye is green and his left eye is blue.
  • Harrison is a large blue engine resembling a Union Pacific Railroad M-10003 series diesel and is usually considered to be the fastest engine in Chuggington.[13]
  • Irving is a small red engine who handles the rubbish and recycling chores around the depot; he is proud to boast that nothing is thrown away in Chuggington.[13]
  • M'tambo is the safari park ranger and garbage-handling engine, and works around the safari park and handling the rubbish and recycling, giving tours to visitors. He speaks with an African (possibly Kenyan) accent.
  • Hodge (built from a hodge-podge of parts) is a six-wheeled Dandy Diesel[14] , who normally works with Eddie the handyman. He is a bit like a pick-up truck, and often is tasked with taking the rubbish to the recycling yard. With his "seen it all" attitude, it takes a lot to get Hodge excited.
  • Zephie is a young direct drive system trolley car[15] equipped with a scissor-lift trolley so she can lift and rotate her cab, which allows Eddie to work on things not normally accessible. She is particularly flighty and giggly.
  • Old Puffer Pete is the oldest chugger in Chuggington, a steam locomotive who is apparently 150 years old. Pete loves passing his wisdom on to the trainees or anyone who is willing to listen. He drives them mad with his endless stories (which often get him confused), and can never remember the chuggers' names, but they are very fond of him. He is a cross between Union Pacific No. 119 and a DRG Class 62.[9]
  • Chatsworth is an older well-spoken train who generally performs the same tasks as Harrison. He is based on a Baldwin Sharknose locomotive.
  • Olwin is a older motherly steam locomotive resembling the British streamlined train LNER Class A4, who refers to the "trainees" as her "little chugg-a-chuggs". Olwin's coal is stored just forward of the cab making her a tank locomotive, instead of a tender.
  • Frostini is the Italian ice cream train, popular with the children of Chuggington and seen by the trainees as very cool. He is normally seen handing out ice-creams or at the factory working on a creation.
  • Action Chugger is the movie screen train . He responds to emergencies after being informed by a flashing red light on his nose that he is needed. He can unfold parts of his sides into short wings, each with a jet motor under, and fly. After flying he always lands on a railway track. Action Chugger's range extends at least as far as low Earth orbit. (he lives in chuggington)
  • Speedy McAllister is a large fast steam locomotive in that appears based on the CNW Class E-4 locomotives minus the tender. Speedy is somewhat gruff and blunt in character but means well and is helpful to experienced chuggers and trainees alike. He prefers more industrial jobs as opposed to those with a high degree of customer relations. Speedy's whistle is the deepest and loudest of the three steam locomotives in Chuggington. Speedy's voice in the U.K. is a Yorkshire accent but in the U.S. it is Western.
  • Skylar is a large crane locomotive who has just completed training she will be introduced in season 3.
  • Decka is a double-decker tram built for heavy loads. She is to be be introduced in season 3.
  • Piper is a small steam locomotive trainee who is based on a 4-2-0 steam driven with a forward cab. She is set to be introduced on season 3.

Human characters

  • Vee is the depot announcer, with speakers all over Chuggington. She keeps everything running on time and to schedule. After giving the chuggers their tasks, her dispatch board shows the destination, and indicates which coloured tunnel to take if leaving Chuggington. She can be stern with disobedient Chuggers.[16] She is never seen in person, only as the sets of remote speakers and cameras that she communicates through.
  • Eddie is the depot handyman, who turns his hand to all manner of tasks, including track maintenance and fixing signals and points. He currently lives in a caboose, similar to Morgan's house. He used to live with his parents, and was constantly late to work.
  • Morgan is the Senior Mechanic at the depot, in charge of the Repair Shed. He lives in a house that looks like a caboose, in Chuggington yard.[9]
  • Laurie is Morgan's assistant at the Repair Shed, and was also tasked with cleaning engines before arrival of the chug wash. She is apprenticed to Morgan, and attends college.
  • Vicky is the zoo ranger, and looks after the animals.
  • Dr. Gosling is the zoo vet.
  • Karen who works at the quarry.
  • Mayor Pullman the mayor.
  • Mr. Knot Mayor Pullman's helper .
  • Rag the reporter.
  • Dr. Ling the science lady
  • Felix the farmer.
  • Denzel Mayor Pullman's nephew.
  • The King Of Buffertonia he sometimes visits Chuggington. He often gets tours by M'tambo, Old Puffer Pete, and Harrison
  • Mr. Simkins is an inspector from the "Department of Chuggers." He comes to Chuggington to test Wilson, Koko, and Brewster on their passenger carrying abilities in one episode.

