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“Cranes are airy fairy things! They need a lot of attention, like me in fact!”
Gordon, Cranky Bugs, fifth series

A Crane is a machine equipped with wire rope or chains and sometimes fitted with hooks or grabbers. they are used to lift heavy loads like crates, pipes, wood and other things.

Big Mickey, Cranky, Colin, Merrick, Reg, Beresford, Carly, Kobe, Ol' Wheezy, Hee-Haw and Happy Hook are the only cranes who have been named. They, along with The American Crane and The Rio Crane, are the only cranes to have faces. These cranes are used around the harbours, quarries, wharfs and scrapyards of Sodor and the Mainland.

The Rolling Gantry Crane

The Rolling Gantry Crane is a rail-based crane used for loading and unloading cargo from ships. It was used as background stock at Tidmouth Harbour, Knapford Harbour and Brendam Docks.

It first appeared in the Railway Series book, Henry the Green Engine and has been stationed at Tidmouth Harbour since. In the television series, it first appeared in the first series up until the seventh series. It last appeared in the spin-off series, Jack and the Pack episode Jack Owns Up.


Miniature Cranes

Many miniature cranes are seen around the Island of Sodor in different locations mainly used at the harbours. One of the miniature cranes is currently on display at Drayton Manor.

They can be mostly found at Brendam Docks and Whiff's Waste Dump.



  • The miniature cranes resemble similar ones that appeared in Thomas & Friends' sister series, Tugs.

Steam-Powered Cranes

Various stationary Steam-Powered Cranes have been used as background stock in the television series. More specifically these cranes have been seen at the Timber Yard, Norramby Fishing Village, Boulder Quarry, the Works, Knapford Sheds and the Wharf.

There have also been several named steam-powered cranes featured throughout the series, including Colin, Hee-Haw, Ol' Wheezy and four other stationary steam cranes named A.J.R. No.1.


The Wellsworth Scrap Yard Crane

A small crane was used at Wellsworth Scrap Yard during the second series. Since Tale of the Brave it has been replaced by Reg. It's job was to load pieces of scrap into the trucks of the railway.


The crane was painted brown.

Tower Cranes

Tower Cranes are very tall and can reach higher places. They made frequent appearances behind Knapford in the first and second series. They were used at Boulder Quarry, and Brendam during the fifth series.


These cranes were painted brown and red.

The "Grabber"

The "Grabber" is the nickname for a crane with large retracting claws used for dismantling, smelting and scrapping machinery based at the Sodor Ironworks.

Once, 'Arry and Bert wrongfully shunted Stepney underneath the giant grabber, with the intention of scrapping him. Thankfully, the Fat Controller arrived in the nick of time and shut the grabber down.



A.J.R. No.1

A.J.R No.1 are a series of four stationary steam-powered cranes along the Skarloey Railway. Two of them are located at the Wharf, one is located at the transfer yards, and one at the quarry.



  • It is unknown what the letters "A.J.R." stand for.

Mainland Cranes

Many cranes work at dockyards located on the Mainland. Some cranes worked at the Great Yarmouth Docks. Two other cranes work at another harbour on the Mainland.

Beresford is another crane who works at a canal.


The cranes are painted grey and brown.


The cranes are based on photo references of various cranes from the 1920s to the 1950s. Cranky is also a member of this class.


The Railway Series

Thomas & Friends


Other Cranes

Other various types of cranes have been used as background stock in the television series. These can be found all over Sodor and other places.

In Big World! Big Adventures!, several recoloured cranes were seen in other countries.


Non-rail vehicles

* RWS only | ** T&F only | *** Other Media only