The trainees (and sometimes the more experienced Chuggers) learn the value of loyal friendship, telling the truth, listening carefully, persisting under adversity, completing tasks, resolving conflict without violence, and similar values. The locomotives, called "Chuggers", are intelligent, empathetic, independent and somewhat self-directed. They have mobile facial and body features.
Chuggers have no crews, yet some have crew doors that can open. Chuggers regularly interact with other humans such as passengers and maintenance crews.
The town of Chuggington has a central area of large modern buildings. Side-by-side railway tunnels coloured red, blue, yellow, green run under the town centre, leading to the outside world. Countryside settings include a farm, a safari park, and a quarry. A ‘Chugston Hotel’ is mentioned. "Old Chuggington", an abandoned old town overgrown with wild vegetation, is occasionally visited.