Animal characters

  • Twiga, a giraffe at the safari park. In one episode one of the engines must attend while she gives birth. ("Twiga" is the Swahili word for "giraffe".)
  • Ebo, an elephant at the safari park. He is a good friend to the trainees.
  • Peckum, a dog at the repair shed. He belongs to Morgan.
  • Banana, a naughty monkey at the safari park; once he stole mailbags from Brewster.

Educational philosophy

Throughout each episode the Trainees learn the value of loyal friendship, telling the truth, listening carefully, persisting under adversity, completing tasks, resolving conflict without violence, and many similar important life values. The chuggers have real-life emotional strengths and weaknesses, too. Through all their adventures, they strive to use their strengths for the good of the community and to deal effectively but realistically with their personal foibles. Much of the time, such dealing involves good humour and personal understanding.


In January 2009 it was announced that RC2 would be producing Chuggington toys under their Learning Curve brand; the toys were released to the market in 2010.[17] RC2 contributed to half of the series' production budget in exchange for long-term global toy licensing rights.[2]


A DVD entitled Chuggington: Let's Ride the Rails was released in March 2009 containing six episodes. A second DVD, Action Stations, released in October 2009, contained another six. The third DVD release, Wheels to the Rails, with another six episodes, is due out in late November. Anchor Bay’s Chuggington: Let’s Ride the Rails was the first Chuggington DVD to be released nationwide in the United States on February 8, 2010.

In the UK, several children's books are in the works, including Koko on Call: A Nightlight Adventure, based on an early episode.[18] Publications International and Scholastic introduced Chuggington books to the U.S. market in late 2010 and early 2011, respectively.


In early 2010, the Chuggington Diecast Series of model trains was released in the UK. The Chuggington Diecast Series by Learning Curve was released in the U.S. nationwide in late 2010.

Later in 2010, the interactive range was released in the UK. The chuggers and Vee, their dispatcher, can interact with each other using 'Smart Talk' technology and over 300 stored phrases. Each chugger can recognize the other chuggers, and their train stops. The interactive phrases spoken depend on which chuggers and locations are placed together, giving a far more varied, but not random, conversation. The Chuggington Interactive Railway was released in the United States in February 2011.

In September 2010, the Chuggington Wooden Railway was released to Canada, and on March 1, 2011 the Chuggington Wooden Railway was released to specialty retailers in the United States. The Chuggington Wooden Railway is compatible with all other wooden railway systems. Chuggington also announced that in late 2011, there will be a Mega Bloks Chuggington range.

In the United States other Chuggington products currently available include games (I Can Do That! Games), puzzles (Cardinal), and activity sets (Crayola).


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Castleman, Lana: Q&A: Caminada charts startup's next moves, Kidscreen, March 27, 2009.
  3. ^ Bennett, Samuel: The Virtual World of Chuggington: A First Time Director's Post-Mortem, LOGIN Conference, May 13, 2009.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Broadcast Now, BBC gets on board Chuggington, 6 Feb 2008,
  7. ^ a b c "Chuggington- Wilson's Smooth Moves". BBFC. 
  8. ^ "Information for Grownups". CBeebies. p. 2. Retrieved 23 Jan 2009. 
  9. ^ a b c "Information for Grownups". CBeebies. p. 5. Retrieved 23 Jan 2009. 
  10. ^ "Chuggington Series 2 – Hoot & Toot and Speedy McAllister New Chuggers!". 
  11. ^ Chuggington episode Hoot v. Toot
  12. ^ a b "Information for Grownups". CBeebies. p. 3. Retrieved 23 Jan 2009. 
  13. ^ a b c "Information for Grownups". CBeebies. p. 4. Retrieved 23 Jan 2009. 
  14. ^ "Chugger of the Year". Chuggington Episodes. 
  15. ^ "Chugger of the Year". Chuggington Episodes. 
  16. ^ "Information for Grownups". CBeebies. p. 6. Retrieved 23 Jan 2009. 
  17. ^ Toynews, RC2 signs Chuggington Deal, Accessed 23 Jan 2009
  18. ^

External links

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