This article is about the book adaptation. You may be looking for the special, the DVD boxset, the video game or the app.
Hero of the Rails
Illustrated by

Tommy Stubbs


May 11th, 2010


Random House

Hero of the Rails is a book based on the 2009 special of the same name.


Spencer has to stay on the Island for the summer because the Duke and Duchess were making another summer house. The first week Spencer was rude and made Thomas angry by calling him a little toy tank engine. Spencer challenges him to a race. Thomas and Spencer began their race at dawn in the shunting yard and when they reached the hill, Thomas' brakes broke and he was diverted onto an old track where he found Hiro, an old Japanese engine. Hiro told Thomas not to tell Sir Topham Hatt about him or he would go to the smelters yard. Thomas promised he would not.

Next morning he went back to the old track and found out that the new summer house was being built near Hiro. Spencer chuffed beside him and asked what he was doing, and said he was going to keep an eye on him. Thomas told Percy about Hiro, and Percy said he would help. Percy tries to pull Thomas' load to help Hiro, but, something broke and Percy was taken to the Sodor Steamworks. Percy forgot all about his mail coaches, and Sir Topham was angry about that.

Meanwhile Thomas told Gordon all about Hiro. Thomas worked hard the next morning and the next day he and Percy went to the quarry. Spencer keeping his eye on Thomas followed them, but when he arrived they were nowhere to be seen. Mavis showed him around and then the hopper activated and clogged up Spencer's funnel. While Spencer was at the works Thomas introduced Emily and James to Hiro.

The next morning Spencer found Percy's mail coaches and Sir Topham Hatt asked Spencer why he was pulling the mail coaches. Spencer thought that this was one of Thomas' tricks. Thomas and Hiro were waiting for the water injector but heard Spencer and chuffed away, but it was too late, Spencer saw Hiro and chased them. And while he chased them, Hiro's parts were falling off. Thomas and Spencer raced towards Knapford station so that Spencer would not tell Sir Topham Hatt and send Hiro to the smelters, but Spencer fell off an old bridge. Thomas tells the Fat Controller about Hiro, and was surprised to find out that he was famous for being the first engine on the Island. A few days later, Hiro was fixed and came to rescue Spencer.

They worked together on the summer house and were delighted when it was finished. While they were resting Hiro told Thomas that he wanted to go home. Thomas tells this to Sir Topham Hatt, and he said he would send him home. Next day Hiro was going back home to Japan, and the engines cheered. Thomas said to Hiro, that Sodor would always be his home.



  • Hiro is said to have an engine, but Hiro is a steam engine.
  • Mavis is said to have puffed when she wanted to show Spencer around the quarry, but Mavis is a Diesel.
  • In the twelfth illustration, Kevin's hook is yellow instead of red.
  • On the book's cover Hiro's face is oversized.
  • James has grey wheels when they should be black.