- “Howdy, everybody. Thomas is overloaded right now. I'll whistle for him!”
Hank is a large American tender engine.
Thomas and Percy first met Hank at Brendam when he arrived. Thomas was impressed, until Hank told him he was "one of the finest little engines he'd ever seen". Thomas misinterpreted the comment as making fun of his size, and became determined to pull all of Hank's loads himself. While Thomas tired himself out pulling the heavy loads, Hank insisted that he should help Thomas with the train. With the strain, Thomas eventually cracked a cylinder and finally decided to accept Hank's offer for help. Hank pushed Thomas to Knapford Station, where the other engines were waiting to greet Hank.
Hank is big, bold, and blue. He is the biggest engine on Sodor, along with Connor and Caitlin. He may come across as brash in his cheery confidence and enthusiasm, but being the mighty titan he is, Hank is more than used to being easily seen or heard. In his jolliness, he may seem a little goofy and kooky, especially with so many bells and whistles and a cowcatcher, but big ol' Hank has a big ol' heart and is more than happy to buffer up, share, and lend a helping hand. Using his might, strength, and power to be able to assist others is something that only comes all too naturally to him and he takes it in his stride, without second thought. Hank can become concerned about his friends though, as he gladly keeps an eye out for the other little engines. The only trouble with being Hank is that virtually every engine is little compared to him.
Hank is based on a Pennsylvania Railroad K4s Class Pacific. Two K4s are preserved, 1361 and 3750, and are recognised as the State Steam Locomotives of Pennsylvania.
In real life, Hank would be too large for the British loading gauge. However, he has been re-scaled to avoid technical issues. Hank is only partly modified to work on Sodor. His running plate has been altered, he is missing a headlamp, and he has buffers on his tender and screwlink couplings, yet he retains his cowcatcher.
According to concept designs made in 2007 by Philip Reeves, Hank was originally planned to be a Union Pacific Challenger Class 4-6-6-4.
Hank is painted ultramarine blue with red wheels, lining and cowcatcher. This livery represents the colours of the flag of the United States. His smokebox and cab roof are painted dark grey.
- Fabrice Trojani (France and French speaking Canada)
- According to Sodor Island Fansite's interview with model maker and designer John Lee, Hank was originally designed to have an older face with a moustache. However, at HiT Entertainment's request, John made Hank look slightly younger and more jolly.
- Hank was the first new engine introduced into the CGI television series.
- Hank's crew were never seen in CGI. The driver and fireman were only seen once and they were models.
- Hank had two identical models, and was initially to have four different face-masks. It is unknown whether or not the remaining two were fully produced.
- Hank's Wooden Railway and Take-n-Play toys do not have front couplers, despite them being present in the television series.
- Hank's whistle is really a lower pitched version of Gordon's.
- His chassis was made from the same tooling as Spencer's, but with different pistons, this could possibly be why Spencer never appeared in the twelfth season.