Hong-Mei (Mandarin: 红梅) is a Chinese tank engine Thomas met during his stay in China. She has her own pair of coaches named An An and Yin-Long, who are occasionally used by Thomas. One of her main jobs is to pull the mail train.
Thomas & Friends
Thomas first met Hong-Mei during his passenger run after saying he was the number 1 engine. However, Hong-Mei pointed out she was China’s number 1 engine and the two had a race to see who was the better number 1.
Unbeknownst to either engine, Hong-Mei spilled some of her delivery of rocks as she raced. This caused Thomas to derail on a shortcut line through the mountains. Hong-Mei came to Thomas’ rescue, revealing she took the shortcut line as well and made Thomas come off the rails with her carelessness. She pulled Thomas back onto the tracks and the two engines decided that two number 1 engines are just as good as one number 1 engine.
Later on, when she revealed to Thomas and Yong Bao that she takes the mail train in China, it made Thomas miss his best friend Percy so much due to the fact he also pulls the mail train back on Sodor.
Hong-Mei is a good-natured but cheeky tank engine from China who loves to race. She is also blue like Thomas and out to prove she’s the No. 1 blue engine. Like Thomas, she can be careless and hasty at times, but always tries to make up for it. Hong-Mei is also a good sport and knows when to put competition aside for the sake of helping a friend.
Hong-Mei is based on the China Railways GJ 0-6-0T class. 122 members of this class were built and primarily saw industrial usage in places such as steelworks, with some remaining into service well into the 2000s. In addition to service in China, some members of the class worked in North Korea and Vietnam. Five are preserved.
Hong-Mei is painted blue with yellow lining and a red stripe along each of her side tanks. Her handrails, boiler bands and cylinder lining are brass, her wheels are red with light grey rims and her number is painted on the sides of her tanks in yellow.
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- Hong-Mei's name means "red plum" in Mandarin.
- Hong-Mei is painted with 一号 (Yī hào), which means "number 1" in Mandarin, on both of her water tanks.
- She was the last new character produced in Adventures before the TrackMaster Push Along redesign.
- Hong-Mei's front end, smoke box and cylinders are modified from Rosie's with a new lamp and additional coupling rods.
- Despite working on the Chinese Railway, Hong-Mei has been modified from her basis for use on British Railways. She has added buffers, screwlink couplings and a brake pipe on both ends. This is so that Thomas could interact with Chinese rolling stock, as the Island of Sodor is a British-based railway.
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