Cranky Is A Tall, Grumpy Dockyard Crane Who Lives And Works At Brendam Docks.


Thomas & Friends

Cranky bullied Thomas and Percy by delaying their loads and calling them "bugs". He later got his comeuppance after a tramp steamer crashed into him and he had to be rescued by the two tank engines. Afterwards, he promised never to insult them again. However, he still teases the engines occasionally, such as when Percy complained that there was too much work and when Henry arrived at the Docks in a barge full of fish.

Despite his lack of sleep, Cranky works very hard, but his working attitude makes the engines cross whenever they think that Cranky is too slow - as a result of their insults, Cranky can sometimes cause accidents.

Although he is naturally grumpy, Cranky has shown that he has a kind side too. He once helped Thomas out of trouble when he and Percy were playing "Hide and Peep" by finding Percy in the dry dock.

He has befriended a seagull that often visits him and has named it, rather fittingly, Seagull. Cranky is not fond of all animals though and is shown to have a fear of elephants.

Cranky has an intense dislike for Salty's stories and Charlie's jokes. According to one of Salty's tales, Cranky is "the Monster of Brendam".

In the seventeenth series, Cranky needed some help, so Kevin was sent to help him. However, Cranky refused the help, leading Kevin to fall into the sea. Cranky rescued Kevin and apologised for being so mean. He later called Charlie silly when he told him about the elephant on the line and warned Thomas about the icy tracks.

In Tale of the Brave, Cranky attempted to stop a ship that Gator was on after Thomas thought that Percy was on board the ship. However, this resulted in Cranky breaking, forcing the ship to turn back.

Cranky was later unloading a crate from a ship at Brendam, but accidentally dropped the crate to the ground. Fearing the contents inside of the crate were broken, Cranky hid the crate out of sight, though it was later found and taken to the Town Hall.

In the twentieth series, Cranky teased James while he was pouting by saying he looked crankier than himself.

In The Great Race, Cranky accidentally loaded a crate with Diesel in it into a boat after the devious diesel shunter's plan to enter the Great Railway Show was foiled.

In the twenty-first series, Cranky believed he would be replaced with a big new fancy crane and so he began working hard all through the night. Unfortunately, the resulted in him making several mistakes. This led The Fat Controller to buy a big, new, shiny crane named Carly. Although liking Carly at first, Cranky believed she was competitive as she had unintentionally left him with no work to do as Carly was doing all of it. Cranky frantically tried to outdo her until their hooks became entangled and they found themselves stuck fast and unable to move. After Salty told a story of a two-headed monster that worked together, he and Carly started working together and welcomed Big Mickey to their team after many years of silence.


As his own name would imply, Cranky is extremely grumpy because he is initially kept working day and night without rest. Although nowadays he is able to sleep properly, he still maintains his cranky attitude. Cranky loves teasing the engines and has an intense dislike for Salty's stories. He rarely pays attention due to his perpetual bad temper. According to Big Mickey, throughout all the years he has been at the docks, Cranky has never said a single word to him.

However, Cranky has at times shown a bit of kindness, such as when he sympathised for Percy after Thomas went missing on Misty Island and also when he used a large reflective mirror to show Henry his glowing paint. He has started to become friends with the engines working at the docks.

Technical Details


According to an interview with Robert Gauld-Galliers, Cranky is based on photographic references of various cranes from the 1920s to the 1950s.


Cranky is painted olive with black and brown pulleys amongst his mechanism. He also has two nameplates on his sides that display his name in yellow lettering.


