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You are a very troublesome engine. You are rude, conceited and much too big for your wheels!
~ The Thin Controller, Four Little Engines

Sir Handel, named after the Skarloey Railway's first owner, Sir Handel Brown I - but previously known as Falcon, after the works where he was built - is a narrow-gauge tank engine.

Bio in the Railway Series

Falcon was built at Falcon Works in Loughborough, England for the Mid Sodor Railway as an 0-4-0ST, causing him to bounce until he was rebuilt with a rear pony truck at Loughborough in 1910.

When the Mid Sodor Railway closed in 1947, he and Stuart were sold to the Sodor Aluminium Company at Peel Godred for an expansion project. They worked there until 1951, at which time both engines were sheeted at the projects close for almost a year. They were then purchased for a total of fifty pounds by the Skarloey Railway in 1952 and renamed Sir Handel and Peter Sam respectively.

Sir Handel did not cope well with the worn track on the railway and would often derail - sometimes deliberately. He was given a pair of special wheels with broad tyres to cure this problem, dubbed "steamroller wheels" by the other engines.

In 1982, Sir Handel visited the Talyllyn Railway to help while Talyllyn was being mended. Sir Handel had plenty of adventures there, like pulling a wedding train and having to wear an eye-patch after colliding with a tree at Nant Gwernol.

When Peter Sam was brought back from the Talyllyn Railway early during a visit in 1995 Sir Handel became jealous and, as a protest, deliberately knocked out his firebars. He was sent to the shed and began to fear that he would never come out after weeks went by and no one came to see him. When the Thin Controller came in one day Sir Handel confessed and asked for a second chance. Sir Handel got his firebars later that day - no one bothered to tell him that they had only just arrived.

Bio in the television series

Falcon and Stuart lived with Duke until their line was closed and they were bought by the Skarloey Railway and were renamed Sir Handel and Peter Sam respectively.

Upon arriving, Sir Handel had many adventures. He was derailed by his own coaches when he stopped too quickly in front of some sheep. Sir Handel was also very pompous and refused to do his job well, so he was sent to the sheds for a while to repent. After coming back out, he got into a fight with George the steamroller, which ended in a race with George smashing Sir Handel's trucks. Once George had left, Sir Handel became even more conceited then ever and believed that he had made George go away.

Sir Handel did not reappear until years later, apparently because he was working in the stone quarry. When he returned, he had a much different attitude. He did his jobs without complaining, and had trouble getting up hills. He is also wiser in most situations, but in some cases he is still pompous. He is generally of the opinion that he knows best and should be in charge. This can sometimes lead him into trouble with the other engines and the trucks. However, he always gets the job done. According to Mr. Perkins, Sir Handel can be cheeky sometimes.

He currently works on the Skarloey Railway, and at the Blue Mountain Quarry, with Skarloey, Rheneas, Peter Sam, Rusty, Duncan and Luke.


Sir Handel, named Falcon in his younger days, was brought up under the supervising of Duke, yet is typical to be moody and had stubborn tantrums. He has a tendency of considering himself superior to others and getting much too big for his wheels. When he returned in the tenth season however, Sir Handel had been portrayed as a steady, thoughtful engine who is ready to offer advice. He is ready to be put in charge and keep other engines in order, but ironically regained his original personality whenever this chance occurred. Like anyone else, Sir Handel enjoys being helpful and reliable.


Sir Handel is based on the Talyllyn Railway's Sir Haydn, a Hughes Falcon 0-4-2ST. Albert and Proteus share the same basis.


In the Railway Series, Sir Handel was painted darkest blue until coming to work on the Skarloey Railway, where he was painted in the Skarloey Railway's red livery and blue-and-yellow lining. In the television series, he is painted dark blue with red and yellow lining.

In The Thomas Way DVD, the Mr. Perkins segment features a re-illustrated version of Trucks!. In this, Sir Handel is painted darkest blue, like in the television series.


Railway Series

  • Four Little Engines
  • The Little Old Engine
  • Gallant Old Engine
  • Mountain Engines
  • Very Old Engines (does not speak)
  • Duke the Lost Engine
  • Great Little Engines

  • New Little Engine

Television series Season 4 - Granpuff, Sleeping Beauty, Bulldog, You Can't Win!, Four Little Engines (does not speak), A Bad Day for Sir Handel, Peter Sam and the Refreshment Lady, Trucks!, Rock 'n' Roll (cameo), Special Funnel, Steam Roller, Passengers and Polish (mentioned), Gallant Old Engine (cameo), and Bowled Out (cameo)

Season 10 - Follow that Flour (cameo), A Smooth Ride, Duncan Drops a Clanger, Thomas' Tricky Tree, Fearless Freddie, Which Way Now? (cameo) and Missing Trucks (does not speak)

Season 11 - Thomas and the Big Bang, Duncan Does it All, Sir Handel in Charge and Wash Behind Your Buffers (cameo)

Season 12 - Henry Gets It Wrong (mentioned), Mountain Marvel (cameo), The Party Surprise (cameo) and The Man in the Hills

Season 16 - Don't Bother Victor! and The Christmas Tree Express (cameo)

Season 17 - Luke's New Friend

Season 18 - Disappearing Diesels (cameo) and Long Lost Friend (cameo)


The Great Discovery Blue Mountain Mystery

He also made cameos in one fifth season and two sixth season songs.

