Henry is a mixed-traffic engine.
Henry was originally built by the Midland Railway around 1919 from plans stolen from Sir Nigel Gresley and was something like a cross between a GNR Class A1 and a GNR C1 Atlantic with a 4-6-0 wheel arrangement. He was sold to Sir Topham Hatt l, in 1922 who was desperate for a locomotive. The locomotive was a poor steamer, but since the only engines on the line were Edward, the Coffee pots, Thomas and some old W&SR locos, the Fat Director had no choice but to keep him in service. During this time two engines borrowed from the newly formed LNER arrived on Sodor, along with another which was to stay for the rest of his days.
Henry was vain and in 1923 he stopped in a tunnel and refused to come out, citing that his paintwork would be spoilt by the rain. After several attempts to move him failed he was bricked up in the tunnel until Gordon broke down while pulling the Express. As Edward was unable to move the train himself, the Fat Director offered to let Henry out of the tunnel to help. Henry eagerly accepted.
Henry performed very well, and the Fat Director promised him a new coat of paint, as his existing paintwork had been damaged more by his stay in the tunnel than it would have been by the rain. Henry asked to be painted blue like Edward. However, many people confused him with Gordon, to the bigger engine's annoyance. The matter was worsened after a trip to the Works where Henry was given spares of Gordon's buffers and cab. This caused Gordon to be very rude to Henry.
The poor engine and his system, which was already finicky at best due to design flaws, never really recovered from the stay in the tunnel. Henry developed steaming problems, about which he complained constantly, though he found little sympathy, especially when it caused him to be late.
In 1933 Henry, when again offered new paint, chose green to end the confusion. Unfortunately, he was to suffer humiliation when he was hosed with water by an elephant he frightened. After Gordon and James suffered humiliations of their own (and all three had become thoroughly fed up having to do their own shunting and fetch their own coaches), the big engines went on strike. The Fat Controller naturally disapproved of this nonsense, and after purchasing Percy he locked them in the shed for several days.
Later that year, during a period when the main line engines were being supplied with a poor delivery of coal, Henry was having a very difficult time of it indeed. He had strength to pull trains only sporadically, in spite of numerous parts replacements. At last the Fat Controller looked into it personally, and asked the opinion of Henry's fireman, who told him about the coal and suggested purchasing the high grade Welsh coal the Great Western Railway used.
When the Welsh coal came, Henry's performance was vastly improved, such that he was comparable to Gordon. He continued to use the coal until Winter 1935, when due to a conjunction of a forced signal and frozen points he had a collision with a goods train at Killdane while pulling "The Flying Kipper" and was sent to Crewe to be rebuilt. Henry was rebuilt into a Stanier 5MT. (Sir Topham Hatt had connections with Sir William Stanier, so this may be the reason he managed to get Henry rebuilt so quickly).
After returning, Henry was added to the rotation for the Express, and pulled it so well that he made Gordon jealous. Gordon tried to get even by rudely critcising Henry for whistling loudly at stations, but had to eat his words later that day after his own whistle valve jammed open. Some time later, Henry was taking a slow train. As he passed under a bridge, four boys he had assumed to be railfans dropped stones on him and his coaches. He paid them out on his return journey by "sneezing" ashes that collected in his smokebox at them.
In 1953, when Queen Elizabeth II was to come to Sodor, Henry (rightly) assumed he was the Fat Controller's choice to pull the royal train. But the day before, while he was idling at the station his smoke blinded a painter, who fell along with his paint pot onto Henry. The paint splashed over Henry's boiler, and as painting over it would take too long for him to have time for the train Gordon was given the job instead.
When Duck arrived he, with Percy's help, blocked the big engines from entering the shed. The Fat Controller arrived and told the two tank engines off for causing a disturbance. Henry and the others laughed - until the Fat Controller shouted for silence, and told them they'd been worse, as they had made the disturbance. He told them that Duck was right about he, Sir Topham Hatt, being in charge. Henry respected Duck more after that.
