Hero of the rails

Hero of the rails DEFAULT

Hero of the Rails

"“Well done Hiro!"

Thomas and Hiro, shortly before they meet Spencer once again

Hero of the Rails

A good way to start off the CGI Era of Thomas.

Directed By: Greg Tiernan
Produced By: Nicole Stinn
Written By: Sharon Miller
Distributed By: HiT Entertainment (UK/US)
Lionsgate (United States)
Release Date: September 8-13, 2009 (United States)
Runtime: 60 minutes
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Prequel: The Great Discovery
Sequel: Misty Island Rescue

Hero of the Rails is a 2009 CGI adventure family special and film of the British children's television series Thomas & Friends. The film introduces full CGI animation replacing live-action models, and the addition of a voice cast for the characters alongside the narration to the TV series.


One summer, Thomas comes across an old abandoned engine called Hiro in the forest. Desperately in need of repair, Hiro faces the Smelters Yard, so Thomas and his friends must work together to save poor Hiro from his final fate.

Why It Rocks

  1. This is the very first Thomas & Friends production to use CGI animation exclusively, instead of the live-action models used in Seasons 1-12. However, Season 12 uses a mix of CGI and models. In addition, the CGI for the Island of Sodor and Thomas and the other engines looks pretty good. The CGI animation itself is nice and looks something out of either Pixar or Dreamworks, especially for 2009 standards.
  2. The premise of having Thomas bringing a very old Japanese steam engine back into a brand-new steam engine is pretty good for a Thomas special, so this is well executed.
  3. We are introduced to the newer engines in this special, and vehicles that it uses after the special, but not limited to:
    • Hiro, an old and wise Japanese tender engine, who is famously known as the "Master of the Railway", but he was all worked up, and abandoned, and leaving him in the forest.
    • Victor is a narrow gauge engine who used to work at the Manuel de Céspedes Sugar Mill in Cuba, but he went to Sodor and he works at the Sodor Steamworks with Kevin. In fact, he is very likable, and he gained such development in "Blue Mountain Mystery".
    • Kevin is a well-meaning, but clumsy four-wheeled crane who works at the Sodor Steamworks.
  4. Considering that he was flanderized in Season 12, Thomas is actually likable in this movie and shows the charm that he had in Seasons 1-11.
  5. The voice acting for the CGI engines, and as well as Hiro who was voiced by Togo Igawa were well-done!
  6. The narration for both the US and UK dubs is great as usual, despite Michael Brandon's narration being cringe inducing at times.
  7. The soundtrack is well done.
  8. "The Biggest Present of All" from Season 13 serves as a sequel to this special and is a nice welcome back to Sodor type of episode for Hiro.
  9. Hiro shares a good backstory about how he went from Japan to the Island of Sodor, and he began to show his age and break down and the workmen did not have the necessary parts to repair him. To escape being scrapped, he was put on a siding, where he had to wait for the parts to come from his homeland. However, the parts never came and Hiro was all but forgotten.
  10. Lots of cool action scenes, especially the race of Thomas and Spencer with their trucks before the first time we meet Hiro in the forest, and as well as the final chase with Thomas and Spencer before Spencer falls off the old swamp bridge, despite that scene not needing to have that amount of narration.
  11. The ending: Hiro confesses he is homesick to Thomas, despite everything he has done. Thomas understands this and tells Sir Topham Hatt, who takes care of everything, and arranges a farewell party for Hiro in his honor, as Hiro returns home after talking to Thomas and Percy one last time before catching his boat.
  12. Along with Blue Mountain Mystery, it's much better than Seasons 9-10 and 12-16 of the show.
  13. Depending on your view, this could be a great way to start the Thomas & Friends CGI series.