Thomas & Friends

  • Series 5 - Cranky Bugs, Horrid Lorry, Baa! (cameo), Put Upon Percy (cameo), Something in the Air and Make Someone Happy
  • Series 6 - Harvey to the Rescue, No Sleep for Cranky, The Fogman (cameo) and Thomas the Jet Engine
  • Series 7 - Edward's Brass Band, Salty's Stormy Tale (cameo), Something Fishy (cameo) and Peace and Quiet (cameo)
  • Series 8 - Thomas to the Rescue (cameo), Squeak, Rattle and Roll (cameo), James Gets a New Coat (cameo), Percy's Big Mistake, Thomas and the Circus (does not speak), Spic and Span (cameo), As Good as Gordon (cameo), Fish (cameo) and Percy and the Magic Carpet (does not speak)
  • Series 9 - Thomas and the Rainbow (cameo), Thomas and the Birthday Picnic (cameo), Thomas and the Toy Shop, Toby Feels Left Out (cameo), Thomas Tries His Best (does not speak), Thomas and the Statue, Henry and the Flagpole (does not speak), Thomas' New Trucks (does not speak), Saving Edward (cameo), Thomas and the Golden Eagle (cameo) and Keeping Up with James (cameo)
  • Series 10 - Toby's Afternoon Off, Seeing the Sights (cameo), Edward Strikes Out (cameo) and Thomas and the Treasure (cameo)
  • Series 11 - Thomas and the Spaceship (cameo), Thomas Sets Sail, Don't be Silly, Billy (cameo), Hide and Peep, Thomas and the Runaway Car (cameo), Thomas in Trouble (cameo), Thomas and the Stinky Cheese (cameo) and Percy and the Left Luggage (cameo)
  • Series 12 - Steady Eddie (does not speak), Rosie's Funfair Special (cameo), Henry Gets it Wrong (cameo), Heave Ho Thomas! (cameo), Excellent Emily (cameo) and Tram Trouble (cameo)
  • Series 13 - Creaky Cranky, The Lion of Sodor, Slippy Sodor (cameo), The Early Bird, Percy's Parcel (cameo), Thomas and the Runaway Kite (cameo), The Biggest Present of All (cameo) and Buzzy Bees (cameo)
  • Series 14 - Thomas' Tall Friend, James in the Dark (cameo), Thomas in Charge (cameo), Being Percy (does not speak), Merry Winter Wish (does not speak), Thomas' Crazy Day, Thomas and Scruff (cameo), Merry Misty Island and Henry's Magic Box
  • Series 15 - Gordon and Ferdinand (cameo), Toby and Bash (cameo), Percy's New Friends, Up, Up and Away! (cameo), Henry's Happy Coal (cameo), Surprise, Surprise (cameo), Stop That Bus! (does not speak) and Percy the Snowman (cameo)
  • Series 16 - Percy and the Monster of Brendam, Thomas and the Rubbish Train (cameo), Percy and the Calliope (cameo), Salty's Surprise (does not speak), Sodor Surprise Day, Emily's Winter Party Special (cameo) and Happy Birthday Sir! (does not speak)
  • Series 17 - Kevin's Cranky Friend, Steamie Stafford (cameo), Henry's Hero (cameo), Not Now, Charlie!, Too Many Fire Engines (cameo), Santa's Little Engine, Away From the Sea, Gone Fishing (does not speak), The Afternoon Tea Express (cameo), The Smelly Kipper and No More Mr. Nice Engine (cameo)
  • Series 18 - Flatbeds of Fear, Disappearing Diesels, Thomas the Quarry Engine, Missing Gator, No Steam Without Coal (cameo), Spencer's VIP (cameo), Toad's Bright Idea (cameo), Long Lost Friend, Emily Saves the World and Timothy and the Rainbow Truck
  • Series 19 - Who's Geoffrey?, The Truth About Toby (cameo), A Cranky Christmas, Toad and the Whale, Salty All at Sea, The Little Engine Who Raced Ahead (cameo), Diesel's Ghostly Christmas, The Other Side of the Mountain (cameo) and No Help at All
  • Series 20 - Toby's New Friend (cameo), Henry Gets the Express, Diesel and the Ducklings, Bradford the Brake Van (cameo), Saving Time (cameo), Pouty James, All in Vain and Henry in the Dark
  • Series 21 - Dowager Hatt's Busy Day, Stuck in Gear, Cranky at the End of the Line, New Crane on the Dock, Philip's Number (cameo), A Shed for Edward (cameo), The Big Freeze (cameo) and Emily in the Middle
  • Series 22 - Forever and Ever (cameo), Seeing is Believing, Apology Impossible (cameo), Thomas' Animal Ark (cameo), Rosie is Red, Counting on Nia (cameo) and Hunt the Truck (cameo)
  • Series 23 - Chucklesome Trucks (cameo), Diesel Do Right (cameo), Steam Team to the Rescue, Panicky Percy (cameo), Out of Site (cameo; fantasy) and First Day on Sodor!
  • Series 24 - A New Arrival, James the Super Engine (cameo), Sonny's Second Chance, Kenji on the Rails Again (cameo) and Thomas' Animal Friends
  • Other - Thomas & Friends in 4-D: Bubbling Boilers


