Hiro is a wise Japanese engine, who is famously known as the "Master of the Railway".


Thomas & Friends

Hiro once lived on a railway in Japan. He was the strongest engine on his railway and was famously known as the "Master of the Railway". He was eventually brought to Sodor, where he worked for many years. However, 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.

Thomas eventually found him and fearing Hiro would be scrapped if he was not Really Useful, promised to bring him back to his former glory while keeping him a secret from Sir Topham Hatt. Thomas also had the rest of the Steam Team help in the restoration and Hiro quickly gained their friendship. After breaking down again while trying to avoid Spencer, Hiro was hidden away in another siding, where the engines visited him and kept him company.

When the Fat Controller found out about the situation, Hiro was brought to the Sodor Steamworks, where Victor oversaw his restoration. Once Hiro was restored, he helped Spencer after his accident and worked with him and Thomas to finish The Duke and Duchess of Boxford's summer house. Despite everything, Hiro had grown homesick, so the Fat Controller arranged for him to be sent back to his homeland.

Hiro eventually came back to Sodor to help the engines with the summer holiday traffic. Upon his arrival, Hiro went to the Steamworks to be examined and then went to Knapford station for his welcome party, which was almost delayed as Thomas was trying to find a welcome present for Hiro instead of telling the other engines about the party. But, Hiro told Thomas that having his friends at the party was the best welcome present. During his visit, Hiro told Thomas to take the load of bees through the woods, which Thomas ignored. However, Thomas took Hiro's advice after taking Hiro's flower truck to get the bees back to their hives. Later on, Hiro saw the Fat Controller and assumed he was too busy to give orders to his engines. So, he tried to help the Fat Controller by giving out the orders - but he only succeeded in becoming "Master of the Muddle". However, he made up for his mistakes by telling the engines to go to Knapford and await orders from the Fat Controller.

Hiro is still on loan to the Fat Controller. He saw Jobi Wood being delivered to the Docks and told Thomas about where it came from. He later pushed Henry to the Steamworks to have his side-rods repaired and when Hiro became homesick, Thomas took him to Misty Island, which reminded Hiro of his home.

Later on Hiro, along with Henry, took on some bad coal. While Henry did not want to carry on, Hiro was determined to get the job done. He did so, but during his next job of transporting girders with Henry, Hiro broke down and Henry had to come to the rescue.

Once, Diesel tried to teach him how to handle the Troublesome Trucks, suggesting that the only way of tackling them was with force. However, Hiro insisted that being gentle was the best policy. However, when Diesel stuck to his own belief, he ended up causing Hiro's milk churns to spill over the Fat Controller — twice! After this, Diesel was found out and Hiro was tasked with teaching Diesel the correct way to treat trucks!

In the eighteenth season, he stopped Caitlin while he was on the Mainland after she accidentally took Annie and Clarabel and brought them back to Thomas on Sodor. Later, he helped clear the tracks so Connor could deliver the last of his passengers on Christmas Eve and nearly mistook Harold for Santa Claus.

After six years of virtually no accidents at all, Hiro derailed at a bend when he hit some pipes which came loose from Thomas' train. With his left side severely damaged, he was sent to the Steamworks to be repaired again. Thomas, believing that there were no spare parts for him, went to Hiro's old hideout, only to get lost. When Thomas was found, Hiro revealed that the Fat Controller had bought plenty of spare parts for him and that he was already repaired.

In the twentieth season, at Christmas, he had the job of taking the mail to the Mainland to be delivered to the North Pole. Percy was supposed to bring more mail, but got stuck in a snowdrift, meaning Hiro had to leave without it. Harold managed to catch up to him and give him the rest of the mail.

In The Great Race, Hiro later went to The Great Railway Show to compete in the Strongest Engine Race, representing his home country, Japan.


Hiro is an old steam engine who has been on Sodor for a very long time and was originally known as the "Master of the Railway". He is grand, masterful, mature, wise, very dignified, enormously kind and is able to find good in any engine he meets. He has an appreciation for serenity and order and often thinks fondly of his homeland, far away, where he was once one of the strongest engines. Hiro fell victim to neglect when waiting upon parts to arrive for him from his home country, when he began to break down and became lost. He was eventually rediscovered by Thomas, who, despite some problems in worrying about sharing the discovery of Hiro with the Fat Controller, helped Hiro to be fully restored to his former glory. Hiro continues to be gentle, wise and graceful, as well as a useful engine on the railway and a good friend to the other engines, especially Thomas. He does not appear to hold a grudge; in his first appearance, he helped Spencer after an accident, despite Spencer previously trying to send Hiro to the smelter's yard.

