Entertainment & Arts

Thomas the Tank Engine goes global for new film

Thomas the Tank Engine: The Great Race Image copyright Mattel/Hit Entertainment
Image caption Thomas the Tank Engine competes against the new international engines at the Great Railway Show in the film The Great Race

Thomas the Tank Engine is getting a multicultural makeover with the introduction of trains from around the world.

Engines from India, Russia and China among others are being introduced in a new film The Great Race.

The new engines are due to only feature in the film and won't be appearing in future TV episodes.

The producer of the film has denied claims the filmmakers had bowed to political correctness.

Ian McCue told the Telegraph: "The intention was to create this big global racing event and make it feel real. I would hope it will get youngsters asking about foreign countries."

Image copyright Mattel/Hit Entertainment
Image caption Flying Scotsman represents the UK in the Thomas film The Great Race

The Great Race is the eleventh animated feature film for Thomas and the new characters are likely increase interest from international markets.

It is released worldwide from May 2016.

In the Great Race Thomas competes against the new international engines at the Great Railway Show.

The Flying Scotsman represents the UK, while Thomas competes to represent the island of Sodor where he lives.


Here are the new trains with their official biographies.

There are two engines from India in the film called Ashima and Rajiv.

Image copyright Mattel/Hit Entertainment
Image caption Ashima of India is hand painted

Fearless Ashima comes from the Nilgiri Mountain Railway in Southern India, which is dangerous and difficult to climb.

Image copyright Mattel/Hit Entertainment
Image caption Rajiv's beautiful colours make him the perfect contender for the Best Decorated Engine Parade

Rajiv is a small tank engine from the East Indian Railway, who carries passengers and goods from Calcutta in the east up to the north of India.

Image copyright Mattel/Hit Entertainment
Image caption Carlos of Mexico is the life and soul of the Great Railway Show

Based on a Nacionale De Mexico 903 2-8-0, Carlos of Mexico is a proud and happy steam engine from the heart of Mexico.

Image copyright Mattel /Hit Entertainment
Image caption Axel of Belgium is effortlessly cool

Based on a SNCB Type 12.004, Axel of Belgium is a smooth streamlined tender engine built for speed.

Image copyright Mattel/Hit Entertainment
Image caption Etienne of France is a formidable engine

Etienne of France is based on the SNCF DC BB 9004, he is a fast electric locomotive who has been setting world speed records in his home country.

Image copyright Mattel/Hit Entertainment
Image caption Frieda of Germany has come to show that anything boys can do, girls can do better

Based on a DB Class 10 001-002, Frieda of Germany will be entering the Strongest Engine race in the film.

Image copyright Mattel/Hit Entertainment
Image caption Gina of Italy is described as 'sweet and stylish'

Gina of Italy is based on the Locomotiva FNM 200-05 and she can match the boys pound for pound when it comes to shunting freight in the yard.

Image copyright Mattel/Hit Entertainment
Image caption Ivan of Russia is said to be a real comedian

Based on a TGM 23, Ivan of Russia is the only Diesel locomotive competing in the Great Railway Show.

Image copyright Mattel/ Hit Entertainment
Image caption Raul of Brazil is a strong and agile shunter

Raul of Brazil looks like a diesel but he is in fact a steam engine based on a Sentinel 7109.

Image copyright Mattel/Hit Entertainment
Image caption Shane of Australia loves to have fun and his carefree ways have made him many friends

Based on a SteamRanger 520 Sir Malcolm Barclay Harvey, Shane of Australia is one of the Whispering Giants of the South Australian Railway - a big strong steam engine who was built for passenger and mixed freight work.

Image copyright Mattel/Hit Entertainment
Image caption Yong Bao of China is a kind and faithful tender engine

Based on an RM Class 4-6-2, Yong Bao of China once cleverly diverted an accident, saving hundreds of passengers and was decorated for his bravery and painted bright red, which is a colour that symbolises celebration and happiness.

Image copyright Mattel/Hit Entertainment
Image caption Racing Vinnie of North America is not to be messed with

Racing Vinnie of North America is big and strong but his competitive nature could be his downfall.

Related Topics

More on this story