Henry's good opinion of Duck would be briefly spoilt in 1957. He and the other main line engines were growing very tired of Duck's incessant talk about the Great Western Railway following City of Truro's visit. A Diesel sent to the island on trial quickly developed a grudge against Duck, and spread nasty stories about the main line engines to the trucks, stories he falsely claimed Duck had told him. Henry, furious at being called "Old Square Wheels", joined Gordon and James in barring Duck from the shed. He felt sorry a few days later when he became the next target of Diesel's slander, and when Duck returned after preventing an accident Henry cheered him loudly.
In 1963, he was later given a tender designed by Henry Fowler to replace his Stanier designed tender.
When Gordon started feeling depressed in 1967, Henry, thinking Gordon was just moaning and groaning, teased him and told him he should get a washout, and would feel much better. When Gordon's younger brother Flying Scotsman visited Sodor, Henry was jealous of the visitor's second tender. Duck and Donald explained, and while Henry took the point he still was vain enough to want an additional tender. Duck, deciding to bring Henry down to earth, told the big engine that he had in his possession not one, but six spare tenders, which as a tank engine he had no need of. Henry accepted, and all the engines waited to see him go past. But instead of a splendid sight, the tenders were old, rusted, and full of boiler sludge! Gordon mocked him with a comment about washouts.
Henry was so frustrated that the day after 7101 and 199 arrived on trial he became so hot his regulator fused wide open, and his driver had to use the reverse to control him. On his return journey (no train), he stopped at a signal box next to 199, who had a train of oil tankers. The signalman told them that 199, who he nicknamed "Spamcan", had failed and that he needed to be moved out of the way to clear the line for the "Limited". Henry pulled the train clear. But shortly afterward, 7101's ejector failed and the "Limited" ground to a halt. Henry then volunteered to help move both trains. Luckily all he had to do for 7101 was keep the vacuum brakes off, but it was still hard work. The cavalcade made it to a station where Flying Scotsman waited to take the coaches, and Donald to take the goods. Henry brought 7101 to the Works afterwards, and days later cheered the arrival of Oliver.
Later, when Gordon needed new tubes, Henry pulled the express, but soon fell ill as well. This left the job of the express to Thomas, Percy, and Duck. A while later, Henry had to pull an extra long Flying Kipper Duck had to help him up Gordon's Hill, but due to a tail lamp falling off the rear van, Duck accidentally crashed into the brake van.
Henry also had a problem with his fire after disagreeing with James on the color of red paint, but said nothing more after the event.
Henry then complained to Thomas the time that the Viaduct had gone under repairs, when Thomas became impatient with his connection between the main line engines and his branchline. Henry also had a late start a few times when Thomas had run away and when he had a leak in his piston rods.
In 1986, he was given splashers, mainly because of the fact larger driving wheels were installed to provide a faster mainline service when Gordon is busy.
When Gordon accidentilly blew ashes when his smokebox was clogged, Henry suggested that Gordon have a good "sneeze", but Gordon reminded Henry that The Fat Controller didn't like Henry's sneeze. He also pulled the express when Gordon slipped on the icy rails and befriended Pip and Emma.
Unfortunatly for Henry, he had to go back to the Works for an overhaul. He had many problems and even had an overcoat of red paint on him! The other engines did Henry's jobs (including pulling the Flying Kipper) while he was away.
Henry is generally well behaved, but he is occasionally arrogant and vain. Henry is at heart a hard worker, but his frequent bouts of illness hinder his work.
Henry has being portrayed a nature-lover, and is very fond of trees, being the Hippie that he is as evidence in Henry's Forest. This personality carried on throughout the most recent seasons, with Henry being occasionally a tree-hugging engine too as he tried to prevent the tall pine tree and the wishing tree from being cut down. His favourite tree of them all is the wishing tree.
Henry's history is unusual. He was built from rejected plans for Sir Nigel Gresley's A1. The plans were stolen from Gresley by a rival. Then resulting engine was a mix of GNR Gresley A1 Pacific and GNR Ivatt C1 Atlantic, with a 4-6-0 wheel arrangement, a smaller boiler, a cutoff third splasher, that is flush with a smaller and very shallow firebox flush with the curved running boards. Henry in this shape developed performance issues from flaws in the design, compounded by his stay in the tunnel. Henry was a "bad steamer": with good quality coal he could get enough heat to make plenty of steam, but when there was a poor lot delivered, his undersized firebox could not hold enough coal to make a proper fire. On advice from Henry's fireman, the Fat Controller ordered high-grade Welsh Coal, which made an appreciable difference in Henry's performance. When Henry suffered an accident and severe damage that winter, the opportunity was taken to to send him to Crewe, where he was rebuilt an LMS Stanier 5MT "Black 5" 4-6-0, approx. 63. ft 11 3/4 long. He also has a maximum speed of 90 mph.