Technical Details


Hiro is based on a Japanese National Railways (JNR) Class D51 2-8-2 "Mikado" built by Kawasaki, populary known as the "Degoichi" in Japan. In addition to Japan, members of this class worked in South Korea, China, Taiwan and the USSR. Though Hiro's number is a reference to his basis name, there is a D51 with the number 51. However, unlike Hiro, the real engine is an earlier build of the D51 class, with its dome flush with its funnel. It is preserved at Torokko Saga Station in Kyoto, Japan. Hiro is standard gauge, while the real D51s were built for 3'6" gauge (cape gauge), though the two examples of his class exported to South Korea (KNR Class Mika7) were built to standard gauge. Over 170 of these engines are preserved throughout Japan, while four are preserved in Taiwan, and one in Russia.


Hiro is painted black with gold lining, boiler bands and fittings and red wheels. The number "51" is painted on the sides of his tender in white and he has gold nameplates, with his name in black, on the sides of his smoke deflectors. His "patchwork" colour scheme consists of a blue boiler, a green right smoke deflector, a purple left smoke deflector, a brown dome, a green piston and coloured wheels. Jordan Hiro gril friend


Thomas & Friends

  • Series 13 - The Biggest Present of All, Buzzy Bees and Hiro Helps Out
  • Series 14 - Thomas' Tall Friend (cameo), James in the Dark (cameo), Toby and the Whistling Woods (cameo) and Henry's Health and Safety
  • Series 15 - Emily and Dash, Happy Hiro, Kevin the Steamie (cameo), Wonky Whistle (cameo) and Fiery Flynn
  • Series 16 - Race to the Rescue (cameo), Express Coming Through (cameo), Ho Ho Snowman (cameo), Flash Bang Wallop! (cameo), Thomas and the Rubbish Train (cameo), Thomas Toots the Crows (cameo) and Sodor Surprise Day (cameo)
  • Series 17 - Henry's Hero, The Lost Puff (cameo), Percy's Lucky Day, Away From the Sea (cameo) and No More Mr. Nice Engine
  • Series 18 - Not So Slow Coaches, Signals Crossed (does not speak), Spencer's VIP (cameo), Last Train for Christmas and Emily Saves the World (does not speak)
  • Series 19 - Helping Hiro, Slow Stephen (cameo), and The Little Engine Who Raced Ahead (does not speak)
  • Series 20 - Letters to Santa
  • Series 24 - World of Tomorrow (mentioned) and Kenji on the Rails Again


  • 2009 - Hero of the Rails
  • 2010 - Misty Island Rescue
  • 2011 - Day of the Diesels (cameo)
  • 2013 - King of the Railway
  • 2014 - Tale of the Brave (music video cameo)
  • 2015 - Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure (music video cameo)
  • 2016 - The Great Race (does not speak)
  • 2017 - Journey Beyond Sodor (cameo)

Music Videos

  • Hero of the Rails - Go, Go Thomas
  • Series 13 - Determination and Engine Roll Call
  • Series 14 - All You Need and Sir Topham Hatt
  • Series 15 - Hear the Engines Coming
  • Series 16 - Go, Go Thomas
  • King of the Railway - Working Together Again and It's Gonna be a Great Day
  • Season 17 - Hey, Hey Thomas! and On a Journey Today
  • Tale of the Brave - Let's Be Brave
  • Series 18 - It's Christmas Time and The Best Friends Express
  • Thomas' YouTube World Tour - A World Around You, Down by the Docks, Navigation, Never, Never, Never Give Up, It's Great to be an Engine, The Whistle Song, Night Train and That's What Friends Are for
  • Series 19 - Let's Go!, Spring is Here! and Engine Roll Call
  • Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure - We Make a Team Together
  • Series 20 - Glynn's Christmas Wish and Accidents Will Happen
  • The Great Race - Streamlining (cameo)
  • Journey Beyond Sodor - I Want to Go Home (cameo)
  • Series 21 - Set Friendship in Motion, Doing it Right, Trying and Little Engines
  • Series 22 - The Journey Never Ends and Engine Roll Call

Magazine Stories

  • 2010 - The Best Present of All, Buzzy Bees, Hiro Helps Out and Misty Island Rescue (cameo)
  • 2011 - Hiro Helps Out
  • 2012 - Making Hiro Happy and The Best Present of All
  • 2014 - No More Mr. Nice Engine and Henry's Hero

Annual Stories

  • 2011 - Hiro Helps Out
  • 2013 - Hiro Helps Out
  • 2013 Holiday Annual - The Biggest Present of All


  • Meet the Contenders: Thomas of Sodor (cameo)

