Kenji is an upcoming character who will appear in the twenty-fourth series.
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 publically 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, 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.
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 By 2008, all units had been withdrawn from active service, however a large number are preserved, including one at the National Railway Museum in York.
Kenji is painted silver with blue skirts.
- Series 24 - How Does it Work?
- 2020 - Meet Kenji of Japan! (does not speak)
- Matt McCooey (UK/US)
- Motorized (coming soon)
- 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.