Philip is a cheery diesel boxcab.
Philip came to the Island of Sodor as the new shunting engine at Knapford. During his first day of work, he was eager to impress Gordon by showing him how fast he was, but nothing he did was enough to impress him. He challenged Gordon to a race and took off out of the yard, racing all the way to Brendam Docks. However, he seemed oblivious to the fact that Gordon had not actually competed.
Philip continued to be proud of his speed and boasted about how many trucks he could pull. After taking a train of empty trucks to the quarry, he found James hanging over the top of a tunnel, having had an accident after trying to prove to Philip how many trucks he could pull. Just as James began to fall down, Philip caught him with the top of his cab roof. However, this meant that he couldn't go find help, as he was stuck. When James was rescued and sent to the Steamworks, Philip proudly told the engines of his rescue.
Later, Philip was eager to make friends with Toby since he thought Toby was a diesel boxcab like himself, but the tram engine was overwhelmed by Philip's enthusiasm. The two of them briefly raced each other until Philip nearly collided with Thomas. Philip then learned how to be quiet from Toby, but he tends to still be enthusiastic from time to time.
In The Great Race, Philip was among the many engines who asked Sir Topham Hatt to take him to the Great Railway Show. After Thomas' encounter with Ashima following the Great Railway Show's competitors' accidental arrival on Sodor, Philip insisted that the foreign engines were nothing but trouble and advised Thomas to avoid her.
Ultimately, Philip was not chosen to compete in the Great Railway Show, instead representing Team Sodor as its mascot and flag carrier. At The Great Railway Show, a series of incidents occurred between him and Vinnie. First, Philip got into Vinnie's way while the North American engine was on his way to the track where the strength competition was to take place. After Philip escorted Gordon to the track for the Great Race event, he got in Vinnie's way again. Vinnie chased him briefly before getting covered in coal from a hopper where Carlos was taking on coal. Vinnie, infuriated, chased Philip around the railway show yard, eventually winding up in the middle of the Shunting competition. Vinnie destroyed two of Gina's flatbeds before trying to force the little shunter into a turntable well. Thomas and Ashima both of whom were competing in the Shunting competition, then managed to couple up to the big tender engine and pull him clear of the points, allowing Philip to escape. After this, Thomas' coupling snapped, launching Vinnie off the tracks and into an electric pylon, which then fell on top of him. Philip then joined the other engines from Sodor to watch Thomas compete in the rest of the Shunting competition. When one of the broken flatbeds Vinnie had hit earlier was blocking Ashima's track, Thomas had the signalmen overseeing the event change the points so that he and Ashima would switch tracks. Thomas hit the broken flatbed and Ashima finished her train first, winning the competition. Philip told the other Sudrian engines that he had warned Thomas that Ashima was trouble, only for the judges to give the victory to both Thomas and Ashima: Ashima for completing the challenge first and Thomas for his excellent sportsmanship.