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This article is about the book adaptation. You may be looking for the special, the DVD boxset, the video game or the app.

Hero of the Rails is a Golden Book based on the 2009 special of the same name.


Spencer stays on the Island for the summer because the Duke and Duchess are building another summer house. He proceeds to be rude and makes Thomas angry by calling him a little toy tank engine. Spencer challenges him to a race. Thomas and Spencer begin their race at dawn in the shunting yard and when they reach the hill, Thomas' brakes break and he is diverted onto an old track where he finds Hiro, an old Japanese engine. Hiro tells Thomas not to tell Sir Topham Hatt about him or he would go to the smelters yard. Thomas promises he would not.

Next morning he goes back to the old track and finds that the new summer house is being built near Hiro. Spencer chuffs beside him and asks what he is doing, and says he is going to keep an eye on him. Thomas tells Percy about Hiro, and Percy says he will help. Percy tries to pull Thomas' load to help Hiro, but, something breaks and Percy is taken to the Sodor Steamworks. Percy forgets all about his mail vans, and Sir Topham is angry about that.

Meanwhile Thomas tells Gordon all about Hiro. Thomas works hard the next morning and the next day he and Percy go to the quarry. Spencer keeping his eye on Thomas follows them, but when he arrives they are nowhere to be seen. Mavis shows him around and then the hopper activates and clogs up Spencer's funnel. While Spencer is at the works Thomas introduces Emily and James to Hiro.

The next morning Spencer finds Percy's mail vans and Sir Topham Hatt asks Spencer why he was pulling the mail vans. Spencer thinks that this is one of Thomas' tricks. Thomas and Hiro are waiting for the water injector but hear Spencer and chuff away, but it is too late, Spencer sees Hiro and chases them. And while he chases them, Hiro's parts start falling off. Thomas and Spencer race towards Knapford station so that Spencer will not tell Sir Topham Hatt and send Hiro to the smelters, but Spencer falls off an old bridge. Thomas tells the Fat Controller about Hiro, and is surprised to find out that he is famous for being the first engine on the Island. A few days later, Hiro is fixed and comes to rescue Spencer.

They work together on the summer house and are delighted when it is finished. While they are resting Hiro tells Thomas that he wants to go home. Thomas tells this to Sir Topham Hatt, and he says he will send him home. Next day Hiro is going back home to Japan, and the engines cheer. Thomas says to Hiro, that Sodor will always be his home.



  • Hiro is said to have an engine, but Hiro is a steam engine.
  • Mavis is said to have puffed when she wanted to show Spencer around the quarry, but she is a diesel.
  • In the twelfth illustration, Kevin's hook is yellow instead of red.
  • On the book's cover Hiro's face is oversized.
  • James has grey wheels when they should be black.
  •  An American water tower is illustrated, but Sodor is a British island.

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