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"You should see the situation from Cranky's point of view. He's high up in the air coping with wind, rain, and baking sun. Then he looks down and sees you two little engines being annoying! No wonder he calls you bugs!"
— James talking to Thomas and Percy

Cranky is a tall, grumpy dockyard crane (hence his name) who lives and works at Brendam Docks.


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.


The reason Cranky is so grumpy is because he was initially kept working day and night without rest and seems to have kept up his cranky attitude even though now he does get sleep. 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 sympathised 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 to the 1950s.


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


Television series


  • 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.
  • Cranky has gone through several changes in the Television Series:
    • Season 5:
      • Chains hold his crane arm to his body wrapped around a pipe between his nameplates
    • Season 6:
      • Two metal stripes are shown replacing the chains
      • Cranky was the first character 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.


Other vehicles
HaroldBulstrodeP. S. CumberlandS.S. KathrynDignityMermaidNorth Star
CrankyS.S. RoxstarLucindaTiger MothThe Queen of SodorThe CranesTugboatsThe AeroplaneThe Salvage BargesThe Canal BoatsThe Mail BoatThe Paddle BoatThe Fultan FerryThe Tramp SteamerThe Hot Air Balloon