When he was first introduced, Toby was old but hardworking and knew enough about running a branch line to justify running Thomas' with Thomas and Daisy after Percy's accident with the trucks. He is also savvy enough to control the trucks. However, his advanced age and design means that he is weaker than the other engines. He has also been shown to be placid and easy-going, enjoying the peace and quiet of the countryside along Thomas' branch.
Toby is based on a GER Class C53 0-6-0T Wisbech steam tram (reclassified as J70 by the LNER) built at Stratford Works. They were seen by the Reverend Wilbert and Christopher Awdry on a holiday at Yarmouth, hence Toby's origins. The J70 started their career on the Great Eastern Railway and were known as C53. They spent most of their career on the Wisbech and Upwell tramway pulling slow goods trains. The first withdrawal came in 1942, which was the same year that the A4 Sir Ralph Wedgewood was destroyed. Eventually, the sole survivor of this class was withdrawn from service and scrapped at Stratford Locomotive Works by 1955.
In the Railway Series, Toby was painted brown with black cowcatchers and sideplates (which sported "LNER" in bright yellow letters) before working on his tramway, where he was repainted greyish-brown with grey sideplates and cowcatchers. After helping James he was repainted chocolate-brown with olive frames and blue/gray sideplates and cowcatchers. He has the number "7" painted on his sides in yellow with a red border. And he carries two plaques on the sides of his cab stating that he works on the NWR, his number, and the last time and place that he was rebuilt.
In Equine form, Toby is a borwn coated earth pony with black hair and hooves. A Number 7 for a Cutie Mark and wears a gray stetson.
- Colt-Browning M1895 (potato digger) machine gun
- Brown Trainbot Saber