There have currently been four controllers of the railway, all from the Hatt family. They are nicknamed, The Fat Controllers.
The Generation of Fat Controllers
Sir Topham Hatt l (1880-1956)
Sir Topham Hatt l was the first controller of the North West Railway. He and a few engines help him form the railway. He worked in Swindon Works in 1894 at age fourteen and has a keen friendship with W.A. Stanier. In 1901, he came to the Island of Sodor and became an engineer all over the Island. He rose up to general manager in 1923, managing director in 1936, and upon Nationalism in 1948.
He married Jane, Sir Handel Brown's sister. He retired in 1954 in favor of his son Charles.
Sir Charles Topham Hatt (1914-1997)
Sir Charles Topham Hatt was the second controller of the North West Railway from 1954 to 1984. He was responsible for reopening The Little Western in 1965. He was also responsible for the reconstruction of the Arlesdale Railway.
He married Amanda Croarie and had Stephen and his younger sister, Bridget.
Stephen Topham Hatt (1941-)
Stephen Topham Hatt is the third controller of the North West Railway from 1984 to 2009. He had help build Jock, an Arlesdale Railway locomotive. He married Helena Margaret in 1970 and had Richard Topham, Charles Nicholas, and Emily Helen.
Emily Helen Hatt (1977-)
Emily Helen Hatt is the fourth controller of the North West Railway from 2009. She worked on the NWR board from the 90's to 2005 and has had a keen interest in the railway unlike Richard and Charles. She has worked with all the engines. When Norman Spencer worked as acting controller, the railway's future was put in jeopardy. She had promised to stick by the engines no matter what. Stephen found all of her care and help for the engines very useful and passed the title and position of "Fat Controller" on to Emily. That is how she became the Fat Controller.
She and Charles were also responsible for the restoration of Peter in 1996.
- Emily was the first female controller of the NWR.
- Charles has the name of his grandfather, Sir Charles Topham Hatt