Kenji is a high-speed electric engine from Japan, who visited Sodor for The Technology Fair.

Biography

Thomas & Friends

Kenji first arrived on Sodor via the Rail Ferry at Brendam Docks, from which he was transported to Ulfstead Castle by Gordon and Rebecca. Electrical wires were set up especially for him around the Estate Railway.

Kenji was publicly revealed on the first night of the Technology Fair, where he impressed both the crowd and the other engines. After his first run with his passenger coach, he met up with Thomas and talked to him about his around-the-world trip and his Japanese friend, Hiro.

Later, when Baz and Bernie stole the plans to Ruth's Hover-Car, they stole Kenji to be their getaway vehicle in place of Sonny. Due to the lack of overhead wires on The Main Line, Kenji was gradually slowed down until Thomas brought him to a stop.

Following the chase, Kenji was repaired at the Sodor Steamworks, where Ruth fitted him with an electric battery similar to Stafford, allowing him to work on the un-electrified areas of the North Western Railway until the Rail Ferry back to Japan arrived. When it did arrive, however, Kenji was afraid of travelling home alone and hid in Hiro's Hideout in the Whistling Woods. After being found by Thomas and Hiro, Hiro agreed to accompany him home, wanting to go back to his homeland.

Personality

Kenji is cool, calm and patient, and unlike early British Railways diesel and electric engines, he does not boast about his modern elements, making it easy for him to get along with others. Kenji holds a sense of curiosity about the world outside his home country, and he can hold a civil conversation with even those skeptical about him. Although he enjoys trying new things he had not done before, Kenji has been shown to get nervous if he has to travel long distances by himself.

Technical Details

Basis

Kenji is based on a 0 series Shinkansen, also known as a "Bullet Train". These were the first generation of such engines and were designed specifically to run the high-speed Tōkaidō Shinkansen line in Japan. By 2008, all units had been withdrawn from active service, however a large number are preserved, including one at the National Railway Museum in York, which was donated as a gift by the West Japan Railway Company in 2001.

Kenji was modified to run on the North Western Railway, in that he received buffers and a tail-lamp on his rear and he has a pin-and-hook coupling system (which was replaced with a screw-link coupling after The Technology Fair). He was also re-gauged to the international standard gauge wheelbase, and received a battery pack from Ruth to let him to run without the aid of power lines.

Livery

Kenji is entirely silver with the exception of his skirts, which are painted royal blue.

Appearances

Trivia

  • A Motorized prototype of Kenji depicts him with two extra blue stripes: one around his passenger windows and the other along the edge of his roof, similar to the real livery worn by the Shinkansen 0 series. This may have been a concept livery.
  • Kenji is the second Japanese engine introduced in the show, the first being Hiro.
  • Kenji is the third catenary powered engine introduced in the show, the first being Etienne and the second being Gustavo. Unlike the former two, Kenji is powered by only one pantograph, while Etienne and Gustavo have two each.
  • Kenji is the first engine to be seen getting modified on-screen.
  • Despite being a passenger locomotive, Kenji has never been seen carrying passengers in either himself or his coach.
  • Kenji's cab controls are completely different to his basis, as he is only seen with a brake lever and speed gauges. The real 0 Series have full dashboards and - unlike Kenji - they also have seats for the driver. Additionally, Kenji is missing much of his basis' seats, as only one could be seen inside of him.

Merchandise

Video

International Characters

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