Mr. Conductor is the ever-cheerful, 18 inches tall conductor who regularly visits the Island of Sodor.
To date, there have been three characters named Mr. Conductor who have lived at Shining Time Station.
The first Mr. Conductor was portrayed by former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr during the first season as well as the TV special "'Tis A Gift". He was initially very wary about newcomers, but gradually decided to reveal himself to Matt, Tanya, Stacy, and Harry. He provided a voice of reason to Matt and Tanya, introducing them to stories about Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends to show them a way to solve a problem the two friends encountered. It was thanks to him leaving his hat behind when he temporarily left the station during "Is This the End?" that J.B. King realized how important Shining Time Station was to his childhood friend, deciding in the end to leave the station open.
Following the events of "'Tis a Gift", Mr. Conductor decided to leave Shining Time Station to assist Mr. Nicholas at the North Pole.
When the second season began, the second Mr. Conductor (portrayed by comedian George Carlin), a cousin of the first Mr. Conductor, arrived at the station. The second Mr. Conductor was as friendly and wise as his cousin, also using stories about Thomas and his friends to provide a lesson for Dan, Kara and Becky. Easily more fun loving and laid back than his cousin, Mr. Conductor usually appeared in many other outfits than his usual conductor's uniform. He was also armed with several forms of gold dust, as well as the wishing star.
The third Mr. Conductor (portrayed by actor Alec Baldwin) lived at the station during the events of Thomas and the Magic Railroad, which delved further into the sources of his family's magic gold dust and just how important that magic was to the smooth running of both Shining Time Station and Sodor.
There are also three other known members of the Conductor family: Sister Conductor is the sister of the second Mr. Conductor and has a love for airplanes, making her different from the rest of the family. She appears in One of the Family. The second is the second Mr. C's aunt, Lily Conductor. The third is Mr. Conductor, Junior who is another cousin. He appears in Thomas and the Magic Railroad. Junior enjoys relaxing and pulling pranks, but often gets into trouble. The second Mr. Conductor also has an evil twin.
- The first Mr. Conductor's Indian Valley Railroad badge number is 771, and has demonstrated himself to be quite talented with a pair of drumsticks!
- This is a reference to the fact that his actor, Ringo Starr, was the drummer for the British rock and roll band, the Beatles.
- The first Mr. Conductor is the only incarnation to be written out of the series on-screen.
- The second Mr. Conductor's Indian Valley Railroad badge number is 233.
- The second Mr. Conductor was the most seen in the second and third seasons, since George Carlin re-narrated the first and second seasons of Thomas and narrated the third and fourth for the USA.
- The third Mr. Conductor's Indian Valley Railroad badge number in 128.
- The third Mr. Conductor was only used in Thomas and the Magic Railroad. Alec Baldwin did narrate the fifth and sixth seasons of Thomas and Friends, but his Mr. Conductor was never uses in Shining Time Station, due to the series' cancellation in 1995.
- In the Latin American dub of Shining Time Station, Ringo Starr and George Carlin's Mr. Conductor's were both voiced by Pedro D'Aguillón Jr., who also dubbed Mr. Perkins in Thomas and Friends.
- In the Japanese dub of Thomas and the Magic Railroad, his voice was dubbed by Masashi Ebara, and in the Spanish dub, he was voiced by Alejandro Vargas Lugo (theatrical dub) and Salvador Najar (TV dub), Thomas Fritsch in the German dub and Dvir Benedek in the Hebrew dub.
- Michael Brandon was the only US narrator of the Classic Series of Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends who never portrayed Mr. Conductor mostly because the original Shining Time Station television show had long since ended by this point.
- The whistles each incarnation used for the Thomas story segments varied through both the series and the movie:
- The first Mr. Conductor's whistle was like a normal high pitched whistle (although sometimes he used other ways to tell his stories either moping in tears, tapping spoons like drumsticks, spinning a present, having a cup of tea, or sitting down). In one case, he blew his whistle in morse code.
- The second Mr. Conductor's whistle has a pitch similar to a real steam locomotive whistle. It sometimes goes out of tune giving a quite lower pitch than normal. It was toned down slightly in the Family Specials and Mr. Conductor's Thomas Tales.
- In Thomas and the Magic Railroad, the third Mr. Conductor's whistle is a normal high pitched whistle, much like the first incarnation. However, instead of using it to start Thomas stories like in the original series, it is now used to make him disappear and reappear rather than at will, compared to the two previous incarnations.