Voice Actors

  • Togo Igawa (UK/US)
  • Tesshō Genda (Japan; Hero of the Rails movie onwards; excluding trailer)
  • Kan Tanaka (Japan; Hero of the Rails trailer only)
  • Kai-Hendrik Moller (Germany)
  • Helge Winther Larsen (Norway; Hero of the Rails - seventeenth series, excluding King of the Railway)
  • Stig Krogstad (Norway; King of the Railway only)
  • TBA (Norway; eighteenth series onwards)
  • Janusz Wituch (Poland)
  • Gadi Levy (Israel)
  • Cesar Arias (Latin America; Hero of the Rails-nineteenth series)
  • Paco Mauri (Latin America; twentieth seasons onwards)
  • Carlos Moreno (Spain)
  • Bernard Demory (France and French speaking Canada)
  • Leo Richardson (The Netherlands)
  • Jukka Voutilainen (Finland; Hero of the Rails-fifteenth series)
  • Joonathan Kettunen (Finland; King of the Railway onwards)
  • TBA (Russia; Hero of the Rails-fifteenth series)
  • Denis Bespalyy (Russia; seventeenth series onwards)
  • Nam Doh-hyeong (South Korea)
  • Loukas Frangoulis (Greece)
  • Carlos Campanile (Brazil)
  • Habermann Livia (Hungary)


  • Hiro is the first character to have the same voice actor in both English dubs.
  • Hiro is canonically the first engine on the island, but the D51 class was not built until 1935, whereas engines numbered 1-6, Neil, Skarloey, Rheneas, Falcon, Stuart and Duke were canonically on Sodor before that, even though Neil never appeared in the Television Series.
  • According to Christopher Skala, Hiro was originally going to be painted blue. This carried on to his patchwork model.
  • Hiro has only been partially modified to work on Sodor. He has been scaled up to standard gauge and has been given buffers on his front and his tender. But oddly enough, he has a chain and hook coupler on the back of his tender and a knuckle coupler on his front. This would make pulling rolling stock or another engine backwards or being pulled away by another engine from his front physically impossible, unless a special adapter used to connect knuckle couplers and chain couplings was fitted onto his knuckle coupling or a pin was put on top of his knuckle coupling so he could couple from the front like Vinnie in The Great Race.
  • In the Norwegian narration, Hiro is known as "The King of the Railway", meaning his name is a reference to King of the Railway.
  • According to the Japanese narration, Hiro is owned by Sir Takaboushi Hideki, who is also good friends with the Fat Controller.
  • According to SiF's Interview with John Lee, Hiro was going to have a different name.
  • In the seventeenth and eighteenth season, Hiro's lining on the bottom right-hand side of his cab is not painted very neatly. This was fixed in the nineteenth season.
  • Hiro was the last new character to be produced in the Take Along toy-line before it was bought by Fisher-Price and renamed Take-n-Play.
  • Despite participating in the Great Railway Show, he does not get his own promotional video. The same goes with James.


"Why do they call you Master of the Railway Hiro?"

"I don't know Thomas. But aren't you a little Master of the Railway yourself. Hehehe"

---Hiro and Thomas, Helping Hiro


  • Wooden Railway (several versions; all discontinued)
  • Take Along (normal and "lost and found", discontinued)
  • Take-n-Play (normal, "patchwork" and talking; discontinued)
  • Motor Road and Rail (normal and patchwork; Asia only)
  • TrackMaster (normal, talking "lost and found" and R/C; all discontinued)
  • My Thomas Story Library (discontinued)
  • Engine Adventures (discontinued)
  • Tomica
  • Capsule Plarail (normal, metallic, clear and "patchwork")
  • Pocket Fantasy (discontinued)
  • Boss (with ochre tanker and pull-back; discontinued)
  • Capsule Collection
  • Diablock
  • Bath Toys (Pilot only)
  • Collectible Railway (normal and patchwork)
  • Minis
    • Classic Minis
    • Heroes Minis
    • DC Super Friends Minis (as Steel and Bane)
    • Electrified Minis
    • Core Moments Minis (Patchwork Hiro)
    • Insects Minis (Beetle)
    • Space Minis
    • Animal Minis (Cheetah)
    • Steel Minis (cancelled)
    • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers Minis (as the Black Ranger)
    • Neon Splatter Minis
    • Neon Glow Minis
    • Sushi Minis
  • Adventures (discontinued)
  • Diapet
  • Wood (redesigned in 2019)
  • Ofuro de MiniCar (Rusted Hiro)
  • Connected DE Colocoro Collection


Hiro Humanized by LTI Hudson 5340.jpg
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