Paxton was built in 1962 as part of the last batches of 08s, and was the last to be built at Darlington. He worked in shunting yards of areas which had already completely dieselized, and so never met a steam engine. While a gained a reputation as a hard worker, his short attention span resulted in him getting involved in several minor accidents, and some older diesels used his naivety to their advantage. His last assignment for British Railways was at Carlisle.
In 1971, Sir Charles Topham Hatt requested for a transfer of a 08 to Sodor, specifying that it should be as new as possible; Paxton was chosen. Shortly after arriving at Vicarstown, he met his first steam engine, Gordon. Unfortunately, it was not a pleasant meeting, and the big engine disregarded him as troublesome due to the actions of several previous diesels. When he arrived at the Dieselworks, he recived a warmer reception from his fellow diesels. Diesel 10 used his lack of knowledge about steam engines and the Dieselworks condition to convince Paxton they we're all bad and wanted to get rid of the diesels, thus getting him to join his plan to take over the Crovan's Gate Steamworks. While he had reservations about the plan, he still participated due to believing it would help the other diesels. When Diesel 10 declared the diesels would be keeping the Steamworks, he spoke out, though was quickly silenced. Afterwards, he assisted in the rebuilding of the Dieselworks.
Shortly after this, the Fat Controller's plans for Paxton came into fruition. While the Class 08 had proved to be an exceptional shunter, in Sir Topham's mind it lacked the versatility of the older steam shunters by being unable to haul trains. He considered British Railways attempts to solve this inadequate, due it sacrificing a large percentage of the 08s power. He with the aid of his CME devised a custom engine and transmission, which would rectify this problem and allow the 08 the capabilities of its steam predecessors. BR had rejected the design, so Topham opted to experiment on his own; Paxton was chosen as the testbed.
Initial tests went well, though it was found to be rather high cost. Sir Topham decided to assign Paxton to the Blue Mountain Quarry, both for live testing, and because he belived the narrow gauge engines would be a good influence on the young diesel. Paxton worked hard and quickly became friends with the narrow gauge engines, and proved capable of both shunting at the quarry and hauling the heavy loads of stone to Brendam Docks. A month after his arrival, the Blondin Bridge collapsed on him, requiring him to be sentto the Dieselworks for repairs, during which time Thomas replaced him.
Paxton is a young, gentle diesel who often works at the Blue Mountain Quarry and the Vicarstown Dieselworks. He is good-hearted and well meaning, but gullible, naïve, and easily misled. He also has a short attention span. He tends to be more of a follower than a leader and can sometimes find thinking for himself and making big decisions difficult. This may result in him being pressured into a situation he might not necessarily be comfortable with. However, if a friend is in trouble, Paxton will have the conscience and the self-assertion to do what he himself feels is right. As a result, the steam engines find that he is likeable and Paxton particularly looks up to Thomas at times. He also works alongside the narrow gauge engines frequently. However, Paxton can easily misjudge situations, misplace his trust in someone who might not have everyone's best interests at heart, and is a rather impressionable diesel, but his good nature will ultimately show him for who really wants to be.
Paxton is painted dark green with yellow lining. His traction rods and front bufferbeam are painted a rusty orange. His paint is chipped in places and shows signs of weathering.
|North Western Railway|
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