Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia
The Railway Series

Sir Handel, named after the Skarloey Railway's first owner, Sir Handel Brown I - originally named Falcon, after the works where he was built - is a red (formerly blue) narrow gauge saddle tank engine.


Falcon was built at Falcon Works in Loughborough, England in 1904 for the Mid Sodor Railway as an 0-4-0ST, which caused him to bounce. He was delivered by sea to Arlesburgh to replace a locomotive which was scrapped shortly afterwards. He returned to Loughborough in 1910 to have trailing wheels fitted as a cure for his unsteadiness in running. When he was new, Falcon had to learn the line by double-heading with Duke. While on The Mountain Road, they exited the tunnel and Falcon derailed over a cliff. It was Duke's willingness and quick thinking that saved him. Despite his gratitude, he occasionally made fun of Duke until he was told about what happened to Stanley.

When the Mid Sodor Railway closed in 1947, he and Stuart were sold to the Sodor Aluminium Company at Peel Godred for an expansion project. Following the project's completion in 1951, they were oiled, greased and sheeted under tarpaulins ready for disposal and stood for a year in the Company's yard. In 1952, they were purchased for the knockdown price of £50 (£25 each) by Sir Handel Lloyd Brown for service on the Skarloey Railway, overhauled and repainted in SR livery at Crovan's Gate Works and renamed Sir Handel and Peter Sam respectively.[1]

Sir Handel was not very well-behaved when he first came to the Skarloey Railway, as shown when he insulted the coaches by calling them "cattle trucks", which resulted in them holding him back on a hill. He derailed himself on purpose when his driver planned for him to fetch trucks from the quarry. This led the Thin Controller to discipline him by leaving him in the shed until he was ready to behave. Unfortunately, the coaches still didn't trust him and they caused him to derail after accusing him of bumping them when he suddenly had to stop for sheep on the line. He also pretended to be ill to avoid going to the quarry (as advised by Gordon, which only led to Peter Sam to have an accident with trucks at the incline after they mistook him for Sir Handel) and to avoid getting televised by the BBC television producers, but the Thin Controller arranged for him to be taken apart instead in order to show the producers how an engine works.

Sir Handel did not cope well with the worn track on the railway and would often derail - sometimes deliberately, so he was given a pair of special wheels with broad tyres to cure this problem, dubbed "steamroller wheels" by the other engines. Skarloey later had Sir Handel meet his match with a bad-tempered steamroller named George to teach him some sense, which resulted in him having an accident when George rammed his front roller into his train. Despite this, Sir Handel still took the belief that he sent George packing, but he stopped talking about it after some children heard about his situation with George and teased him about it.

In 1982, Sir Handel visited the Talyllyn Railway to help tide over a locomotive crisis while Sir Haydn was being repaired. Sir Handel had plenty of adventures there, like pulling a wedding train and having to wear an eye-patch after colliding with a tree at Nant Gwernol. He spent two years in Wales before returning to Sodor in 1984 to take his share of the summer traffic.

When Peter Sam was brought back from the Talyllyn Railway early during a visit in 1995, Sir Handel became jealous and as a protest, deliberately knocked out his firebars. He was sent to the shed and began to fear that he would never come out after weeks went by and no one came to see him. When the Thin Controller came in one day Sir Handel confessed, asked for a second chance and got his firebars later that day (although no one bothered to tell him that they had only just arrived).

Technical Details


Sir Handel is based on the Talyllyn Railway's Sir Haydn, a Hughes Falcon 0-4-2ST that originally worked on the Corris Railway. Albert and Proteus share the same basis. The Corris Railway is currently building another "Falcon" locomotive.


Sir Handel is painted in the Skarloey Railway (SR)'s standard red livery with blue lining and black wheels. His name is written on his tanks in yellow, while his number (3) is placed on his bunker in black-backed brass plates. He has a black running board and red bufferbeams.

On the Mid Sodor Railway, Sir Handel (then named Falcon) was painted blue with black lining. He also had gold nameplates on the sides of his saddle tanks.



  • In the Railway Series, along with his ERTL and 1997-2005 Wooden Railway toys, Sir Handel is depicted with Sir Haydn's original cab design, which meant his cab was only open on his right side until Great Little Engines and his coal bunkers were not visible until New Little Engine. In the latter book, while his coal bunkers became visible, he retained the old cab design.


* RWS only | ** T&F only