Magazine stories

  • 1997 - Culdee's Story, Duncan and The Flower Train
  • 1998 - Duncan Has a Spill (mentioned)
  • 2001 - The Hairy Black Run and Sir Handel
  • 2009 - Thomas and the Big Bang (does not speak)
  • 2011 - Reindeer Rescue (does not speak)
  • 2012 - Blue Mountain Mystery (speaks in speech bubble only)
  • 2013 - Don't Bother Victor! (does not speak)
  • 2014 - Edward the Helpful Engine

Sir Handel also appeared in the magazine stories, Duncan Gets Upset, Hello, Skarloey!, Skarloey and Santa, Smoke Signals and The Cliff Railway.


  • In the Railway Series, Sir Handel along with Peter Sam did not have buffers when they first arrived on the Skarloey Railway until The Little Old Engine.
  • Sir Handel's Brio model incorrectly depicts him as an 0-4-0.
  • In various merchandise and books, Sir Handel's name is often misspelt as "Sir Handle".
  • During production on the fourth season, Sir Handel had Rheneas' face and vice-versa.
  • Sir Handel's television series model is currently on display in the Hara Model Museum in Japan.
  • Until New Little Engine, his last appearance in the Railway Series, Sir Handel seemed to never have a coal bunker.
  • The Reverend W. Awdry's model of Falcon was at the Reverend Teddy Boston's Cadeby Light Railway, before the railway finally closed in 2005.
  • Sir Handel's large scale model used in the tenth season lacked a whistle, yet he was still heard whistling on many occasions. This was fixed when he returned in the sixteenth season.
  • Sir Handel is named after the original owner of the Skarloey Railway.
  • During the fourth season, Sir Handel had quite a few derailments in some episodes. This may have been inspired by a similar accident which occurred to his basis Sir Haydn on the Talyllyn Railway.
  • Sir Handel has been through many changes through the series. These include:

Season 10:

  • No visible whistle.
  • Darker blue livery.
  • Black trailing wheels and buffers.

Season 16:

  • Grey buffers and trailing wheels.
  • Visible whistle.
  • Handrails across his saddle tank like his basis.
  • His cutout windows gained brass frames and contained glass.
  • Sanding gear.
  • More rivets on his bufferbeam and cab.
  • Black siderod guards.
  • His blue livery became a more vibrant shade than it was in the tenth season.

Season 18:

  • Permanent lamp and lamp irons


The new engines looked very smart. One was called Sir Handel, and the other Peter Sam.

What a small shed!" grumbled Sir Handel. "This won't do at all! We're much too smart for this old shack!
I think its nice," said Peter Sam.
"Humpf!" grunted Sir Handel. "What's that rubbish?"
"Shh!" said Peter Sam. "That's Skarloey the famous old engine. I'm sorry, Skarloey," he whispered. "Sir Handel's upset now, but he's quite nice really."

Skarloey felt sorry for Peter Sam. Sir Handel and Peter Sam arrive at the Skarloey Railway, "Sir Handel", "Four Little Engines"

Peter Sam told them about the television as well. And they were pleased and excited too, all except Sir Handel.

"I don't hold with it!" he grumbled. "Vulgar, I call it. Fancy traipsing about making an exhibition of yourselves. I won't do it, I tell you! Telly something indeed. Just let the Thin Controller come here, I'll tell him something!"

Skarloey said nothing, he just winked at Peter Sam. But next day, when the Thin Controller did come to explain about the television, Sir Handel kept strangely quiet.

"Now," said the Thin Controller at last. "I want every engine to take part."
"I..I..I don't feel well." quavered Sir Handel.
"You poor engine," said the Thin Controller gravely. "You can stay in the shed."

Sir Handel smiled broadly.

"And your driver and firemen can take you to pieces. That would make a very interesting picture. Just what we need!" Sir Handel's feelings were beyond words.

- Sir Handel complaining about television, "Little Old Twins", "The Little Old Engine".

Next day, the workmen put up a fence between road and railway, and went away taking George with them. This was because they had finished their work, but Sir Handel thought he had made George go away. He was more conceited than ever, and talked ever lastingly about steamrollers.

"Oh dear!" whispered Skarloey one evening. "He's worse than ever, I'm sorry my plan was no good."
"Never mind," said Rusty. "We'll think of something else!"

But they had no need to do that, for some boys came and asked Mr. Hugh if they could look at the engines. Almost at once, one called out...

"...Look! Here's Sir Handel. He raced a steamroller last week, but the roller nearly beat him too! It was most exciting!"
Sir Handel never mentions Steamrollers now!
~ Sir Handel thinks he sent George the Steamroller packing, "Steam Roller", "Gallant Old Engine".
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