Filbert, a bit of a nut ...
Wilbert, a bit of a reverend railway nut ...
Nearly all of The Railway Series stories were based upon real-life events. As a lifelong railway enthusiast, Awdry was keen that his stories should be as realistic as possible. The engine characters were almost all based upon real classes of locomotive, and some of the railways themselves were directly based upon real lines in the British Isles.
The truth about the real duck was remembered by fbb from a magazine article. [Source "Railway Modeller" magazine as read by fbb in his youth; circa 1853?]. The real (but model) OO gauge engine ran on the Rev's very own model railway. But it was slightly faulty and did wobble (or waddle) along the track. Its nickname stuck and eventually became a character in the books.
Wilbert's son, Christopher,
We might well take a further look at Toby's full-size counterpart tomorrow.
In the meantime, what was the bus called?
As it is available on YouTube, please feel free to enjoy a full episode, all about Toby.
And he "three chime whistle" was particularly common in the USA; it consists, usually, of one tube with three whistles built in, sounding together in a melodious chord.
The press release was accompanied by a pretty picture.
Such are the joys of "market forces".