Shankar is an Indian diesel shunter. He works on the Indian Railway.


Thomas & Friends

Shankar is first seen working in a shunting yard as Thomas and Nia were heading to Sodor. He later brought Thomas some trucks to pull during his visit, with the former thinking he was an elephant at first.

Thomas later met Shankar after daydreaming about tigers. Shankar talked about how he felt sorry for the tigers having their peace disturbed by the tourists. He later appeared when Thomas spotted a tiger, honking his horn to scare it off, explaining to Thomas that the tigers are rare and endangered due to hunters. Rajiv then showed up with two men claiming to be there so they could spot a tiger, but Shankar noticed that they had a cage with them for capturing one and realised they were hunters. He and Thomas devised a plan to stop them, which involved Shankar pretending to be a tiger to lure the men into a trap. After the hunters were arrested, Shankar returned to his work, but not without spotting a tiger.

One morning, Shankar was annoyed by Rajiv boasting about his crown again when he should be focusing on getting his work done. When Rajiv later lost his crown and refused to work without it, Shankar was forced to do Rajiv's jobs as well as his own, much to his consternation, even as he assisted Ashima and Thomas with trying to find it so Rajiv would return to work. By that evening, Shankar was so exhausted from doing double duty alongside Thomas and Ashima that he fell asleep before reaching the sheds. When Noor Jehan came speeding into the yard out of control due to her faulty brakes, Rajiv, seeing Shankar in danger, forgot about his crown and moved to shove Shankar out of harm's way. Shankar woke up to discover how close he came to being hit by Noor Jehan as Rajiv got him out of the way just in time. Ecstatic over Rajiv's heroism, he pointed it out to Ashima and Thomas, who also commended Rajiv for showing he could still be Really Useful without his crown.

Later, Shankar was taking some fruit to a station on a far-off part of the Indian Railway, when Thomas arrived just in time to find the silk he needed to deliver to another station due to leaving it there by accident get blown out of the van and all over the station. This caused Shankar's load of fruit to spill out of their trucks and across the tracks. Noor Jehan came across the mess and told Thomas he needed to tell Charubala about it as he could not fix all this mess on his own. Seeing she was right, Thomas told Charubala about what happened, and she fully understood and assured Thomas he could have told her sooner as she would have understood and not been cross with him even then. With support from Ashima, Noor Jehan, and Shankar, Thomas was able to fix everything, and the engines returned to Varkala Railway Station that evening to be commended on a job well done by Charubala, before Ashima, hearing an elephant trumpet, asked if anyone wanted to go for a swim, earning laughs from everyone since it was Thomas getting distracted by seeing elephants swimming that caused the whole mess in the first place.

During Thomas's visit on the day of a fancy costume contest, he managed to talk Shankar into participating, something the Indian diesel refused to do for many years. Shankar was less than pleased with this, even moreso when he found his costume was a colorful bird that attracted attention. Shankar managed to win, but his costume fell off when he tried to shunt. After talking things over, Shankar returned to shunting, and amazed everyone with his shunting skills.


Shankar is wise and sympathetic, but also serious and blunt, always going straight to the point. If there is a way to set things right, he can be counted on to carry it out. He also takes no nonsense from slackers or showoffs, often scolding Thomas for his occasional lack of focus and Rajiv for his attitude. Despite this, he always enjoys a good laugh. Shankar is also somewhat shy about being in the spotlight, and prefers working alone and away from attention. His duller paint job helps him in these cases, as it makes him less noticeable, backed up by his uncanny ability to leave unnoticed. Despite this, he is very proficient at shunting, especially with his signature "Shankar Shimmy".

Technical Details


Shankar is based on a Russian TGM23 class diesel shunter. Ivan shares this basis.


Shankar's main paint scheme consists of three bands: the top band is orange, the middle cream, and the bottom a maroon-brown. His wheels and running plate are brown, and his handrails are yellow. The livery is based upon the livery worn by the WDS-6 locomotives based at Visakhapatnam depot in India, albeit with the order of the bands reversed.


Audio Files


First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 22 Active
Shankar's Horn


  • His model is a modified version of Ivan's.
  • His name means "beneficent" or "giver of bliss" in the Sanskrit language.
  • He is the first international diesel to be a main character in an episode as shown in Shankar's Makeover.
    • He, along with Rajiv, Raul, Shane, Lorenzo and Yong Bao are also the only international engine characters to have starring roles in an episode.


International Characters

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