|This article is about the engine. You may be looking for the Story Library book.|
Hank is a large American tender engine.
Thomas & Friends
Thomas and Percy first met Hank at Brendam 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.
Hank is large, bold, and blue. 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 smaller than him.
Hank is based on a Pennsylvania Railroad K4s Class Pacific. Two K4s are preserved, 1361 (currently undergoing restoration to operational condition) and 3750, and are recognised as the State Steam Locomotives of Pennsylvania.
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.
According to concept designs made in 2007 by Philip Reeves, Hank was originally planned to be a Union Pacific Challenger Class.
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.
|First used||Last used||Sound Effect|
|Series 12||Series 12|
- According to Sodor Island Fansite'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.
- 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. The driver and fireman were only seen once and they were models.
- 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 TV series to be based on an American locomotive, Hank was the first to actually be recognised as such.
- Hank is the first character in the franchise (both Railway Series and television series) whose basis has never run in the United Kingdom.
- His 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 Theme Park.
- His whistle is a deeper toned version of Gordon's.
- Hank, along with Flora, is one of the only characters introduced in the HiT Entertainment model era to not have a Capsule Plarail model.
- Wooden Railway (discontinued)
- TrackMaster (discontinued)
- My Thomas Story Library (discontinued)
- Take-n-Play (discontinued; reintroduced in 2014)