Nia the Helpful Engine is a Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends character who debuted in the 2018 special, Big World! Big Adventures!. She is a Kenyan tank engine who befriends and accompanies Thomas during his journey around the world.
Thomas & Friends
Nia is an adventurous and fun engine who teaches Thomas about friendship.
Nia is based on the KUR ED1 class, a class of 2-6-2 tank locomotive built by Vulcan Foundry for the Kenya-Uganda Railway between 1926 and 1930. They were later operated by the East African Railways and were reclassified as part of the EAR 11 class.
Nia has been modified in order to work on British railways. Whereas her original basis was narrow gauge, Nia is standard gauge, and she has been given buffers and screwlink couplings in order to work with the other engines.
Nia is painted orange with yellow lining. She has yellow, green and red patterns painted along her tanks, dome and cylinders, and her footplate is painted red. Her name and number are painted on the sides of her tanks and cab respectively in yellow.
- Nia's name means "purpose" in Swahili.
- Experts at the United Nations assisted the production team with creating Nia.