Hero of the Rails

Hero Of The Rails

TRIVIA COMPILED BY
R Healy

A Little Bit About Hero Of The Rails

HERO OF THE RAILS is the third Direct-To-DVD Special produced by HIT Entertainment, which also marks Thomas’s move into a bold new fully CGI world – brought beautifully to life by Nitrogen Studios of Canada. 

 

This release marks a new beginning for Thomas and Friends, and opens up a world of opportunity for animators and writers to produce material which would have been physically impossible with the previous model animation set-up.  We are also graced with the return of Michael Angelis and Michael Brandon, as well as the introduction of dedicated voiceover casts for the UK and USA versions of the TV Series.

 

The story introduces the new Sodor Steamworks, and its hard working, but comical team, Victor the Steamworks Engine and Kevin the Crane, as well as the gentle giant, Hiro – an engine who was brought to Sodor many years ago from a far away island, and then forgotten.  Hero of the Rails is a story focussing upon helping others, which encourages its audience to use proper judgement and never to be afraid to speak up when you need help, and not to be intimidated by bullies like boastful Spencer!

 

Hero of the Rails was written by Sharon Miller, the Head Writer and Creative Producer for Thomas and Friends.

Songs Of The Special

Go Go Thomas!
Written and Composed by Robert Hartshorne
Performed by Sam Blewitt

Special Info About Hero Of The Rails

Hero of the Rails is the first Thomas feature to be done in full CGI, and with a full voiceover cast.  It is also the first feature to be one continuous storyline, not broken up with songs or interstitials as per the previous model animations. 
 
The song played at the end of the feature - Go Go Thomas - is the first post-2003 Thomas song to be written by the series composer, Robert Hartshorne.

Voice Cast

STORYTELLERS

Michael Angelis (UK)

Michael Brandon (USA)

 
CHARACTER VOICES (UK)

BEN SMALL

TERESA GALLAGHER

KEITH WICKHAM

MATT WILKINSON

 

CHARACTER VOICES (USA)

MARTIN SHERMAN

KERRY SHALE

WILLIAM HOPE

JULES DE JONGH

GLENN WRAGE

DAVID BEDELLA

 

CHARACTER VOICES (UK & USA)

TOGO IGAWA

Key Production Team

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS
Christopher Skala
Marion Edwards
 
PRODUCER
Nicole Stinn
 
CREATIVE PRODUCER
Sharon Miller
 
MUSICAL COMPOSITIONS & SONGS
Robert Hartshorne

DIRECTOR
Greg Tiernan

Related Links

Hero of the Rails on Amazon!

Check out the many DVDs, BluRay Discs, Books and Toys related to the Hero of the Rails special!

Hero of the Rails on Amazon.com

Hero of the Rails on Amazon.co.uk

Hero of the Rails - Australian DVD

HERO OF THE RAILS - AUSTRALIAN DVD
 

Related Videos

Hero of the Rails YouTube Playlist

Featuring trailers from the UK, USA and Japan, Official Music Video for Go Go Thomas, clips from the Special, Remix Music Video, fan-made tribute Music Video, iPad App reviews and more!

 

Spencer rushes past James!
Spencer rushes past James!

IT’S Summer on the Island of Sodor, and all is calm and peaceful... until a huge streak of speeding silver begins rushing past the engines as they go about their work - causing loads to spill and giving everyone quite a start!  But at first, no-one is quite sure what, or indeed - who, passed them.

Spencer at Knapford
Spencer at Knapford

But when the engines meet at Knapford and put the clues together – they realise the only big, fast, silver thing they’re aware of is approaching the station... Spencer!  The boastful silver engine has arrived on Sodor to start work on a new Summer House for the Duke and Duchess of Boxford, and will be on the railway for the entire Summer.  The engines are crestfallen – having Spencer around for a day is bad enough, but for the entire Summer will be awful. 

Thomas and Percy being goaded by Spencer
Thomas and Percy being goaded by Spencer

And their reasons to be worried are well founded, Spencer passes each of the engines and belittles them as they go about their work, and takes pride in showing off how much he can pull.  The situation comes to a head the following day when Spencer is at Brendam Docks collecting more building materials for the Summer House, where he meets Thomas and Percy at the Quay.  Spencer is still boasting, and this time, snootily calls Thomas “a little toy tank engine...who can’t pull heavy loads!

Thomas and the others argue with Spencer
Thomas and the others argue with Spencer

Thomas and the other engines are outraged – this time Spencer had gone too far.  But when Thomas barks back at Spencer and tells him that he can pull just as heavy loads as he can, Spencer throws down a challenge to Thomas.  The following morning, they will each have to pull a heavy load – and see who can pull it for longer.  Suddenly, Thomas’s confidence is lost... but he perks up after some words of kind encouragement from Percy, Gordon, James and Edward.

The following morning, all the engines are assembled at the shunting yards waiting for Spencer to arrive so that the race may begin.  Edward lays down the rules to both engines, and gives a starting whistle so that the contest may begin.  The engines cheer Thomas on as he puffs out – while Spencer continues to believe that he’ll be the victor.

Thomas and Spencer begin their race!
Thomas and Spencer begin their race!

