The Railway Inspector (Real Name Zachary Ian "Zach" McCullough) is a man who inspects railways. He is the main antagonist in The Mavis Matrix - Bulgy Takes the High Road.
The Railway Inspector promised Sir Topham Hatt a visit to when he next visited the North Western Railway. However, the time he came wasn't exactly the best time because of Diesel 10 coming in and invading Sodor with another one of his sidekicks, George the steamroller.
Sir Topham Hatt didn't have much time to bring an engine for the Railway Inspector to ride in so he chose Billy who brought a coach to travel with Sir Topham Hatt and the Railway Inspector at the same time. But the Inspector was rude and said they needed more diesel engines and that they were more useful than steam engines.
At instinct, Billy gave the coach a bump because of the insult and said it was just "a bump in the track" making sure to not cause confusion and delay for his visit…
Afterwards, the Railway Inspector returned home for a few weeks and the railway was quieter for the few weeks he was gone and the engines repaired the damage Diesel 10 had made after he was disgracefully defeated by the Flying Scotsman.
Once Mavis was pulling some troublesome trucks to the Sodor Airport, there was Jeremy the jet plane with a visitor onboard. Unfortunately, this visitor was the Railway Inspector who called Mavis Davis and chose her as his private engine.
Then he insulted Jeremy and his cabs that they didn't look right and is glad he's not a plane inspector or else… this makes Jeremy cross but thinks the best idea is to not say anything to the Inspector for now.
Mavis rode around the Railway Inspector to the Vicarstown Dieselworks where Mavis sees that Norman and Den had returned from the Works. The Railway Inspector sees this and thinks they should have a new Dieselworks because of diesels not getting any appreciation.
The Inspector hops out of Mavis and speaks to Sir Topham Hatt about the incidents that have previously happened on Sodor like about Duck having to get taken to the Works again and a GNR locomotive that took his place who still has a lot to learn.
Mavis tells the Inspector it's just Ryan and he's new and still needs to learn a few lessons. The Inspector, ignoring this talks to Sir Topham Hatt still about the incidents on Sodor… Sir Topham Hatt, after this talk, tells the Railway Inspector it's time to go home until the Inspector tells him he's not leaving any time sooner!
Sir Topham Hatt tells Mavis to tell the other engines that the Railway Inspector has returned to Sodor and is not leaving for a long time… she goes to Brendam Docks and tells Bill and Ben and BoCo about the Railway Inspector's return.
Not hearing this, Salty accidentally bumps some cars of fish close to BoCo and tells him he hopes he likes the smell of fish. Just then, Isobella comes on rushing in too fast and dropping her very important package on the rails below: then Bulstrode comes in and stops in front of the Brendam Drawbridge and is stuck. It all turns into one big disaster!
The next day, Stepney brings in the Railway Inspector into Knapford Station where Gordon is waiting with the Express. The Railway Inspector, still being rude calls mistakes Stepney for Stanley and Stepney huffs away.
The Railway Inspector meets Gordon and says he heard a lot about him. Gordon, thinking it's good listens to the Railway Inspector about what he's heard about himself.
Unfortunately, it's not the stuff Gordon wants to hear and the Railway Inspector reminds him of the time he fell into a ditch! Gordon crossly asks the Railway Inspector if that's all anyone remembers about him but the Railway Inspector isn't done yet and reminds him of the time he lost his dome on a viaduct by trying to go faster than a famous visitor and the time he took a tumble off the rails.
The Railway Inspector tells Gordon after reminding him of his accidents that Sir Topham Hatt still let's him pull the Express. He says that he will lose his privileges of pulling the Express and saying that this day is his last day and saying another engine will take his job for a few days.
Sir Topham Hatt hears this and feels sorry for Gordon but says that he can't do anything about it because he'll give a bad report about the railway if he doesn't listen to the Inspector.
Just then, the passengers arrive when Gordon is sad and they wonder what's the matter with him. Even though this isn't the reason, Gordon tells them it was because he thought they'd miss his train but a schoolboy tells Gordon they wouldn't miss his train for life.
