Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia

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


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.


Kenji is cool, calm and patient, and unlike early British Railways diesel and electric engines, he does not boast about his modern elements. This makes 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, and he often tries to avoid doing so if he can help it.

Technical Details


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 By 2008, all units had been withdrawn from active service, however a large number are preserved, including one at the National Railway Museum in York, which was donated as a gift by the West Japan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 later received a battery pack from Ruth to let him run without the aid of power lines.


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


Official Description

From Official Media:[1]

Kenji: Kenji is the confident new, state-of-the-art, electric engine from Japan. He is the fastest engine in the world! Kenji first came to Sodor to be part of the World of Tomorrow technology fair, but he soon realised there was more to life than being able to go incredibly fast. Kenji learnt from Thomas that he could be Really Useful by helping with everyday jobs on the railways. Some of the other engines felt inferior to Kenji at first but soon discovered how nice and friendly he was. Kenji is a very sociable and likeable engine and just wants to be one of the gang.

Audio Files


First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 24 Active


  • 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 was the second and final 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.
  • 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.
  • Kenji's Motor Road and Rail toy reuses a mold from an existing Shinkansen 0 series bullet train, albeit with a different skirt.
  • Kenji was the last character introduced in the Wood line before it was replaced by a revised Wooden Railway in 2021.
    • Additionally, he was only sold in Japan to tie in with the Japanese release of Marvelous Machinery. An international release was planned, but not proceeded with due to the range being discontinued.



International Characters

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