Nia is a Kenyan tank engine who befriends and accompanies Thomas during his journey around the world.
Thomas & Friends
Nia is a tank engine from the African country of Kenya and a new member of the Steam Team on Sodor. She’s a real optimist with a great sense of fun. She’s also driven by a strong moral compass and takes being fair and kind to others seriously. She’s not afraid to speak her mind when she needs to. Nia is both thoughtful and practical and often comes up with very creative ideas. Her kind heart and infectious enthusiasm never fail to win over others in the end.
Nia is an adventurous and fun engine who teaches Thomas about friendship. Whether she's in her homeland of Africa or traveling around the world, Nia is positive and thoughtful. Her eagerness to help can sometimes irritate her friends, but her truthfulness and kind heart always win them over.
Nia is based on the KUR ED1 class, a class of 2-6-2 tank locomotive built by Vulcan Foundry for the Kenya-Uganda Railway between 1926 and 1930. Primarily used for shunting duties, they were also used to haul branch line trains. They were later operated by the East African Railways and were reclassified as part of the EAR 11 class. One member of this class, No. 327, has been preserved at the Nairobi Railway Museum in Nairobi, Kenya.
Nia has been modified in order to work on British railways. Whereas her original basis was metre gauge, Nia is standard gauge, and she has been given buffers and screwlink couplings in order to work with the other engines.
Nia is painted orange with yellow lining. She has yellow, green and red patterns painted along her tanks, dome, brake pump and cylinders, and her footplate is painted red. Her name and number are painted on the sides of her tanks and cab respectively in yellow.
- Nia's name means "purpose" in Swahili.
- Experts at the United Nations assisted the production team with creating Nia.