Bad Qualities

  1. Kevin is a likable character, but he often makes a lot of mistakes throughout the Sodor Steamworks scenes. Every time he has caused an accident or two at the Steamworks, he'll say "Sorry boss!" to Victor. To be fair, the mistakes he makes are forgivable, and they happen unintentionally.
  2. Henry, Toby, and Mavis get very little dialogue from here and there. To be fair, with Mavis, she was part of the plot where she gets Spencer under the slate chute.
  3. Even though the premise of having Hiro back to be repaired once again is quite amazing, Thomas trying to repair Hiro discreetly is rather unrealistic...
    • For one thing, his driver and fireman should have told Sir Topham Hatt and the Steamworks workers about Hiro.
    • It's oddly convenient that the Steamworks just happens to have all of the spare parts Thomas needs in Hiro's sizes.
    • How are they getting the parts on Hiro? There is no room for any cranes or other equipment in Hiro's hideout, and many of the parts, not the least of which being a boiler, would be far too heavy for Thomas's driver and fireman to carry by hand.
    • Hiro is steamed up when he has finally been patched up, then he and Thomas puff away. Who was driving Hiro? Also, without the water injector, he would likely not be able to steam up, and even if he could, the condition of his parts is questionable, so it would be very dangerous.
  4. The US narrator Michael Brandon may have done a good job, but at the same time he isn't nearly as good as Michael Angelis, Ringo Starr, Mark Moraghan, or George Carlin. Then again, he is nowhere near as awful or as bad as Alec Baldwin in the US dub of Season 6.
  5. While not as bad as Seasons 9-10 and 12-16 as well as Misty Island Rescue and Day of the Diesels, the film still has its share of problems.
    • The narration over-explaining the scene or pointing out the obvious.
    • Overuse of rhyming and alliteration.
    • Ridiculously short trains, such as Edward and James carrying a single flatbed between them, and Thomas and Percy struggling with two flatbeds, despite both having pulled longer trains up hills on their own.
    • The engine crews doing little more than making the engines move.
  6. Whilst Hiro's backstory is amazing, him saying he was the first engine to live on Sodor is historically inaccurate considering his class was not built until the 1930's. They can keep how he was "Master of the Railway", but change the line into saying he was the first "international engine" on Sodor so nothing would contradict the flashback events of the Railway Series book, "Very Old Engines".
  7. Spencer was VERY unlikable throughout this special that you can see he's hard to root for and more easy to root against. From being snooty and mean-spirited to the Steam Team, to trying to get Hiro scrapped, to taking Percy's mail trucks, to often throwing insults and mockery at the Steam Team. Thankfully, he learns his lesson near the end.

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Sours: https://greatestmovies.miraheze.org/wiki/Hero_of_the_Rails

Western Animation / Hero of the Rails

Hero of the Railsis the 2009 Thomas & Friendsspecial.

Thomas discovers an old engine, Hiro, who's the oldest engine on Sodor.