As soon as the passengers hop on, Gordon says since this is his last day he will have to have a good time. When he approaches Great Waterton, he meets Molly who feels sorry for him. At Brendam Docks, he meets Henry and Edward and even James who was supposed to be the replacement engine to pull the Express feels sorry for Gordon, too.
Gordon and James talk until the Railway Inspector comes in to inspect Brendam Docks to see how it is for himself after saying: "He's gone, good... About time, too.", Gordon and James were confused of what he's saying. Just then, Thomas raced in with Sir Topham Hatt on board. Sir Topham Hatt hops out of Thomas looking very furious and ask him where is Victor. The inspector told him that he sent him away, much to the engines shock. The inspector explains that he was sitting there and he is not doing anything, and that he cut the ropes from the boat making it floating away. But Sir Topham Hatt told him that he was going offer him to place on narrow gauge railway and that he was going to keep him. However, he ignores him and he walks away, he will be inspecting the Skarloey Railway pretty soon…
Gordon has a talk with him saying to give him his privileges of pulling the Express back. Sir Topham Hatt would but he says that if he does, the Inspector will right a terrible report about the North Western Railway.
Gordon, however doesn't care about the terrible report and just wants to pull the Express again reminding Sir Topham Hatt that it's his railway and he makes the rules. Sir Topham Hatt agrees and now doesn't care what the Railway Inspector says and states that it's his railway and he does make the rules and even though the Inspector had the power to right a terrible report, Sir Topham Hatt is the controller of the railway and the engines have the power to make this an even better railway…
When Percy was sent to help the Pack at the Ulfstead project, the Railway Inspector came slacking off from his job: when he went up on a crane, it nearly caught onto Kelly's crane arm. As soon as the Railway Inspector fell off accidentally, Isobella bumped into Max who was so scared he ran off the rails on his side!
Percy, seeing all of this saw the Railway Inspector and telling him he was the cause of this damage. The Railway Inspector tells Percy he wasn't the cause of this accident and calls him a green caterpillar insulting him directly.
Later on, Billy brought Rocky to clean up the damage and he also brought Sir Topham Hatt. Sir Topham Hatt is very cross at the Railway Inspector and says he has caused confusion and delay and the Inspector is lucky that Sir Topham Hatt doesn't report his mishap.
One time when Henry was chasing a runaway handcar, the Railway Inspector made an appearance trying to inspect the railway somehow. After the chase was over, Ryan and Henry befriended each other and agree that the Railway Inspector doesn't like the steam engines.
It's just a regular day on the Skarloey Railway and the engines are talking to each other because the Railway Inspector is coming over that day. Rusty thinks that he gives this railway great reviews, Duncan says though that he's only saying that because of being a diesel and if the Inspector had his way he'd scrap all of the steam engines and keep diesels on the railway only.
Mavis comes over shunting some quarry trucks, tells the engines to be on their best behavior and to stop complaining. Duncan, hearing this tells Peter Sam to stop complaining instead of himself! Later, Paxton arrives to rest in a siding and the Railway Inspector comes to the Skarloey Railway to inspect it.
The Railway Inspector sees Sir Handel and tells him to take him up to the Hill by the railway. Sir Handel, having no other choice has the Railway Inspector hop onboard his coach to ride up to the steep, snowy hill. However, the Inspector is grumbling all the way up and when they finally reach the top, Sir Handel has just about had it because of his short temper and tells off the Inspector!
The Railway Inspector tells Sir Handel that he could right a report so bad about this railway and Sir Handel says that he knows and tells the Inspector that if he wanted to write a report about this railway, he would just do it and go onto inspecting the next railway. The Inspector is horrified at this and calls him Eagle leading to Sir Handel to not understand what the Inspector is talking about.
The Inspector mentions that he was named after a bird but Sir Handel tells him that it wasn't an eagle but his original name was Falcon shouting back at the Inspector loudly, the Inspector says that they should've called him Volture because of his short temper. Sir Handel has just about had it with him and leaves the Railway Inspector up on the snowy hill.
