By Mike Atkinson
Thomas the tank engine is getting a new aussie pal – green and gold coloured Shane the Train will join the yard for new movie Thomas & Friends: The Great Race.
Nicknamed “The Whispering Giant”, Shane is modeled after the 520 class steam locomotive, which entered service on the South Australian Railways in November 1943. The original train was built for passenger and freight work.
The movie has a distinct international train collection, includes the likes of Ashima of India, Raul of Brazil, Etienne of France, Axel of Belgium, Frieda of Germany, Yong Bao of China and Ivan of Russia.
The Flying Scotsman, brother to Thomas’s regular mate Gordon the Big Engine, also makes an appearance.
Train collectors will be thrilled to learn that Shane will be available to buy in toy form. It’s believed creators Mattel will turn most of the new international characters into toys.
There’s no word yet on who will voice the new addition to the tank engine family, but expect all the usual aussie-ism’s of “g’day”, “yea’ nah” and “totes”.
Thomas & Friends: The Great Race is out in cinemas in Australia from July.
The Steam Ranger 520. Source: Brenton Edwards