Hero of the Rails contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Villainy: In the original show, Spencer was a pompous Jerkass like Gordon. Spencer's role here is more malicious and petty than his previous appearances, being closer to a Big Bad for Thomas and his friends.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal:
    • "All over Sodor, Thomas's friends were buffeted and blasted on their tracks!"
    • "Rail raider!"
    • "Cinders and ashes! I've broken my brakes!"
  • Adult Fear:
    • Being left and forgotten. Hiro originally came to Sodor from Japan, and worked there until he broke down. He was put on a siding until he could receive the parts needed to repair him... but they never came, dooming him to years of isolation without contact from his old friends, or knowing how they are doing now.
    • After Spencer gets wind of Hiro's existence, Hiro is understandably terrified for his life. Thomas and his friends all worry that Hiro will be scrapped if he's found out, so they all dedicate their efforts into hiding and protecting him, while getting him whatever parts they could find so Hiro could appear "useful".
    • The chase between Thomas, Hiro, and Spencer is this. Hiro is desperately trying to escape someone who essentially wants to have him killed, but greatly injures himself from the strain of running. Thomas could only watch helplessly as his new friend's body literally falls apart before his eyes. Fortunately, just as things seem bleak for them, Gordon shows up and challenges Spencer to a race.
  • An Aesop:
    • You're a hero no matter what you do.
    • It's important to tell someone about a problem; don't try to expect the worst.
  • Art Evolution: The first Thomas & Friends production in full CGI animation.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Mavis suddenly appears just as Spencer finds Thomas and Percy at the quarry, and she gives him a "tour" which results in Spencer getting slate dust and rocks in his funnel.
    • Gordon has one - after Hiro literally comes apart at the rails trying to escape Spencer, and is dangerously close to being scrapped, Gordon suddenly wheeshes by and challenges Spencer to a race, knowing the latter couldn't resist. It works; Thomas and Hiro are saved, and Spencer gets in trouble with the Duke and Duchess for slacking off.
  • Body Horror: A very tense chase scene in the climax has Hiro literally come apart and scream in agony from the stress of trying to flee Spencer, all while Thomas watches helplessly. The human equivalent would be bleeding to death.
  • But Now I Must Go: Hiro promises everyone is really useful before he puffs away to his ship, intending to go back to Japan.
  • The Chase: Spencer tries chasing after Thomas in the climax to prevent him from informing Sir Topham Hatt, fully intending to have Hiro scrapped. It results in Spencer falling into the muddy marshlands after some old tracks buckle and snap under his heavy weight.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Percy's missing mail trucks, which Thomas and Percy spend much of the film looking for. When Spencer finds it later, it's at the worst possible moment, and is wrongly assumed by Sir Topham Hatt to have stolen the mail trucks from Percy.
  • Creative Closing Credits: The end credits play over a montage of scenes from the movie, set to the song "Go, Go, Thomas".
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: The engines try desperately to fix Hiro without the Fat Controller discovering, worrying he might scrap him if he finds him so derelict. Quite predictably, when the Fat Controller does finally realise, this is not the case, and he has Hiro properly repaired.
  • Death Glare: Thomas shoots one at Spencer as he is cornering him on the tracks.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: For Hiro, he was abandoned on Sodor when the parts needed to repair him didn't come, and was forgotten for years. Through the efforts of Thomas and his friends, and the kindly intervention of Sir Topham Hatt, Hiro was fully repaired, restored to his rightful title as "Master of the Railway", and now able to go back to Japan.
  • Evil Is Petty: Spencer, who wants to have Hiro scrapped beecause he is far too old to be a useful steam engine.
  • Humiliation Conga: Spencer goes through one at the hands (wheels?) of the other steam engines.
    • First, he gets told off by Emily after he questions her about Thomas too aggressively.
    • When he finds Thomas and Percy at the quarry, Mavis arrives to come and give Spencer a "tour". He ends up with his funnel full of slate and dust.
    • He is taken to the Sodor Steamworks by Henry and Edward, who know that he has to suffer through the noises of Kevin's clumsiness. Victor also knows, and gives Kevin some leeway so Spencer would divert all his attention to shutting out everything while his funnel's repaired.
    • Later, in trying to find clues for Thomas's activities, he wanders too closely to Hiro's hideout, prompting James and Toby to chase him away. Then Thomas joins in to trap Spencer at a junction and bring him in to Sir Topham Hatt. Because Spencer was also caught with Percy's missing mail trucks, Sir Topham Hatt assumes he stole them, and refuses to listen to whatever he had to say.
    • After finally catching Hiro and Thomas, Spencer thinks he'll have Hiro scrapped for sure... when Gordon comes thundering by, challenging Spencer to a race. Spencer is not only left exhausted, but it turns out that the Duke, Duchess, and Sir Topham Hatt were riding Gordon, and they proceed to scold Spencer for not finishing the summer house. Thomas volunteering to help build it further shatters Spencer's pride.
    • Finally, in a fit of spiteful pettiness, Spencer chases after Thomas to stop him from telling Sir Topham Hatt about Hiro so Hiro could get scrapped. He follows Thomas over an old set of tracks in the marshlands, which break under his heavy weight, sending him into the muddy water. The Duke and Duchess, now fed up with his actions, punish him by leaving him there until Hiro is fixed.
  • Jaw Drop: Thomas when he notices Hiro for the first time.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Invoked; everyone tries to keep Sir Topham Hatt from learning that Hiro's hiding on Sodor, because they fear he'll be scrapped the moment he gets out. Once Thomas decides to take the ultimate risk and come clean, however, Sir Topham Hatt is elated and promises to have Hiro repaired.
  • Mood Whiplash: When Thomas reaches the top of Gordon's Hill, he feels triumphant... then his brakes fail, shocking him.
  • Mythology Gag: Spencer chasing Thomas and then suffering a bridge-related accident references the climatic battle with Diesel 10 in Thomas and the Magic Railroad.
  • Oh, Crap!: How each member of the Steam Team reacts upon seeing Spencer pass by.
    • Thomas has one after his breaks fail.
    • Hiro is understandably terrified when he hears Spencer whistling close by. Fortunately, James and Toby were there to chase Spencer away.
  • Punny Name: Hiro. Coincidentally, the movie's title is called "Hero of the Rails".
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Sir Topham Hatt. Upon hearing that the "Master of the Railway" is somehow still staying on Sodor after so many years, he immediately decides to help repair him at once.
  • Rhymes on a Dime:
    • "Suddenly, there was a whoosh and a wheesh and a clackety clack as a streak of silver roared by on the track!"
    • "I can do it! I'll puff for longer! I'll show Spencer I really am stronger!"
    • "I'll show Thomas who's strong and who's weak! He'll puff home with a squeak and a creak!"
    • "With a scrunch and a crunch..."
  • Rummage Sale Reject: Hiro is the steam engine equivalent. Because Thomas and his friends only grabbed whatever they could find for Hiro without rousing suspicion from Sir Topham Hatt or Spencer, Hiro ends up looking like a mismatch of parts. Literally deconstructed as, since Hiro was haphazardly repaired, his body could not take the strain of fleeing Spencer and ends up breaking down rather quickly.
  • Say My Name: The Steam Team say Spencer's name after he arrives at Knapford.
  • Secret Identity: Thomas tries to keep Hiro a secret from Sir Topham Hatt when he worries he could scrap him.
  • Shifted to CGI: As of this special, all productions are in CGI.
  • True Companions: The Steam Team all rally behind Thomas and Percy in their efforts to help repair the broken-down Hiro and keep him company, and protect him from Spencer.
  • Wham Episode!: Hiro is discovered and restored.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Sir Topham Hatt calls out Thomas for not finding Percy's mail trucks and slacking off his duties, unaware that Thomas was focused on helping Hiro.
  • When He Smiles: Hiro tells Thomas and Percy that when Gordon smiles, it "changes his whole face".
Sours: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/WesternAnimation/HeroOfTheRails
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Thomas & Friends: Hero of the Rails (Wii)

