Thomas and friends Wiki

Cranky is an olive green tower crane who lives in Brendam Docks, where he also works.


Thomas & Friends

In Series 5, 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 he had to be rescued by the two tank engines. Afterwards, he promised never to insult them again. However, he still teases the engines occasionally, 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 sometimes cause accidents.

Although he is naturally grumpy, Cranky has shown that he has a kind side too. He once 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 Series 17, 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 apologized 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 Series 20, Cranky teased James while he was pouting by saying he looked crankier than himself.

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.

In Series 21, Cranky believed he would be replaced with a big new fancy crane and so he began working hard all through the night. Unfortunately, this resulted in him making several mistakes. This led The Fat Controller to buy a big, new, shiny crane named Carly. Although liking Carly at first, Cranky believed she was competitive as she had unintentionally left him with no work to do as Carly was doing all of it. Cranky frantically tried to outdo her until their hooks became entangled and they found themselves stuck fast and unable to move. After Salty told a story of a two-headed monster that worked together, he and Carly started working together and welcomed Big Mickey to their team after many years of silence.


As his own name would imply, Cranky is extremely grumpy because he is initially kept working day and night without rest. Although nowadays he is able to sleep properly, he still maintains his cranky attitude. Cranky loves teasing the engines and has an intense dislike for Salty's stories. He rarely pays attention due to his perpetual bad temper. According to Big Mickey, throughout all the years he has been at the docks, Cranky has never said a single word to him.

However, Cranky has at times shown a bit of kindness, such as when he sympathized for Percy after Thomas went missing on Misty Island and also when he used a large reflective mirror to show Henry his glowing paint. He has started to become friends with the engines working at the docks.

Technical Details


According to an interview with Robert Gauld-Galliers, Cranky is based on photographic references of various cranes from the 1920s to the 1950s.


Cranky is coloured olive green with black and brown pulleys amongst his mechanism. He also has two nameplates on his sides that display his name in yellow lettering.


Thomas & Friends

  • Series 5 - Cranky Bugs, Horrid Lorry, Baa! (cameo), Put Upon Percy (cameo), Something in the Air and Make Someone Happy
  • Series 6 - Harvey to the Rescue, No Sleep for Cranky, The Fogman (cameo) and Thomas the Jet Engine
  • Series 7 - Edward's Brass Band, Bad Day at Castle Loch (cameo), Salty's Stormy Tale (cameo), Something Fishy (cameo) and Peace and Quiet (cameo)


  • Cranky was the first non-Awdry character introduced to the TV series who was not Railway Series-related with a freelance basis.


59 Engines | 53 Rolling Stock | 5 Non-Rail Vehicles | 8 People | 15 Lines | 17 Former