James is a red mixed traffic engine from The Island of Sodor.
James is very proud of his splendid red paintwork. He dislikes pulling trucks and believes that he should only pull coaches. He thinks himself superior to the others and can be shallow, boastful, overconfident, naughty, and vain, particularly to those who appear old-fashioned, weak, slow, or dirty. This has caused him to have somewhat of a rivalry with Edward, Percy, Toby and Duck. However, on a number of occasions, he has found himself in need of help from those whom he has insulted and is, in the end, apologetic. Despite everything else, James has shown a caring side, is normally hard-working and like every other engine, wants to be responsible, reliable and really useful.
James is an experimental member of the L&YR Class 28, a class of 0-6-0 mixed-traffic tender locomotive designed by George Hughes for the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway and built by Horwich Works between 1909 and 1912. He is fitted with a front pony truck (thus making him a 2-6-0 instead of an 0-6-0) and a Fowler tender. His front sandboxes also appear to be mounted underneath his footplate rather than his splashers.