Learning Segments

  • Series 8 - Steamies and Diesels Sounds (cameo) and Which Way Should Thomas and Emily Go? (cameo)
  • Calling All Engines! - Which Job for Which Engine? and Thomas Looks for Mavis
  • Series 9 - Which Route Should Thomas Take? (cameo), Percy in the Dark, Where Can Neville Find Salty? (cameo) and Sir Topham Hatt's Helping Hand
  • Series 10 - Help From Your Friends (cameo), Which load for Rosie? (cameo), Where Is Salty's Favourite Place to Work? (cameo) and What is Henry Thinking?


  • 2015 - A Friendly Farewell (cameo)
  • 2017 - Shark Escape (does not speak)
  • 2020 - Top 5 Cranes, Top 5 Songs (cameo), Top 5 Silliest Characters (cameo) and Thomas the Submarine

Magazine Stories

  • 2001 - Henry (cameo)
  • 2002 - Henry Helps (mentioned)
  • 2003 - Flying Fish!, Crane Strain!, New Year Promise!, Harvey to the Rescue!, Cruise Control! and Revving Racers (does not speak)
  • 2004 - Ship Ahoy!, Henry to the Rescue, Dockers' Dinner (does not speak), Snake's Alive! (does not speak), A Fishy Adventure, Rocket Power (does not speak), Salty Gets Wet (does not speak) and Sparks Fly
  • 2005 - Percy and the Magic Carpet (cameo), Passenger Pick Up, Trying Time and Sorry Lorry (does not speak)
  • 2006 - Heavy Load and Surprise Visitor
  • 2007 - Playful Passengers (cameo), Surprise Visitor, Edward Strikes Out (cameo) and Hooked Up
  • 2008 - Giant Puffer, Fast and First!, Hide n' Peep!, Perfect Promise and New Year Promise!
  • 2009 - Swing King Cranky
  • 2010 - Creaky Cranky, Steam Roasted, Surprise Visitor, Early Bird (does not speak), Bubble Trouble (cameo), Rope Rescue (cameo) and Buzzy Bees (cameo)
  • 2011 - Being Percy (cameo), Fuss and Fumes, Too Tired, Thomas' Crazy Day (does not speak), Winter Wish (does not speak), A Lion on Sodor, Playful Passengers (cameo), Slowcoach Diesel and Creaky Cranky
  • 2012 - Early Bird (does not speak), Henry's Happy Coal (cameo), The Flying Teapot (cameo in US version), Thomas' Tall Friend, The Fat Controller's Bedtime Story (Issue 644), Fish and Ships (cameo), The Fat Controller's Bedtime Story (Issue 646), Blue Mountain Mystery, City of Truro and Playful Passenger! (cameo)
  • 2013 - Hover Bother!, Sodor Surprise Day (does not speak), Early Bird! (does not speak), Steamie Stafford (cameo) and Kevin's Cranky Friend
  • 2014 - Salty's New Friend, Happy Birthday, Sir! (cameo), No More Mr. Nice Engine (cameo), Swanky Cranky!, Henry's Hero (cameo), Harvey the Crane Engine (does not speak) and Not Now, Charlie! (cameo)
  • 2015 - Emily Saves the World (does not speak), Missing Gator, Don't Be Late, Percy! (mentioned) and Not Now, Charlie! (cameo)
  • 2016 - Who's Geoffrey?
  • 2017 - Emily Saves the World (does not speak), Not Now, Charlie! (cameo) and Diesel and the Ducklings

Cranky also appeared in the magazine stories, Company for Cranky, Fish and Fog!, Fun With Friends, Sea-Bound Salty and The Camel Train.

