Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia
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Hank is an American Pennsylvania Railroad K4 Pacific tender engine who pulls goods trains. When he first arrived on Sodor, a welcome party was shortly thrown for him. He speaks with a Southern accent.


Thomas & Friends

Thomas and Percy first met Hank at Brendam Docks when he arrived. Thomas was impressed by his size, until Hank told him he was "one of the finest little engines he'd ever seen." Thomas misinterpreted the comment as mockery of his size, and became determined to pull all of Hank's loads himself. While Thomas tired himself out pulling the heavy loads, Hank insisted that he should help Thomas with the train. Under the strain of his load, Thomas eventually cracked a cylinder and finally decided to accept Hank's offer for help. Hank pushed Thomas to Knapford Station, where the other engines greeted Hank enthusiastically. [2]


Hank is large, and bold. While he may come across as brash in his cheery confidence and enthusiasm, Hank is used to being easily seen or heard. In his jolliness, he may seem a little goofy and kooky, especially with so many bells and whistles and a cowcatcher, but Hank has a big heart and is more than happy to lend a helping hand. Using his might, strength, and power to assist others is something that only comes all too naturally to him and he takes it in his stride, without second thought. Hank can become concerned about his friends though, as he gladly keeps an eye out for the other little engines. The only trouble with being Hank is that virtually every engine is smaller than him.

Technical Details


Hank is based on a Pennsylvania Railroad (PR) K4s Class Pacific. Two K4s are preserved: No. 1361 is currently undergoing another attempt at a restoration to operational condition as of January 30, 2022, and No. 3750 is on display at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania near the Strasburg Railroad, and are recognized as the Official State Steam Locomotives of Pennsylvania. Hank was most likely based on the PRR K4s' pre-war shape, more specifically #1361 as it most likely appeared when it was delivered to the Pennsylvania Railroad. A streamlined version of this class, more specifically K4s No. 3768, would serve as inspiration for Gordon's streamlined casing in The Great Race.

In reality, Hank would be too large for the British loading gauge. However, he has been re-scaled to avoid technical issues, although Hank is only partly modified to work on Sodor. His running plate has been altered, he is missing a headlamp, and he has buffers on his tender and screwlink couplings, yet he retains his cowcatcher (which has a lone front coupling without a chain).

According to concept designs made in 2007 by Philip Reeves, Hank was originally planned to be a Union Pacific Challenger Class. He would have most likely been based specifically on Challenger No. 3985.


Hank is painted ultramarine blue with red wheels, lining and a cowcatcher in front. This livery represents the colours/colors of the flag of the United States of America. His smokebox and cab roof are painted dark grey.


Official Description

From Official Media[1][2]

Hank: Hank is the All-American Steam Engine. He has enthusiasm, the strength of a titan and a tendency to be goofily inappropriate - plus the chiseled good looks of a Hollywood Hero.

Hank is a unique looking engine with lots of "bells and whistles". He is very strong with a big, bold personality to match. Even though he may seem intimidating, Hank always means well and is a very good friend to the other engines.

From Official Website[3]

Hank: Hank is a big and bold steam engine. He has the enthusiasm of a cheerleader, the strength of a titan and a propensity to be a little goofy! Hank doesn’t look like the conventional Sodor Steam Engine — he has lots of bells and whistles. While initially Hank puts the other engines out of joint, they quickly realise that Hank means well and has a very big heart.

Fun Fact: Hank is based on the Pennsylvania Railroad's K4 Pacific.

Audio Files



First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 12 Series 12


  • Hank's theme is an instrumental version of Hail to the Chief.
  • According to Sodor Island Fansite (SiF)'s interview with model maker and designer John Lee, Hank was originally designed to have an older face with a handlebar moustache. However, at HiT Entertainment's request, John made Hank look slightly younger and more jolly. [3]
  • Hank was the first new engine introduced when the show started to use CGI for engine faces and people.
  • Hank's crew was never seen in CGI. His driver and fireman were only seen once and they were in their model form.
  • Hank had two identical models, and had five different face-masks, though only one was ever used on screen.
  • Hank's Wooden Railway and Take-n-Play toys do not have front couplers, despite them being present in the television series.
  • Although Rosie was the first engine in the television series to be based on an American locomotive, Hank was the first one to actually be recognized as such.
  • Hank is the first character in the franchise (both The Railway Series and television series) whose basis has never run in the United Kingdom.
  • Hank's chassis was made from the same tooling as Spencer's, but with different pistons; this could possibly be why Spencer never appeared in the twelfth series. The reason for being a K4 instead of a challenger is probably due to budget costs and size restraints.
  • One of Hank's television series models is currently on display at Drayton Manor.
  • Hank's whistle sound is Gordon's, but twelve steps lower-pitched.
  • Hank, along with Colin, Flora and Dennis are the only characters introduced in the HiT Entertainment model era without a Capsule Plarail toy.



* RWS only | ** T&F only | --- Dropped
International Characters

* RWS only | ** T&F only | ✦ Changed location