Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia
This article is about the crane. You may be looking for the Story Library book.

Rocky is a large red breakdown crane who is part of the Sodor Search and Rescue Team.


Thomas & Friends

When Rocky was new to Sodor, Gordon and Edward were skeptical about his abilities, noting that Harvey could travel under his own power. Later, Edward carelessly left the docks before his load of pipes was properly secured, causing the pipes to spill onto the Main Line. Edward was adamant that Harvey could clear up the line, but the little crane engine was not strong enough to finish the job quickly and as a result, Gordon crashed into the pipes. Edward returned to Brendam to pick up Rocky, who cleared the line and put Gordon back on the rails.

Since this incident, Rocky has become an invaluable asset to the railway. He is frequently called upon to lift loads and help out after accidents. He is based at the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre, but is seen at the docks and other places like Sodor Slate Quarry helping out. He also tells the other members of the search and rescue team about the calls to action.

However, Rocky sometimes gets into trouble of his own. Once he lifting a water tower to put on Duck's flatbed when Thomas told him to move out of the way, only to get the tower smashed. Another time, Henry used him to move stuff off the track so no engine could get hurt only to cause confusion and delay of Toby's rescue. Once, James took him to help Duck out of a flooded track, but James was impatient and left before Rocky's crane arm could be secured down properly. Because of this, Rocky knocked over a signal, causing other engines to be unaware of the rescue and bash into it. Some time later, Rocky derailed near Ulfstead Castle and the rest of the rescue team had to learn to work together to help him.

Duck brought him to lift Thomas out of a deep cavern after the track had collapsed and he later pulled Captain Calles' Pirate Ship out too. He received credit for finding the ship even though Thomas had found it, which annoyed Thomas. Later, he rescued Thomas after he fell in the water and attended the Harwick Branch Line opening ceremony.


Rocky likes to lift heavy objects such as engines, coaches and trucks. He is a friendly and careful crane and helps the engines when there is an accident. He takes pride in his work and is always happy to help, but while his strength is considerable, Rocky does have a limit to how big of a load he can easily lift at times, such as a particularly heavy pallet of slate. In addition to being the muscle of the Sodor Search and Rescue center faculty, Rocky also serves as both the dispatcher and leader of the group, giving out both emergency descriptions for his teammates and orders to others on how to perform a rescue. In the latter role, Rocky will often make himself firm if any arguments break out among the group. Unlike his teammates, Rocky is more level-headed and less likely to show off, simply being content with doing his job, sometimes putting him at the mercy of the antics of others. Despite his amiable nature, Rocky could not help but snark at Spencer's accident.

Technical Details


Rocky is a Ransomes and Rapier 45-ton steam crane, built around 1945. A crane of this type is preserved on the Bluebell Railway.


Rocky is painted brick red with yellow hazard stripes on his sides and back.


Thomas & Friends


Music Videos

Learning Segments


Magazine Stories

Rocky also appeared in the magazine story, The Best Bridge.

Audio Files


First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 10 Series 10


  • One of Rocky's television series models used to be on display in Canada at Nitrogen Studios and wore his smiling face. It has been sent back to the UK and was put on display at the 'History of Thomas & Friends' exhibition at the Midland Railway Centre in May 2019 with his happy, smiling, content, sad and angry faces sometimes. It was then later put on display at the Discover Thomas & Friends Exhibition at Drayton Manor and wears his content face.
  • He, along with Rosie, are the only characters introduced in Series 10 to appear in CGI.
  • Rocky has a much taller cab than his basis, in order to accommodate a face.
  • Although Rocky says in Duck in the Water that he must have his crane arm secured properly, in Series 19-20, Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure, Journey Beyond Sodor, Deep Trouble, Emily to the Rescue and The Inventor's Spectacular Bridge, Rocky has been transported without his crane arm lowered, which is very dangerous.
  • Rocky does not have windows on the front of his cab, making it difficult for the operator to see what is happening.
  • In the eleventh series episode, Thomas and the Runaway Car, it was stated that Rocky was too heavy for Thomas to move. However, since the twelfth series, Thomas has been able to move him, as have several other smaller, weaker engines.
    • The same goes for Percy in the fourteenth series. In Being Percy, Percy stated he was not strong enough to pull Rocky on his own, but since the nineteenth series, he has been able to move Rocky.
  • At Days Out with Thomas events, Rocky has Bulgy's face.
  • In his debut episode, Rocky had a whistle, which is basically the same as the Rainbow Sun's, and it basically came from Canadian National 3254's out of tune 1980s whistle. However, Rocky appears to lack a whistle in all of his future appearances.
  • Unlike most Breakdown Cranes. Rocky has a whistle, which was only heard in Series 10.
  • Rocky had a total of five facial expressions, one of which an angry face was never shown on-screen.


“Hello, I'm Rocky. I can lift any engine to safety, and have them back on the tracks in no time.”
―Rocky's website audio



* RWS only | ** T&F only | --- Dropped