- “Just because we're well-painted doesn't mean we can't do anything else.”
- ―Ashima, The Great Race
Ashima is a brightly-painted Indian tank engine, who works on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway. She was one out of many engines to participate in the Great Railway Show, and competed in the Shunting Challenge, and of whom Thomas is very close friends with.
Ashima was invited to participate in the Great Railway Show for the Shunting Challenge. She, along with the other eleven contestants for the show, came to Sodor by mistake when the ferry they were on accidentally stopped at Sodor instead of England, and she was accidentally left behind when the ferry left with all the other engines except her. Ashima, lost and not knowing the way to the Mainland, tried to ask Thomas for his help, but Thomas, who was already jealous of her, refused to assist her. Ashima soon managed to befriend Thomas, and she convinced him that he did not need to change for the competition, and suggested that he participate in the Shunting Challenge, but Thomas was involved in an accident which put him out of the competition. Ashima was taken to the Mainland with the other Sudrian engines who would be competing in the Great Railway Show.
After arriving and watching the Best Decorated Engine parade, Ashima was questioned by Emily on why she did not compete, revealing to the Sudrian engines she would compete in the Shunting Challenge. She does so alongside Ivan, Raul, Gina and Thomas, who had managed to arrive to the Great Railway Show after all and took Percy's place. During the race, she helped Thomas hold Vinnie back when he was bullying Philip, and also pulled Thomas back when a pylon nearly fell on him. During the end of the competition, Ashima ended up winning after Thomas sacrificed his own chance to win when he spotted a derailed flatbed on her track, but the judges made the both of them the winners of the competition. Ashima returned to Sodor with the Sudrian engines, where she would then return back to India.
Ashima is usually found working on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway in Southern India, where the steep incline makes the track very dangerous and difficult to climb. So it's no wonder that a small tank engine like Ashima shows no fear. Beautifully crafted with hand painted decal, Ashima's a fun, feisty and likeable engine who is more than happy to help out wherever needed.
Ashima is based on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway X class. She is based off of the oil-burning version of the engine. These engines are built to run on metre gauge rails, whereas Ashima is standard gauge.
Ashima is painted hot pink with white and dark blue lining. Her wheels and bufferbeam are also painted royal blue, and she bears several bright green, white and orange patterns, inspired by Indian textiles and Henna Tattoos. In addition, the flower petal designs on her front cylinder block was based on her basis X-37385's.
- Tina Desai (UK/US)
- Naomi Watanabe (Japan)
- Misa Ishii (Japan, The Great Race trailer only)
- Julia Kołakowska-Bytner (Poland)
- Annie Rojas (Latin America)
- Manuela Bäcker (Germany)
- Despite the fact she is based on an oil-burning tank engine (and has an oil tank on top of her boiler), Ashima still uses coal to make steam.
- Ashima has been partially modified to work on British rail: she has been given buffers and chain couplers, and her cow catcher was reduced in size, and lowered, to accommodate these.
- The Cuban dock workers' models from Blue Mountain Mystery were reused as Ashima's crew.