So very stubbly.
This page is rather stubbly and could use some expansion.
Are you a bad enough dude to rescue this article?
To do:
There seems to be some unused stuff from a prototype version of the game.

Thomas & Friends: Hero of the Rails is a licensed game based off the TV movie of the same name. Most of the game is just FMVs from said movie.

Unused Music

Theme.brstm is the original 1984 theme song. It's unknown what purpose this may have served (besides some nice fanservice).

Unused Characters

To do:
Rip the models.

Graphics exist for Billy from Season 11 and Stanley, which possibly means that they were intended to make an appearance somewhere in the game.

Unused Text


data.STR_TEST = { "(american) Here is some text", "sodor_24", "100", "0", "0", "50", "50", };


This script contains a reference to a development directory in a comment.

-- ------------------------ -- C:\development\Thomas2\data\trackData\beautySpots.lua


The game was in development as far back as January 2009 according to this script.

-- This is to specified progession as of 23/01/2009. -- | -- activated<--Docks---------------------->Cranky -- | | -- All Games ......... -- | -- Others places-------------->Races etc --


-- This is to specified progession as of 20/02/2009 - hcf , b_d -- power and speed tests moved back to behind points, hills and bends so they can be used in the tests -- see UnlockSequence.docx
Sours: https://tcrf.net/Thomas_%26_Friends:_Hero_of_the_Rails_(Wii)
Thomas \u0026 Friends™: Hero of the Rails (US) [2009]

Hero of the Rails

2009 British film

Thomas & Friends: Hero of the Rails is a 2009 CGI-animated direct-to-DVD family adventure film and feature-length special of the British television series, Thomas & Friends. The film is produced by HIT Entertainment with animation from Nitrogen Studios. It introduces full CGI animation replacing live-action models, and the addition of a voice cast for the characters alongside the narration to the TV series.[2]

The film features the voice of Ben Small and Martin Sherman as Thomas the Tank Engine for the UK and US respectively. It was first released on DVD and on iTunes on 12 January 2010. To promote the film a "Day Out with Thomas 2010: The Hero of the Rails Tour" was held at locations such as the Illinois Railway Museum, where guests could participate in activities such as arts and crafts or ride on a 15-ton replica of Thomas the Tank Engine.[3]

A mobile app, Thomas & Friends: Hero of the Rails, was released in May 2011. The DVD was also released in 2019 in "The Heroic Collection" along with Misty Island Rescue, Day of the Diesels, Blue Mountain Mystery, and Tale of the Brave.[4]

This special takes place in between the twelfth and thirteenth seasons of the television series.