Thomas and Spencer race around the Island.  Spencer manages his load with ease, but Thomas finds that he needs to use a bit more huff and puff.  So much in fact that upon climbing a steep hill – he damages his brakes and loses control of the train of heavy flatbeds!  Thomas and his train race down the hill at a tremendous rate, past Spencer and into trucks waiting in the sidings.  It does nothing to slow Thomas down, and he finds himself rolling on still!

Thomas puffs into uncharted territory!
Thomas puffs into uncharted territory!

Worse still, Thomas finds himself running on a rickety old track that hasn’t been used for quite some time.  He runs through the undergrowth, being hit by branches and leaves as he goes – and is eventually slowed enough to bring the heavy train to a halt.  But his un-nerving experience is not quite over yet – someone has heard him, and a strange voice is calling to him through the trees and bushes...

Hiro on his Island many years ago
Hiro on his Island many years ago

Curious as to what it could be, Thomas puffs cautiously forward and finds an old, rusty engine staring back at him.  Unsure what to think at first, Thomas soon finds that the old engine is gentle and friendly.

The engine is Hiro, an engine who was brought from an Island far, far away when the railway was first completed.  Because he was the biggest and strongest engine on his old railway, he had earned the name ‘Master of the Railway’ – a proud and noble distinction that he retained with him when he arrived on the Island of Sodor.  But, things had started to go wrong with Hiro, and he broke down.  The men put him in a siding and waited for parts to come from his Island so that he could be mended... but they never arrived, and Hiro was forgotten.

Hiro does not want to be scrapped
Hiro does not want to be scrapped

Thomas is eager to help, and is sure that the Fat Controller will be able to set Hiro right.  But poor Hiro would rather that the Fat Controller didn’t know about him, particularly because his perilous condition could mean he is sent to the Smelter’s Yard.  So Thomas decides to take it upon himself to fix Hiro and make him ‘Master of the Railway’ again – only then will they tell the Fat Controller.

Spencer drops by the Sodor Steamworks to gloat
Spencer drops by the Sodor Steamworks to gloat

Later that day, Thomas is at the Sodor Steamworks getting his brakes fixed.  He is eager to tell Victor, the engine in charge at the Steamworks, all about Hiro – but is worried that another engine, such as Spencer (who drops by the Steamworks to gloat) might hear and tell the Fat Controller.  After Thomas is repaired, he puffs back to the Steamworks to see if Victor will let him have an old cylinder he spotted earlier on a flatbed, which could be useful for mending Hiro.

Thomas hides from Spencer
Thomas hides from Spencer

It’s on his way to see Hiro that he nearly has a very close encounter with Spencer – who he manages to narrowly avoid.  He soon finds out why when he leaves Hiro and heads back to Tidmouth Sheds – the new Summer House that Spencer is helping to build for the Duke and Duchess of Boxford is in very close proximity to Hiro’s hiding place!  Thomas knows that he’ll have to be very careful if he wants to continue helping Hiro.

Thomas and Percy tell Victor about Hiro
Thomas and Percy tell Victor about Hiro

The following day, Thomas tells Percy about Hiro and asks if he can help him out.  Percy abandons his mail train and goes to take over Thomas’s work.  Spencer, surprised to find Thomas so far from his Branch Line, is beginning to get suspicious... And on his way back to work, Thomas finds Percy has popped a valve while pulling the heavy farm machinery that Thomas was meant to deliver.  But it gives Thomas a good opportunity to tell Victor all about Hiro, and gain some much needed help.  Victor is proud of Thomas’s efforts to help Hiro, and tells Thomas that anything he leaves in a corner of the yard, he can take to mend Hiro.

Mail Trucks are missing and Spencer isn't working
Mail Trucks are missing and Spencer isn't working

But the Fat Controller is growing concerned over the erratic behaviour of the two tank engines, and orders Thomas and Percy to go and look for the missing mail trucks as soon as Percy is fixed.  The other engines are concerned too – they know something is wrong, and urge Thomas to talk about it.  So finally, Thomas tells his friends all about Hiro – and they all promise to help as best they can.  And because Spencer only suspects Thomas of foul play, he neglects to keep an eye on the others, who are all delivering parts to mend Hiro too!

Mavis takes Spencer on a tour of the Quarry...
Mavis takes Spencer on a tour of the Quarry...

As a special treat to cheer him up, Thomas takes Percy to meet Hiro, who is now a colourful patchwork of parts and colours from the other engines.  But on their way back, Spencer is more determined than ever to find out what Thomas is up to and decides to go hunting for clues... he begins stalking the two tank engines and questioning their friends.  This leads him to be scolded by Emily, and given a less than grand tour of the Quarry by Mavis – who chases him under a hopper and gets him covered in slate dust, which chokes his funnel.

Spencer is trapped by James, Toby & Thomas
Spencer is trapped by James, Toby & Thomas

Spencer is taken to the Sodor Steamworks by Henry and Edward – meaning that the engines can now visit Hiro safely, but Thomas is beginning to realise how lonely Hiro is feeling.  Spencer is soon repaired and back on the hunt for clues to what Thomas has been up to – and he finds Percy’s missing mail trucks... very close to Hiro’s hiding place! 