Voice Actors

  • Matt Wilkinson (UK)
  • Glenn Wrage (US)
  • Rob Rackstraw (Thomas' Magical Birthday Wishes only)
  • Hisao Egawa (Japan; fifth - eighth series)
  • Takaya Kuroda (Japan; ninth series onwards)
  • Christoffer Staib (Norway; thirteenth - sixteenth series, excluding Day of the Diesels and Blue Mountain Mystery)
  • Simen Sand (Norway; Day of the Diesels - seventeenth series, excluding the fifteenth and sixteenth series)
  • TBA (Norway; Tale of the Brave onwards)
  • Walter Wiegand (Germany)
  • Eckart Dux (Germany; Audio Books only)
  • Klaudiusz Kaufmann (Poland, thirteenth series onwards, excluding Emily Saves the World, Timothy and the Rainbow Truck and Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure)
  • Jarosław Domin (Poland; Emily Saves the World and Timothy and the Rainbow Truck only)
  • Piotr Bajtlik (Poland; Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure only)
  • Fabrice Trojani (France and French speaking Canada)
  • Octavio Rojas (Latin America; thirteenth series onwards)
  • Jeremy Luton (The Netherlands)
  • Dan Schatzberg (Israel)
  • Mauro Castro (Brazil; thirteenth series onwards; excluding Rosie is Red)
  • Ricardo Vasconcelos (Brazil; Rosie is Red only)
  • Ángel Amorós (Spain)
  • TBA (Finland; thirteenth series only)
  • Petri Hanttu (Finland; Misty Island Rescue onwards)
  • Loukas Frangoulis (Greece)


  • Cranky can be dismantled and shifted to different locations, despite it never being mentioned or shown in the show; however, there are some cases where Cranky has not been seen at Brendam or seen elsewhere.
  • Before the script was cut, Cranky was to have a much larger role in Thomas and the Magic Railroad.
    • In the aforementioned film, he was located in the yards at Knapford Station rather than Brendam Docks.
  • In the Serbian dub, Cranky's name is Mrgud, which is also Bulgy's name in the same language.
  • One of Cranky's models used to be on display in Canada at Nitrogen Studios. It is now on display at Drayton Manor Theme Park.
  • Cranky's crew can access him by a floor hatch underneath his body. This is also annotated in his concept art.
  • Originally, Cranky was to have a grey livery, this would explain why Cranky's original Plarail and Wooden Railway toys were painted light grey instead of olive. The vast majority of his merchadise is also forest green instead of olive. Promotional renders made by Nitrogen Studios also depict him in a very deep shade of forest green. Also, The My First Thomas toy of Cranky is incorrectly painted blue.
  • Cranky was the first non-Awdry character introduced to the TV series who was not Railway Series-related with a freelance basis.
  • According to an interview with Sodor Island Forums, Cranky is one of Mark Moraghan's favourite characters alongside Percy.
  • Cranky has two seagull friends named Seagull and Stuart.


“You're useless little bugs! If you put these freight trucks/cars on the inside lines, then I wouldn't have so far to travel!”
―Cranky's first dialogue, Cranky Bugs, fifth series
“These ships can't be kept waiting. They have important cargo. If they miss the tide, they will be delayed in the docks. You should look up to the ships and show more respect. You are, after all, only little”
―Cranky's second appearance, Horrid Lorry, fifth series


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