One summer on the Island of Sodor, Spencer arrives to help the Duke and Duchess of Boxford with the construction of their new summer house. After being an absolute nuisance to all of the other engines by teasing and bossing them around, Thomas accepts Spencer's challenge to a contest of strength, taking heavy cargo around the island. Thomas's brakes fail after climbing a tall hill, and he runs out of control through an overgrown, abandoned line. There, Thomas finds an old abandoned Japanese engine named Hiro, said to be one of Sodor’s first engines. Hiro does not want the Fat Controller to find out, fearing he will be scrapped, so Thomas promises to keep him his secret and work to make Hiro "Master of the Railway" once again. Later, he's taken to the Sodor Steamworks for repairs, where he finds old parts for Hiro. He takes them with permission from Victor, the Steamworks engine, only to discover that Hiro's hiding place is dangerously close to the Duke and Duchess's new summer house.

The following day, Thomas tells Percy about Hiro, and asks him to do his own job while he helps Hiro. Percy misplaces his own mail trucks and breaks down while doing Thomas's job, so Thomas brings him to the Steamworks. The Fat Controller finds out about this and scolds Thomas by forcing him to do Percy's work. With nobody else to ask for help, Thomas and Percy tell the rest of their friends (Gordon, James, Edward, Henry, Toby, and Emily) about Hiro. They all work together in bringing Hiro new parts, distracting Spencer, and keeping the operation a secret from the Fat Controller while Thomas and Percy try to find the missing mail trucks. Hiro makes friends with all of the engines, but gradually grows homesick. On the day that the last necessary part for Hiro is to be delivered, Spencer discovers Percy's mail trucks, only to be cornered by Thomas, James and Toby. The Fat Controller accuses Spencer of stealing the trucks and demands he return them to Percy.

While Thomas and Hiro wait for Percy with the last part, they hear Spencer's whistle and run. Spencer finds them and gives chase, but without the last part, Hiro falls apart and is forced to a stop. Spencer is suddenly distracted by Gordon while Thomas moves Hiro to a new hiding place. The Duke and Duchess are furious with Spencer for abandoning his own work, and Thomas asks to assist him, in order to keep an eye on Spencer and to regain the trust of the Fat Controller. Meanwhile, the other engines visit Hiro to keep his spirits up. When Thomas finally decides to tell the Fat Controller about Hiro, Spencer tries to stop him, but he is foiled by a rickety bridge which collapses beneath him.

When Thomas explains Hiro's situation to the Fat Controller, he reassures Thomas that he would never have scrapped the "Master of the Railway", and the following day, Thomas and Percy bring him to the Steamworks. There, Victor and his assistant, Kevin the Crane, work together to restore Hiro. Once he's as good as new, Hiro with Rocky the breakdown crane rescues Spencer, and they work with Thomas on the summerhouse. Spencer apologizes to the two engines, saying they are "both fine engines and fine friends." Hiro misses Japan, so the Fat Controller arranges for Hiro to return home. A farewell party is held at the docks, and Thomas promises Hiro that Sodor will always be his home too.

Voice cast[edit]

Note: The first UK trailer uses different voices for Thomas and Spencer, as the footage used in the trailer was from the original version of the film, which would have featured Kerry Shale as the voice of Thomas and Spencer; his parts were recast for the released version. Toby's US voice is also heard in said trailer.


A music video featuring an original pop rock song by Sam Blewitt singing "Go Go Thomas!", was released on the DVD.

Media tie-ins[edit]

A mobile app, entitled Thomas & Friends: Hero of the Rails, was developed by Callaway Digital Arts and released on 13 May 2011. Kirkus Reviews rated the app positively, commenting that it "delivers the same predictable experience they relish in video and book form, gently augmented with interactive enhancements."[5]

A video game adaptation of the film was also released to the NintendoWii and the DS[6] in Europe on 29 June 2010. It was to be released in North America, but it has appeared to be cancelled indefinitely.[6]

The movie was adapted into a Little Golden Book by the same name, which released on 11 May 2010.


DVD Talk gave a mixed review for Hero of the Rails, stating that it could be worth a rental while overall criticizing the film's plot, modernizations, and stating that it "[felt] like a poorly-thought-out extension of the series, designed simply to introduce a new format and score some cash."[7]Common Sense Media gave the film three stars, as they felt that it would not disappoint fans of the series but that it was also your "typical Thomas tale".[8]About.com gave the movie four stars, opining that while the film looked better than they expected and praised the film for the value lessons it imparted, it was also "unremarkable compared to every other Thomas CGI animated children's movie".[9]


External links[edit]

Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero_of_the_Rails

Rails hero of the

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Thomas and Friends Hero of the Rails US

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