Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia


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This article is about the helicopter. You may be looking for the fifth season song, the annual story, the Story Library book, the Engine Adventures book or the ancient Sudrian king.
"He may have whirly arms instead of wheels, but he seems to understand just what an engine needs!"
— Duck, All at Sea, third season




  • Class: Sikorsky S-55 helicopter
  • Designer: Sikorsky Aircraft
  • Builder: Westland Aircraft
  • Built: sometime between 1949 and 1955
  • Top Speed: 109 mph

Harold is a helicopter who patrols the Island of Sodor, searching for emergencies. He is part of the Search and Rescue Team.


When Harold first met Percy, he stated that railways were "slow and out-of-date", but was proven wrong when Percy beat him in a race. When Thomas' brakes failed while boarding at a station, with an inspector Harold chased him down the line. For Christmas that year Harold brought Santa Claus to the party at Tidmouth Station. Harold also dropped hot drinks for Percy's crew when they were stranded in a floating river and made friends with Duck after rescuing an injured sailor.

Harold used to live at Dryaw Airfield by Thomas' Branch Line. He keeps a watchful eye over Sodor in case of trouble and speeds to the rescue of anyone in distress.

As of Misty Island Rescue, he joined the Sodor Search and Rescue team and lives in his own hangar at the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre. Since joining the team he has been involved in a search for Thomas when he got lost, saving Bertie from the Shake Shake Bridge and helping Charlie to recapture an elephant which escaped from the Sodor Animal Park. Once, Harold's rotors became jammed, so Thomas and Duck took him to the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre.

He and the rest of the rescue team helped out after a big storm and they were rewarded with a new alarm bell for the rescue centre. He later found Percy and Diesel trapped in a flood at the old quarry and the rescue team helped them out. He also helped The Duke and Duchess of Boxford get to Callan Castle, after Thomas, Spencer and Bertie failed.

In the twentieth season, his and Percy's rivalry resurfaced at Christmas. Percy was struggling to get through the snow while delivering mail for Santa, so Harold offered to help, but Percy refused. Percy then left behind a sack of letters at Dryaw and Harold decided to get them to him. Percy, believing Harold was mocking his speed again, decided to race him, only to crash into a snowdrift. Harold again offered to help deliver the mail and this time, Percy agreed. While he was able to deliver the mail to Hiro, he ran out of fuel and was grounded in a field on the Mainland for the night. When Percy found out, he raced off to find him and then brought him some fuel, not wanting him to spend Christmas alone and believing "one good turn deserves another". The two friends then returned to Sodor.

Harold on the Big Screen

Harold was voiced by Kevin Frank in Thomas and the Magic Railroad. In the film, Harold flew by at Tidmouth Sheds, spreading sneezing powder all over Thomas, Splatter and Dodge.


Harold speaks in a manner reminiscent of an RAF pilot, using terms such as "wizard" and "old chap" in conversation.

Throughout the second to fourth seasons, Harold somewhat tended to be full of himself as he felt that "railways are slow", but he always got his comeuppance in the end. He temporarily regained this part of his personality in the sixth season episode, A Bad Day for Harold the Helicopter. Since then, he has acted a lot more mature and almost never teases the engines. He takes his job as part of the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre team very seriously and is always alert when there is an emergency.


Harold is based on a Sikorsky S-55 helicopter (also known as Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw), built in the UK as the Westland Whirlwind. He has added floats. Around 70 of these still survive in some form.


Harold is painted white with red lining. His name is painted on his sides, near his tail, in red.


Railway Series

Television Series

He will appear in the twenty-first season.


Learning Segments: Models:


Magazine Stories

Harold also appeared in the magazine stories, Bright Sight, Company for Cranky, Fishy Diesel!, Harold and the Broken Tree, Lost Luggage!, On Inspection, Percy's Plight, Ride and Slide, Sky High!, Smoke Signals, Smoky Sky, Sodor Goes Pop!, Sound of Silence, Steaming Along!, Stone Signal, The Best Band, The Great Air Race, The Great Statue Robbery, The Lighthouse Light and The Trainspotters

Annual Stories

Voice Actors


  • One of Harold's models is on display in Japan at the Hara Model Railway Museum (previously on display at Nitrogen Studios) and is currently missing his mouth.
  • Harold has gone through several changes throughout the Television Series:
    • Season 2:
      • His spinning rotors were achieved using a transparent disk.
      • In The Runaway and Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree, he is shown with a lamp.
    • Season 3:
    • Season 4:
      • His blades become straight again.
    • Season 5:
      • His blades go back to being flimsy and bent.
    • Thomas and the Magic Railroad:
      • His blades are straight once again.
    • Season 8:
      • The lamp becomes permanent.
    • Season 10:
      • His eyes now move with a motor.
    • Season 12:
      • Harold becomes rendered in full CGI.
    • Misty Island Rescue:
      • His main body becomes smaller.
      • His face becomes smaller and lowered slightly.
  • Harold's classic series theme is a musical variation on the main score of the 1955 film, The Dam Busters.
  • In the television series, Harold has never had eyebrows. However, he did have them in the magazine story Mountain Rescue.
  • Harold was called Herbert in the French dub of the Classic Series.
  • According to the Sodor Superstars Hall of Fame featured on Percy's Chocolate Crunch and Other Thomas Adventures, Harold has never flown out of Sodor. This is no longer the case, as Harold has been seen on Misty Island and the Mainland in later seasons.


"Hello", said Percy "Who are you?"
"I'm Harold. Who are you?"
"I'm Percy. What whirley great arms you've got!"
"They're nice arms!" said Harold, offended. "I can hover like a bird. Don't you wish you could hover?"
"Certainly not! I like my rails, thank you".
"I think railways are slow!" said Harold in a bored voice. "They're not much use and quite out of date".

- A conversation between Percy and Harold in Percy and Harold, Percy the Small Engine.

The engines were just leaving the station, when they heard a familiar buzzing.
"I say you two, there's news flying about!"
"Where?" puffed Percy.
"All over the place. There going to scrap the Post Train and use me instead. Wings work wonders you know! Always!"
"Rubbish!" huffed Thomas.

- Harold boasting to Thomas and Percy,  Thomas, Percy and the Mail Train, third season.



Merchandise Gallery

Other vehicles
HaroldBulstrodeP. S. Cumberland RoadS.S. KathrynDignityMermaidNorth StarNancy and Violet
CrankyJeremyColinCaptainOwenMerrickRegS.S. RoxstarTiger MothLucindaThe Queen of SodorA.J.R. No.1Ol' WheezyHee-HawSodor LineHappy HookThe CranesKrystynaG-HewiTugboatsThe AeroplaneThe Salvage BargesThe Canal BoatsThe Mail BoatLakesider IIIThe Fultan FerryThe Tramp SteamerAC.3929The Hot Air Balloon
BluebirdThe Tug BoatThe YachtThe LifeboatsSodor VoyagerS.S. SodorThe Old DinghySir TophamSteam BoatThe SeaplaneSodorThe AirshipThe SpeedboatSeaspriteLizzieThe SubmarineS.S. Sodor QueenS.S. Sodor SteamlineSodor HarborDilly
Sodor Search and Rescue Centre

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