Henry is based on an experimentally MR "Faux-A1" 4-6-0, and was later rebuilt (after an accident) as a LMS Stanier "Black 5".
Henry is currently painted NWR green with red stripes on his boiler and firebox, red lining on the side of his splashers and tender and the number "3" painted on his tender sides in yellow. He was originally painted LNER green from 1920 to 1922, but he was repainted NWR blue with red lining at the end of "The Three Railway Engines" and from 1922-1931, and remained so until the beginning of "Troublesome Engines" In "Henry and the Express" he was briefly painted orange-red as an undercoat before his standard green coat was applied.
Henry's Railway Series appearances are listed below:
- "The Three Railway Engines"
- "Thomas the Tank Engine" (does not speak)
- "James the Red Engine" (does not speak)
- "Tank Engine Thomas Again"
- "Troublesome Engines"
- "Henry the Green Engine"
- "Gordon the Big Engine"
- "Edward the Blue Engine"
- "Four Little Engines"
- "Percy the Small Engine" (does not speak)
- "The Eight Famous Engines"
- "Duck and the Diesel Engine"
- "The Little Old Engine" (cameo)
- "The Twin Engines"
- "Stepney the "Bluebell" Engine"
- "Main Line Engines"
- "Small Railway Engines" (mentioned)
- "Enterprising Engines"
- "Oliver the Western Engine"
- "Really Useful Engines"
- "James and the Diesel Engines"
- "Great Little Engines" (mentioned)
- "More About Thomas the Tank Engine"
- "Gordon the High-Speed Engine"
- "Thomas and the Great Railway Show"
- "Thomas Comes Home"
- "Henry and the Express"
- "Thomas and the Fat Controller's Engines"
In television series, Henry has appeared in every series.
- Thomas and the Magic Railroad
- Calling All Engines
- The Great Discovery
- Hero of the Rails
- Misty Island Rescue
- Day of the Diesels
They're two, they're four, they're six, they're . . . seven?Edit
The Reverend W. Awdry had a great deal of trouble with Henry. He was unhappy with C. Reginald Dalby's illustrations: he looked almost identical to Gordon, more so while he was painted blue - in Tank Engine Thomas Again Henry looked completely identical to Gordon, but this was passed off by explaining he needed to use Gordon's buffers while his were being repaired. To make matters worse, he was illustrated inconsistently, often having several different shapes within the space of a single story - in most of Dalby's illustrations Henry was portrayed as a 4-6-0, but occasionally he became a 4-6-2 instead.
Awdry's original idea had been to write Henry out of the series, but by "Henry the Green Engine" he had decided to instead have Henry involved in a serious accident, allowing him to be rebuilt into a Class 5MT. As this was a real locomotive, Dalby was thus forced to be consistent.
Is that Henry or Henry?Edit
There is a certain amount of argument over Henry's rebuild, caused by The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways, which was written to provide historical background to the Railway Series and to correct pictorial inconsistencies that had occurred in earlier volumes. The Reverend W. Awdry claimed that the pre-rebuild and post-rebuild Henry were actually two completely separate engines, although in the Railway Series Henry seemed familiar with events that happened before the crash. Henry's memory could have simply survived the rebuild, but as both sources can be considered equally canonical the question of whether there have been two Henry's or one will likely remain unanswered.
According to "TIOS" Henry was an experimental locomotive built from plans stolen from Sir Nigel Gresley, but the wrong plans were taken and the locomotive built was so riddled with faults that the only person who could be persuaded to buy it was the Fat Controller, who, at the time, was desperate for any locomotive he could get.
"TIOS" also featured a biography of the Fat Controller, which mentioned that he was apprenticed with Stanier at Swindon Works. It is possible that this was another piece of retcon added explain how Henry was able to be rebuilt so easily - something that even the Reverend W. Awdry admitted was "a mystery".
