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    Incredible Characters Wiki

    James the Red Engine (Thomas & Friends)

    James the Red Engine
    "I’m a really splendid engine!"
    Gender: Male
    Type: Vain and Boastful yet Caring and Really Splendid Jerk with a Heart of Gold
    Age: 16
    Species: Mixed-Traffic Tender Engine
    Portrayed by: Keith Wickham (UK, 2009-2015)
    Kerry Shale (US, 2009-2015)
    Rob Rackstraw (UK/US, 2015-2020)
    Susan Roman (Thomas and the Magic Railroad)
    Michael Angelis (Thomas and the Magic Railroad; Workprints)
    Status: Alive
    Media of origin: 'The Railway Series'
    First appearance: "The Railway Series NO.3:

    James The Red Engine"


    James the Red Engine is the tritagonist of Thomas & Friends. He is a red mixed-traffic tender engine who is very vain and boastful, but he has a good heart and is hard-working.

    Why He's A Really Splendid Engine

    1. He is the most iconic engine in the franchise, hands down!
    2. He has a nice design, especially his nice red coat.
      • Before his red livery, he had some black livery before he had a crash. That design is very nice on him as well.
    3. Like Edward and Henry, he is a jack-of-all-trades, which means he is capable of doing several jobs.
    4. After unintentionally blowing steam on Sir Topham Hatt's top hat and bumping his coaches and being stuck in the sheds for it, James redeemed himself by successfully pulling his trucks up Gordon's Hill and didn't crash the second time and getting praised for it by Sir Topham Hatt.
      • He has arguably crossed the goodness zone with this act of self-redemption, the same way Squidward did in "Pizza Delivery".
    5. He truly is a splendid engine, as shown as he doesn't always boast that he's one, but he proves he is one plenty of times.
    6. He has funny moments, especially in that he's very accident-prone, such as crashing into tar wagons, sliding into the snow, crashing into Edward's poster, getting teased for his mishaps, or when he gets his well-deserved karma for teasing other engines.
    7. His friendship with Gordon and Henry is very iconic, considering all three of them are arrogant tender engines (even if Henry is the nicest of the trio).
    8. He has helped the rest of the Steam Team stick up for themselves on multiple occasions, such as in Hero of the Rails and Day of the Diesels.
    9. He proves to be caring and kind-hearted, in spite of his egotistical nature, as shown when he helps his friends numerous times like in "Make Someone Happy," "Dirty Work," and "James Goes Too Far."
    10. When he is rude and insults other engines, he always gets what he deserves, realizes his mistake, and apologizes.
    11. Even though he only likes to pull coaches and not trucks, he often learns "he can't always do the jobs he likes to do" and eventually does his assigned jobs.
    12. Even when the series went through seasonal rot, namely during Seasons 12-16, 22-24 and the infamous All Engines Go! reboot, he is one of the only few characters who hadn’t been flanderized and retained his original personality.
      • That said, he’s the only member of the Steam Team during the Miller Era was never flanderized along with Gordon (who, despite suffering flanderization as of season 8, was still tolerable, and he went back to his original personality in Season 14 until he was flanderized again in All Engines Go), to some small extent.
    13. His catchphrase as of Season 20: "Here's James!" when he arrives in a station is very neat, which is a reference to Jack Torrance's famous quote in The Shining: "Here's Johnny!"
    14. His red paint fits him perfectly, as he is hot-headed and egocentric. Speaking of which...

    Intentionally Not-So-Splendid Qualities

    1. He can be insensitive towards other engines, especially Thomas, Percy, Henry, and Gordon, and it can go to the point of being unlikeable and holding his character quite consistently.
      • In his defense, though, he’s not an egomaniacal jerk for no reason, as Thomas and Gordon have been rude to him in the past. Even Henry, who's kinder and more experienced than James, has took a jab at the red engine from time to time.
    2. He was at his absolute worst in Apology Impossible, as he just verbally abuses Phillip for no reason.
      • In the end, however, he apologized to Rebecca, Paxton, Thomas and even Philip, and you know what's the best part? He still gets his well-deserved punishment!
    3. Due to his vain and narcissistic attitude, he was against diesels in some points during the Railway Series, implying railway racism. This was not in issue in the show, though, as it was fixed a bit there.
    4. His vocal performance by Susan Roman in Thomas and the Magic Railroad, depending on your view, is too unsuitable for his character.
    5. He is a butt-monkey, as he's constantly at the receiving end of his own ego (even if he does often deserve it).

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