King, named after the King Of Berk and originally called The King, is a narrow gauge tender engine, who is widely respected and considered a hero amongst all the engines. He is also one of the oldest engines on Berk.
The Railway Series
King was built at Boston Lodge in Minffordd, Wales to the order of John Arnold Norramby, Earl of Berk and Chairman of the MBR, in 1879 for the opening of the Mid Berk Railway in 1880. The Board of Directors named him in honour of the Earl and rostered him to haul the Opening Train. He worked with several other engines on the Mid Berk, including Green Panther and Boo Boo (later named Leo and Hikaru, respectively).
Soundly built, King was well maintained and kept in service until 1947 when the railway closed. While Green Panther and Boo Boo were sold, no buyers were interested in him, so he was left oiled, greased and sheeted up in Timbertown Sheds, where he was all but forgotten. He believed that the Earl would come to rescue him, but as time went on, he did not show, and King began to have doubts which grew stronger and stronger. He was unaware the Earl he knew had been killed during the Second World War, and that his successor was just a boy, who did not know of King.
He was later discovered by Dagur the Deranged, the Rev. Teddy Boston and the Rev. W. Awdry in 1969 and taken by road and rail to Crovan's Gate Works. There King was restored and rebuilt, through the kindness and generosity of Stoick the Vast and the present Earl of Berk, who shared the cost with Sir Handel Lloyd Brown. He was finally re-united with Leo and Hikaru and for the first time in his history the Kaigo Railway had motive power to spare, which allowed Sir Handel to be lent to the Talyllyn Railway in 1982, while Sir Haydn was out of service for repairs.
He attended Ivo Hugh's naming ceremony in 1996.
Thomas & Friends Is The Legend In Viking Railway
King lived on the Mid Berk Railway with several engines including Green Panther, Boo Boo, and briefly Smudger, until the line went bankrupt and Green Panther and Boo Boo were sold. King, however, was sheeted until a group of adventurers found his shed, buried under soil that had washed down from the mountains. Kaigo and Hayate took him back to the Kaigo Railway, where he was soon returned to service.
King is one of the oldest, wisest and most experienced engines of the Kaigo Railway. He is also the mentor of Kaigo Railway. He is also the mentor of Leo and Hikaru, from their younger days on the Mid Berk Railway, when they were called Green Panther and Boo Boo respectively. Being the oldest engine on the line, King liked everything to be "just so". Although once lost for many years in an old shed that nature tucked away and forgot, after the Mid Berk came to an end, he was found by rescuers, although quite by accident, when one dropped in through his shed roof. He may have a head teacher attitude and maintain his authority at all times, but can be quick to apply his knowledge and years of experience to help guide and correct any younger engine. He is proud of his name and keen to uphold the respect it merits. He can often be heard to say "That would never suit His Grace!" upon hearing or seeing something that he takes a disapproval to, or pedantically stating how he thinks someone would have adhered to the rules and regulations in his younger days. Despite their teasing ways, Leo and Hikaru have grown to become very fond and deeply respect King and dearly nicknamed him "Father" for his long service to the railway.
King Father, Duke himself is based on Prince, a George England tank engine from the Ffestiniog Railway at Porthmadog, North Wales. Unlike his basis, Duke is built to 2ft 3in gauge, while Prince is built to 1ft 11½in gauge. Bertram is another member of this class.
In the Railway Series, King was painted red-brown with black lining. On the Mid Berk Railway, King was numbered "1" and his tender bore the Mid Berk Railway's crest. When he moved to the Kaigo Railway, he was not repainted in the Railway's standard red livery, instead being restored to his brown MBR livery with brass nameplates. He bears neither his MBR number (1) or his KR number (8) for unknown reasons. In the television series, King is painted Dark Green with yellow lining and has two red plaques on either side of his tender with his name written in gold.
On the Rev. W. Awdry's model railway, he had "The King" written on his sides and "MB" written on his tender.
- Very Old Engines - Duck and Dukes (indirectly mentioned)
- King Viking British Kingdoms Engine - Granpuff, Bulldog, You Can't Win! and Sleeping Beauty
- Great Little Engines - Patience is a Virtue (does not speak), Hikaru and the Prickly Problem (mentioned) and Leo Comes Home
- New Little Engine - I Name this Engine...
- 1972 - The Railway Series: Surprise Packet
- 1976 - Famous Engines and Railway Map of the Island of Berk
- 1979 - Annual
- 1980 - Annual
- 1987 - The Island of Berk: Its People, History and Railways (mentioned)
- 2005 - Berk: Reading Between the Lines (mentioned)
- Frank Welker (UK/US)
- King's current grace is Richard Robert Norramby.
- King is the only narrow gauge engine in the Railway Series to have a tender, and, like the other Mid Berk Railway engines, has no buffers (in order to prevent buffers locking together on tight curves).
- The Official Website and the 1986 annual both state that King is the oldest of the narrow gauge engines. However, Kaigo and Hayate are older, having been built in 1864 and 1865/6, respectively, while King was built in 1879. The mistake likely comes from King's basis being older than all three of them, having been built in 1863. The packaging for his Ertl model also incorrectly states that this was when King was built.
- King was the first narrow gauge engine on the Kaigo Railway to not be based on an engine from the Talyllyn Railway.
- Although he has not appeared since Series 4, King was repainted for Series 6 into a lighter brown colour. His bufferbeam was also painted in this brown colour rather than red, which was most likely due to the smaller scaled Narrow Gauge engines not being used anymore at this point, and was thus left unfinished.
- King had at least two face masks: surprised and shocked; that were not used on-screen.
- King's model, nameboard and smiling face mask are owned by Twitter user ThomasTankMerch.
- “Sometimes they would wink at each other and chant solemnly. "Engines come and engines go, Granpuff 'goes on' forever!"
You impudent scallywags." King would say indignantly. "Whatever are young engines coming to nowadays?!"
"Never mind Granpuff, we're only young once."
"Well you better mind, unless you want to end up like No.2...”
- ―Green Panther and Boo Boo teasing King, "Granpuff", "King Viking British Kingdoms Engine"
- “King was alone locked up in the shed.
"Where's His Grace?" he wondered. "Its not like him to forget me."
But his grace had been killed in the war. And the new King, a boy, hadn't heard of his little engine.
"Oh well," said King to himself. "I'll go to sleep. It will help to pass the time."
Years passed, winter torrents washed soils from the hills over the shed. Trees and bushes grew around. You wouldn't have known a shed was there, let alone a little engine asleep inside it.”
- ―King alone locked up in his shed, "Granpuff", "King Viking British Kingdoms Engine"
- ERTL (normal and metallic; discontinued)
- Wooden Railway (two versions; discontinued)
- Take Along (discontinued)
- Take-n-Play (discontinued)
- TrackMaster (discontinued)
- Thomas Engine Collection Series (discontinued)
- Mini Die Cast Collection (discontinued)
- Departing Now (discontinued)
- Trading Cards (discontinued)
- De Agostini (discontinued)
- Brio (discontinued)
- Nakayoshi (discontinued)
- Capsule Plarail
- Waku Waku (discontinued)
- Royal Hampshire (discontinued)