Nigel is a LNER Gresley V3 who lives at Copley Hill and is Herbert's cousin and best friend.
Nigel was built at Doncaster Works on November 30th, 1938. Like Herbert, Nigel's past is largely unknown, other than like Herbert is a member of the Class V 2-6-2 Prairies. He used to live at New England shed, before he was dumped out of use there, even though he was still in relatively good condition.
When the Foreman of Copley Hill found out about this, he quickly arranged for Nigel to be transferred to Copley Hill, as he needed an engine to help do shunting in the yard. Nigel was very good at it, but as he did his work, he didn't seem to notice Allen and Herbert trying to say hello to him, and therefore the two engines thought that Nigel was just ignoring them. Fortunately, Nigel soon became firm friends with Herbert after he 'saved' the V2 from some stray cows.
When Stephen had his accident, Nigel was sent to clear up the mess, and he quickly became friends with a visiting Midland Region tank engine, George, when they found out that they both liked cricket. He was unhappy when George had to return to the Midland Region, but he soon got over it. He was also surprised at Scott's outburst about Sir Ralph.
When Gronk, the diesel shunter, arrived at Copley Hill, Nigel was able to run the suburban passenger trains around Leeds. One day, however, Nigel awoke to find out that his cylinder was leaking. This ended up causing problems, and whilst he needed repairs, Nigel and his crew were certain that they could patch up the cylinder at Copley Hill. It worked for a little while, but soon it was clear that he was in need of serious repairs. Unfortunately, Nigel awoke on another day to find that he had been moved to the Out of Use line. Everyone immediately thought that he was going to be scrapped, especially when he disappeared the next day. However, it turned out that Nigel had actually gone to Ardsley to be completely repaired, and he returned on Christmas Eve.
At first, nobody (including Nigel himself) knew that it was Gronk who moved Nigel under the Foreman's orders, but when a large diesel called Deltic arrived, he revealed the truth to everyone. Nigel was furious, but after Allen points out that Gronk was doing it under orders, he had a change of heart.
In 1964, when Copley Hill was closed down, Nigel was reallocated to Stratford. He believed that it was over, until Herbert told the engines to remember the good times and make the time that they had left the best they had ever had. When Sir Ralph made his speech about Copley Hill, Nigel joked that Sir Ralph had been listening to William Shakespeare again, and that the bigger engines were really softies. However, he also said that he would miss his friends. Allen saw him one last time as he was pulling one final train to King's Cross.
Nigel is a friendly, but often grumpy engine.
Nigel is based on the real No. 67673, a LNER Gresley V3 2-6-2T. Built in 1938 at the Doncaster Works, this locomotive was withdrawn in 1962 and scrapped at the Darlington Works in 1963. Interestingly, in real life, No. 67673 was one of the few examples of the V1 Class to not be rebuilt into a V3.
Nigel has been painted in black his whole life. He currently wears BR unlined black.
- A Great Problem Goes West! (mentioned)
- Hawk, Aye! (cameo, original face)
- Nigel, Herbert and the Cows
- Hand of the Fair Maid!
- Goodbye, Stephen the Green Engine!
- Christmas, 1952
- Scott and the Herring Gull
- Birds of a Feather
- The Legacy of Gadwall (does not speak)
- Hawk Eyed! (mentioned)
- Suburban Tank
- Silent Night
- Day of the Deltic
- The Parting of Ways (cameo)
- Great Scott!
- Fowler's Ghost
- The Ghosts of Engines Past
- The Last Run
- "Tornado and the Last Run to the Cross"
- Nigel is named after his designer, Herbert Nigel Gresley, as is Herbert.
- He is accidentally mentioned in the narration of A Great Problem Goes West because Simon Martin revealed that he was to be one of the main characters with Allen, Stephen and Sir Ralph. However, his model was not in working order, so he was moved to episode 4.
- Nigel and Herbert are close friends.
- Nigel was based on the real 67673, however the real engine wasn't allocated at Copley Hill and then reallocated at Stratford instead, it allocated at Stratford and then reallocated at Heaton.