Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia
Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia
This article is about the engine. You may be looking for the Story Library book.

Hank is a single-appearance character and a large American tender engine. When he first arrived on Sodor, a welcome party was shortly thrown for him.

Biography

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]

Personality

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 smaller than him.

Technical Details

Basis

Hank is based on a Pennsylvania Railroad (PR) K4s Class Pacific. Two K4s are preserved: 1361, which is currently undergoing another attempt at a restoration to operational condition as of June 24, 2021, and 3750, which is on display at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, and are recognized as the State Steam Locomotives of Pennsylvania. Hank was most likely based on the PRR K4s' pre-war shape, more specifically #1361 as it would have appeared when it was delivered to the Pennsylvania Railroad. A streamlined version of this class 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.

Livery

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.


Appearances

Audio Files

Whistle

First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 12 Series 12

Trivia

  • Hank along with Flora and Billy only appear once in the show.
  • 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 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 to not have a Capsule Plarail toy.

Merchandise

References



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

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