James and Toby, who have been guarding Hiro, hear Spencer’s approach.  Believing him to be a threat, they give chase to Spencer.  He’s finally cornered when Thomas puffs down the same line – blocking Spencer’s escape.  The three engines take him to Knapford Station, where the Fat Controller scolds Spencer for taking Percy’s mail trucks – and orders him to return them at once.  Spencer is furious, and all the more determined to find out what Thomas is up to!

Hiro and Thomas try to escape from Spencer
Hiro and Thomas try to escape from Spencer

But while trying to find Percy to give him his mail trucks back – Spencer rouses Thomas and Hiro, and prompts them to hurry out of the hiding place – before Percy has delivered the water injector!  At first, Hiro is proud to be on the rails again under his own steam – but he’s less enthused to find Spencer on the track next to them and going at speed.  Terrified, Thomas and Hiro try to get away – but their hurrying has disastrous consequences, as parts from Hiro fly off and leave ‘The Master of the Railway’ stuck on the middle of the Main Line.  Luckily for them, Gordon puffs by with the Express and challenges Spencer to a race – which Spencer is too proud to decline!

Spencer is scolded by the Duke and Duchess
Spencer is scolded by the Duke and Duchess

This gives Thomas time to find a new place to hide Hiro – and also gives Gordon a chance to laugh at Spencer as the Duke and Duchess step out from his coaches and scold Spencer for not doing the work he has been asked to do on the Summer House.  When he tries to explain what he’s been doing, the Duke doesn’t believe him and threatens to send him back to the Mainland.  But Thomas quickly comes to his aid and offers to help finish the job – and his given the special duty of looking after Spencer by the Duke, who thinks that his shiny silver engine isn’t feeling well!

Spencer isn't chuffed...
Spencer isn't chuffed...

And while Thomas works on the Summer House, his friends all take turns to visit Hiro and keep his spirits up.  They know that if Thomas helps to finish the Summer House with Spencer, the Fat Controller will know what a useful engine he is and will want to help him out.  And when it is ready – Thomas decides it’s time to tell the Fat Controller all about Hiro... but Spencer isn’t about to let Thomas get away so easily!

Spencer chases after Thomas, adamant that Hiro will be sent to the Smelter’s Yard “where he belongs”.  Rushing over bridges, through tunnels and across points, the engines thunder toward Knapford – but just as Spencer is getting close, the rickety old track crossing a marshland collapses beneath Spencer’s weight and sends him into the mud with a resounding thump.  Thomas is somewhat relieved, but promises to come back with help to pull Spencer out again.

Spencer chases Thomas - and gets his comeuppance!
Spencer chases Thomas - and gets his comeuppance!

The Fat Controller is thrilled to hear about Hiro
The Fat Controller is thrilled to hear about Hiro

But before that can happen – Thomas has to tell the Fat Controller all about Hiro.  And much to his surprise, the Fat Controller is thrilled to hear about the ‘Master of the Railway’ – and so are the Duke and Duchess.  The Fat Controller tells Thomas that Hiro is to go to the Sodor Steamworks for full repairs...and the Duke tells him that Spencer can wait where he is until Hiro is repaired.  Thomas and Hiro are thrilled at the Fat Controller’s decision!

Hiro goes under proper repairs at the Steamworks
Hiro goes under proper repairs at the Steamworks

The next day, Thomas and Percy take Hiro to the Sodor Steamworks for repairs – where he is greeted by the Fat Controller and Victor, who promise to have him looking as good as new in no time.  And a few days after, the engines all come to see the Master of the Railway returned to his full glory.  His first job – help Thomas and Rocky the Crane to get Spencer out of the muddy marsh!

Spencer is shocked when Hiro pulls up – and hardly recognises him as the ‘scrap engine’ he chased before.  The mighty engine hauls Spencer clear of the mud, and back along the Main Line to the Sodor Steamworks.

Hiro, Thomas and Spencer stand at the Summer House
Hiro, Thomas and Spencer stand at the Summer House

And when Spencer is repaired – he helps Thomas and Hiro to finish the Summer House for the Duke and Duchess.  When it is finally complete, Spencer apologises to Hiro and Thomas for his behaviour.  But that night, Thomas notices that in spite of his wonderful rebuild, Hiro looks sad.  He misses his own island and his friends there – and longs to be with them again.  This time, Thomas wastes no time in helping his friend and tells the Fat Controller, who agrees to make arrangements for him at once.

Hiro says goodbye to Thomas and his Sodor friends
Hiro says goodbye to Thomas and his Sodor friends

A few days later, there’s a grand celebration at the Docks as Hiro prepares to leave for home aboard the big ship.  But before he goes, he bids a special farewell to Thomas and Percy for all their help, and tells them he will never forget what all the engines did for him.  Thomas looks up to his new friend and warmly reminds him that Sodor will always be his home too... and with that in mind, Hiro puffs away to a chorus of cheers and whistles – once again, the ‘Master of the Railway’ will rule the rails he was built to run on.

 

THE END

Hero of the Rails