In Sodor: Reading Between the Lines Henry was said to look very much like a Stanier 5MT, which suggests that he is not totally identical to one of these engines. It is not clear why Christopher Awdry should have felt the need to contradict his father, but it could simply be a combination of errors and publication deadlines.
Although Henry was never portrayed as a 4-6-2 in the television series, major differences have been noticed between the model of Henry as used in the television series and illustrations of Henry in the Railway Series. In the television, his old shape appears to have been used as his new shape as well: Henry's old shape appears to be identical to his newer one; the only difference is the presence of a sand hatch and a different firebox. This could have been done for ease of the changeover to his "Black 5"-esque appearance.
If looked at closely, when Henry collided with a goods train in the first season episode The Flying Kipper, which necessitated his new shape, his sand hatch was already fitted, In another continuity error, during a head-on shot after Henry returned from his rebuild, his old shape is used.
When new models for the television series were made in 2000, Henry was given a cutoff splasher where his old shape's tapered boiler and old cutoff splasher was.
"As black as . . . er . . . soot"Edit
Henry was at the centre of what might be the most controversial story in the history of the Railway Series. In the story Henry's Sneeze in Henry the Green Engine, Henry got revenge on some stone-throwing boys by "sneezing" at them. The text said that the boys in question were left "as black as n***ers" by the joke. Despite being published in the 1950s, this comment was not discussed until 1972; so controversial was the issue then that it was reported in the national press. Awdry replied that the race relations board was being over-sensitive, which only made the public think he was a racist. To solve the problem, he changed the offending sentence to "as black as soot", which has been used in every subsequent edition of the book.
Henry was the focus of Awdry's irritation once again in the nineties, when the 3rd season of the television series aired. This series featured a number of episodes that had not been adapted from the Railway Series, some of which annoyed Awdry with their lack of realism. The episode that particularly irked him was Henry's Forest.
Awdry's complaints were directed at two aspects of the episode in particular. One was that it was unrealistic to have a railway running through a forest; Britt Allcroft, the series' producer at the time, countered by claiming that she had seen a number of railways that do just that. The other one was that Henry stopped to admire the view without alerting the signalman - a direct violation of British Railways' Rule 55. This, Awdry argued, would never be allowed to happen in real life, and would be highly unsafe.
In the 5th season episode James and the Trouble with Trees, some trees were removed because "the Fat Controller says they're too close to the line". This may have been a way of amending this error.
Henry on the big screenEdit
Henry was voiced by Kevin Frank in Thomas and the Magic Railroad. In the movie, Henry had an American accent and suffered from boiler trouble due to deposits left by fumes from Diesel 10. This time, his sickness was cured by "Sodor coal".
- "You're too fat. You need exercise."
- "I don't disappear into the background like some engines I could mention. If it weren't for the noise, you'd need a yellow and black front like Mavis."
- " ... he (the Fat Controller) didn't like your sneeze, I seem to remember."
- "An overhaul, is it? Sounds like you need retiring, you poor old thing."
- Kevin Frank (Thomas and the Magic Railroad)
- Keith Wickham (UK; Hero of the Rails onwards)
- Kerry Shale (US; Hero of the Rails onwards)
- りょう ほりかは (Japan; 第1-8シリーズ)
- じゅにち かねまる (Japan; みんなが一緒に来て！ すべての乗り物に乗って onwards)
- Julio Lucnea (Mexico; Series 1 only)
- Eduardo Garza (Mexico; Series 2 - Series 7)
- Victor Mares Jr. (Mexico; Series 8 onwards)
- Henry has appeared in the Railway Series more than any other engine, having been in both the most books and the most individual stories.
- In the 1997 Thomas and Friends annual Henry's driver's name was revealed to be Ted.
- In Season 1, Henry didn't have wheel covers in his new shape like he did with his old shape. However, since Season 2, he has wheel covers again.
- Awdry's own model of Henry was as troublesome as his fictional counterpart: it never really worked properly. The model was eventually scrapped but never replaced.
- Henry was supposed to be released in the ERTL Gold rail range but never was. He was listed on the back of the three pack boxes.
- Henry's whistle sounds like two medium blasts, deeper than Edward's.