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"Cranky by name, cranky by nature."
— Salty, Kevin's Cranky Friend, seventeenth season


Cranky is a large grumpy dockyard crane, who works and lives at Brendam.


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 had to be rescued by the two tank engines. Afterwards, he promised never to insult them. However, he still teases the engines, 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 cause accidents.

Although he is naturally grumpy, Cranky has shown that he has a kind side too. Once he 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 season, 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 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.


The reason Cranky is so grumpy is because he is kept working day and night without rest. Cranky loves teasing the engines and has an intense dislike for Salty's stories. He rarely pays attention to tact due to his perpetual bad temper.

However, Cranky has at times shown a bit of kindness, such as when he sympathized for Percy when Thomas went missing on Misty Island.


According to an interview, Cranky is based on photo reference of various cranes from the 1920s and 50s.


Cranky is painted olive with black and brown pulleys amongst his mechanism and two work plates on each side that read "CRANKY".



Voice Actors


  • Cranky can be dismantled and moved to different locations, despite it never being mentioned or shown.However there have been cases where the dockside has been shown with Cranky nowhere to be seen.
  • Before the script cut, Cranky was to have a much larger role in Thomas and the Magic Railroad.
    • In the aforementioned movie, he was located at Knapford Yards rather than Brendam Docks.
  • One of Cranky's models used to be display in Canada at Nitrogen Studios.
  • Cranky's ladder seemingly leads to nothing, and no door has even been seen - it is unknown how his crew is able to enter him. Furthermore, he has never been seen with a crew.
  • Cranky's original Plarail and Wooden Railway models were painted light grey instead of olive green.
  • Since the sixth season, Cranky has had two metal strips holding up his crane arm, replacing the two chains present in the fifth season.
  • Cranky was the first character to be introduced to the TV series who was not Railway Series-related.
  • The My First Thomas model of Cranky is incorrectly painted blue instead of green.
  • He, apparently, has a fear of elephants.


  • ERTL (discontinued)
  • Wooden Railway (normal and deluxe versions; deluxe discontinued)
  • Take-Along (discontinued)
  • Take-n-Play
  • Motor Road and Rail (discontinued)
  • TrackMaster (regular and remote control; remote control discontinued)
  • Bachmann
  • Trading Cards (discontinued)
  • LEGO (discontinued)
  • My First Thomas
  • Brio (discontinued)
  • Wind-up (normal and metallic; Japan only)
  • Limited Edition Collection
  • New Block
  • Pocket Fantasy (discontinued)
  • Thomas Engine Collection Series (discontinued)
  • Thomas Town (discontinued)
  • My Thomas Story Library (discontinued)
  • Nakayoshi (discontinued)
  • Collectible Railway
  • Mega Bloks (discontinued)
  • Motorized Railway
Other vehicles
CrankyJeremyColinCaptainOwenMerrickRegS.S. RoxstarLucindaOl' WheezyHee-HawSodor LineHappy HookThe CranesThe Hot Air Balloon