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Henry's precise origins are uncertain. The story goes that he was built from drawings stolen from Sir Nigel Gresley at Doncaster about 1919 by an anonymous locomotive builder who held a grudge against him and desired to steal a march on him. His spy, however, blundered and took the wrong drawings; they were for an experimental engine, but were supposed to be for the new "Pacific" locomotives Gresley was designing at the time. The thief realized his mistake too late and Henry was built, with many resulting flaws and a superficial likeness to Gresley's Pacifics.
Henry stayed at a small shed in England with another engine named Toby. Toby left in 1922 to work on a small tramway in East Angola. Another engine (nicknamed Number 4) took his place. Henry learned of his origins from a narrow gauge engine here. Shortly after, he was sent to a place with other engines like him. He was the second of his group to be sold.
The thief was delighted to unload his "White Elephant" on to the first desperate customer who came along - The Fat Controller. He had intended to buy a Robinson "Atlantic" of the Great Central Railway, but was tricked into purchasing Henry in 1922 instead and had no choice but to keep him due to the railway being desperate for locomotives because three more had been purchased for trial but haven't arrived yet.
Henry was hated when he first arrived on Sodor. But later on his first day, he saved Edward and Sir Topham Hatt from the broken viaduct. That is how and when he became a permanent member of the NWR. After his accident, Henry became scared of the rain so he hid in Ballahoo Tunnel.
Henry is generally well-behaved and friendly, but is sometimes arrogant. Henry is at heart, a very hard worker. He has shown instances when he was either moody, arrogant and vain, but proud, strong and witty. Unlike Gordon and James, Henry does not mind pulling trucks, especially as he is a mixed traffic engine, although when he is given the job of pulling the express whenever Gordon is unable to, this can get to his smokebox and he can act full of himself.
Henry is the most likely to be respectful to smaller engines such as Thomas, Edward, Percy and Toby on a regular basis. He does not frequently antagonize his fellow friends, and usually shows remorse for his actions. Because of this, he is often considered much more friendly than Gordon and James.
Henry has a thoroughbred look and like all thoroughbreds, tends to be somewhat highly strung and prone to illness which hinders his work. His illnesses almost always have something to do with his boiler, but after his accident with the Flying Kipper, he has a new shape now and is sympathetically driven, he'll give any engine a run for it's money.
Technical Details Edit
Henry's history is unusual. The Fat Controller had intended to buy a Robinson Atlantic of the Great Central Railway, but was swindled and instead received Henry. He was built from rejected plans for Sir Nigel Gresley's A1 with the added design of an LNER C1 Atlantic. The plans were stolen from Gresley by an anonymous rival. The resulting engine had a superficial likeness to Gordon, but aesthetics were as far as this went. Henry in this shape developed performance issues from flaws in the design, compounded by his stay in the tunnel. Henry was a bad steamer: with good-quality coal he could get enough heat to make plenty of steam, but when there was a poor lot delivered, his undersized firebox could not hold enough coal to make a proper fire. On advice from Henry's fireman, the Fat Controller ordered high-grade Welsh Coal, which made an appreciable difference in Henry's performance. When Henry suffered an accident and severe damage that winter, the opportunity was taken to send him to Crewe, where he was rebuilt an LMS Stanier 5MT "Black Five" 4-6-0. After "The Eight Famous Engines," Henry's LMS Stanier 5MT tender was replaced by a Fowler tender.
In the television series, Henry has always had a one-window cab with an LNER-style tender. The differences between his shapes were removed splashers, the Belpaire firebox replacing the tapered, added steampipes beneath his smokebox, and a top feed. This was done to ease the changeover to his "Black Five"-esque appearance. However, Henry kept his parallel boiler instead of the tapered one that the Black Fives had. He later regained a full set of splashers in Series 2 onwards.
Eighteen members of the class have survived into preservation. Several members of this class survived until the end of steam on British Railways in 1968. Two class members, 44781 and 44871, were used to haul the Fifteen Guinea Special on August 11, 1968. 44871 has survived into preservation whereas sister engine 44781 was purchased for use in the film, The Virgin Soldiers, and was scrapped after being used in a train scene disguised as a continental locomotive.
Henry is painted in NWR apple green with red and yellow lining. His number is painted on the sides of his tender in yellow with red lining and the lining around his cab windows is yellow.
He was repainted in NWR sky blue with red and yellow lining at the end of "The Three Railway Engines" and remained so until the beginning of Troublesome Engines, when he was given back his own livery to avoid him being too similar to Gordon. In Henry and the Express, he was briefly painted orange-red as an undercoat before his standard green coat was applied. In Henry in the Dark, he was accidentally painted with a glow in the dark green livery.
In the Railway Series, he carries two builder's plates on the sides of his cab.
- Speed (deleted scene, not named)
- Grouping (does not speak)
- Headquarters (cameo)
- Brakes (music video cameo)
- Branch Lines (cameo)
- Wendell (does not speak)
- History (does not speak)
- Strike (does not speak)
- Fire (stock/Pre-Fimed footage)