Arriving back down to the Incline, Rheneas asks where the Railway Inspector is and Sir Handel tells him that he left him up on the snowy hill because of getting on his nerves and calling him Eagle and Vulture,making Duncan and Madge laugh but Sir Handel says it isn't funny at all.
Rheneas takes a slate car to rescue the Railway Inspector but the Inspector would rather stay up on the hill for a month instead of riding in the slate car calling it a piece of rubbish but Rheneas tells him to go because of the hill being unstable but the Inspector won't listen and stays on the top of the hill.
Then trouble starts, the track underneath Rheneas is getting even more unstable then it was before and Rheneas tells the Inspector that there's an avalanche and the Inspector wonders why there's an avalanche in September but Rheneas can't stop and get pushed so fast he swoops the Inspector in the slate car and they head down arriving down to the Skarloey Railway below.
The Railway Inspector why the ride down was so horrid and goes to speak to Sir Topham Hatt immediately but that doesn't work because Sir Topham Hatt says that he has caused confusion and delay once more and to go back to work and once leaving Skarloey says they tried the best they could but the Railway Inspector was just too much!
The next week when Duck was delivering some coal cars, the Railway Inspector was on the track which could cause disaster and it did because of Duck diverting into a siding and crashing into a shed, Ryan came to the rescue and Butch cleaned up the coal cars and Sir Topham Hatt was onboard Ryan and the Inspector was admitted for his mistakes caught once again causing trouble by the controller of the railway.
In the next few days, the terrible report arrived from the Inspector and the buses had to be used to take passengers around the Island of Sodor instead. One day, the Railway Inspector was up to his old tricks and climbed aboard Bulgy as if he was joining "the Anti-Rail League", a motto Bulgy had tried before but ended up in disaster.
Later on in the day, the diesels were promised a new Dieselworks but never got it and were very cross with the Inspector for not keeping a promise. Meanwhile, the Railway Inspector was taken all over Sodor by Bulgy but wasn't exactly doing his job to inspect the railway.
Ryan was just having a stroll along the rails when he witnessed the Inspector going through Sir Topham Hatt's office where he's not supposed to be. Just after a few hours, Bulgy takes a high road over Knapford Station and comes tumbling off the roads and onto the rails causing a splintering crash!
The Railway Inspector blames Bulgy for such a horrible drop at the bottom but Bulgy says he only did that because he told him to, but the Inspector ignores this. Sir Topham Hatt tells the Inspector he has a bunch of angry diesels on his hand.
However, the Railway Inspector says he has no time for building a new Dieselworks because he has to come to the Sodor Airport but needs a private engine but Sir Topham Hatt says that he can walk instead because he's sure no engine of his is going to be his private engine on his way back home.
Ryan was glum one evening at Brendam Docks and decided he needed to tell Sir Topham Hatt some news. One afternoon, after the disappearance with Ben by a mystery engine: Sir Topham Hatt was speaking to James about if he should keep Ryan or Stafford. Just then, Ryan comes in to tell him the news about the Railway Inspector looking through his office, but to no avail, Sir Topham Hatt has no time to listen.
Nowadays, the Railway Inspector doesn't often get mentioned by the engines because of them being happy he is not on Sodor and inspecting some other railway instead.
In Season 15 episode, The Maron Station Makeover, The passengers orders Sir Topham Hatt to get ride of it or they'll call The Railway Inspector, Gordon was surprised at this, But Sir Topham Hatt says that he's not scared of him and tells Gordon to continue to work.
The Railway Inspector is rather rude and instead of doing his job properly was caught dilly-dallying and blaming other engines for his mishaps. Aside from this, the Inspector is a troublemaker, reminds engines of their accidents, calls them names and plays favorites with diesels making him an antagonist to the steam engines.
- Season 1: Gordon Plays a Trick
- Season 11: The Great Western Way
- Season 12: The Mavis Matrix, Gordon's Last Hurrah, Percy Gets a Promotion, Henry's Handcar Havoc, Rheneas and the Risky Rendezvous, If The Dome Fits, Bulgy Takes the High Road, The Mystery Train (mentioned) and Vicarstown Takedown (flashback; cameo)
- Season 15: The Maron Station Makeover (mentioned)