Vinnie is a North American tender engine who competed in the Great Railway Show for the Strongest Engine competition.
Vinnie, along with the other international engines, accidentally came to Sodor when the ferry they were on stopped at Brendam. He and the other engines, except Ashima, promptly got back on the ferry, but not before he had the chance to bump Thomas out of his way.
At the Great Railway Show, Vinnie participated in the Strongest Engine competition. On his way to the track where his competition was to take place, Philip blocked his way. Vinnie insulted Philip and told him to watch where he was going. Later, Philip got in Vinnie's way again. Vinnie, annoyed at Philip, chased him briefly before being covered in coal from a hopper that Carlos was using. Infuriated, Vinnie chased Philip through the yard, eventually ending up in the middle of the Shunting Challenge. Vinnie derailed two of Gina's flatbeds, which were blocking his way, before cornering Philip near a turntable and trying to force the little shunter into the turntable well. Thomas and Ashima then managed to couple up to the big tender engine and pull him away, allowing Philip to escape. Vinnie resisted, which caused Thomas' coupling to snap. This launched Vinnie into a set of points that were set against him, derailing him and sending him crashing into an electricity pylon, which then fell on top of him. Vinnie was left trapped under the pylon, screaming for help. He remained there for the rest of the day and was rescued that evening, after which he returned home to America.
Sometime later, he was seen working at San Francisco Docks.
Vinnie is very rude and competitive, with a reputation for being a bully, and will do anything to win a competition, including cheating. He views smaller engines such as Thomas and Philip as inferior to him, often calling them derogatory names such as "Shrimp" (Thomas) and "Shortie" (Philip), and often takes pleasure in bumping them around. Because of his vile behaviour, hardly any of the engines get along with him.
He is also shown to be reckless, as seen by bashing through a pile of rocks, and Gina's flatbeds.
Despite his intimidating size and demeanour, Vinnie has proven himself to be a coward in the face of greater adversity, as shown when he was panicking after his accident at the Great Railway Show.
Vinnie is based off of the Canadian National Railway's U-4-a 6400 class. The U-4-a's were primarily used on passenger services in southern Ontario and Quebec due to a lack of coal reserves on the railway.
Vinnie's number is taken from the Grand Trunk Western #6407 of the U-4-b class, which was scrapped in April 1960.
Vinnie is painted navy blue with a grey boiler and yellow linings along with red trimming around his cab windows. He carries his number and name on plates on his smokebox and the sides of his footplate.
- Guess Who? Puzzles (does not speak)
- John Schwab (UK/US)
- Nobuaki Kanemitsu (Japan)
- Daniel del Roble (Latin America)
- Daniel Welbat (Germany)
- Alfredo Martínez (Spain)
- Vinnie is the first and currently only engine in the series to have a Vanderbilt tender.
- Vinnie is only partially modified to work on British rail; his tender is given buffers, yet he still retains his knuckle coupler (which has a small pin so that Vinnie could couple up to British rolling stock).
- In Vinnie's promotional video for the Great Railway Show, the announcer states he is from North America. This is quite vague as North America is actually a continent that represents numerous countries, including the United States, Canada and Mexico, although the United States' flag is the one shown. Vinnie's real-life basis is actually from Canada.
- In the Golden Book adaption of the special, Vinnie participated in the Great Race event, rather than the strongest engine competition.
- Even though Vinnie has guard rails over his face, his merchandising toys (except his Capsule Plarail toy) do not have them.
- Vinnie's Take-n-Play toy has a few errors:
- His nameplate and number are missing.
- His wheels are black instead of blue.
- His smokebox is black instead of dark blue. The same goes for his Wooden Railway toy.
- His whistle was later reused for Trevor.
- “Get outta the way! Why don't ya look where you're goin', Shrimp?!”
- ―Vinnie bumps and insults Thomas
- “YEAH?! Well, ya better watch where you're goin', Shortie, or you might end up being recycled!”
- ―Vinnie to Philip after nearly bumping into him
- “Oh dear, Shortie! Looks like the race is over for you! Ha, ha, ha!”
- ―Vinnie to Philip when he has him cornered