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Tunbridge Wheels is a Traction suburb that appeared in Mortal Engines. It inhabits the Rustwater Marshes.


Drawing of Tunbridge from the Traction Codex

Tunbridge Wheels was originally one of the three suburbs of London. It was at one point a respectable suburb hunting on the edge of the ice. However after it ate Chrysler Peavy's hometown, Peavy took over and made it a pirate town. Whenever it eats a town it starts digesting it straight away and does not give time for people to escape. The valuables and treasures of the citizens of the town/village in the gut are kept. Only the young and fit people of their victim towns are allowed to live as workers; the rest are killed or thrown overboard.

Tunbridge is notable for its amphibious capability, deploying inflatable floats to safely traverse marshland and open water that other landgoing Traction towns would sink in.


Mortal Engines

Mortal Engines

Tunbridge Wheels is first seen chasing a smaller town across the Rustwater Marshes. Tom Natsworthy and Hester Shaw jump onto a side railing and go into an access hatch to avoid being run over as it passes by them. They soon realise it is a pirate town, and are captured. They are put in cages in the gut, where they see the pirates disobeying the laws of Municipal Darwinism. Mayor Peavy comes to taunt his new prisoners but when he finds out that Tom is "a proper London chap" he releases them. Peavy then tells Tom that he wants to be a gentleman in a civilized city, and that he is going to take over Airhaven.

The pirate town heads over towards the Black Island where Airhaven has landed for major repairs. However just before they arrive Tunbridge is attacked and sunk by the residents of nearby static settlements supported by the Jenny Haniver. The residents of Black Island send divers down to see if there is anything worth salvaging, and Shrike walks through the sunken wreck when he is following Tom and Hester.


  • Tunbridge Wheels is named after an English town, Tunbridge Wells in the county of Kent.