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 was not very well-behaved when he first came to the Skarloey Railway, as shown when he insulted the coaches by calling them "cattle trucks", which resulted in them holding him back on a hill and bumping him off the rails when he had to stop for some sheep that strayed on the line, and when he derailed himself on purpose when his driver planned for him to fetch trucks from the quarry. This led the Thin Controller to discipline him by leaving him in the shed until he was ready to behave. He also pretended to be ill to avoid going to the quarry, as advised by Gordon, which only led to Peter Sam to have an accident with trucks at the incline after they mistook him for Sir Handel, and to avoid getting televised by the BBC television producers, but the Thin Controller arranged for him to be taken apart instead in order to show the producers how an engine works.
Sir Handel did not cope well with the worn track on the railway and would often derail - sometimes deliberately, so he was given a pair of special wheels with broad tyres to cure this problem, dubbed "steamroller wheels" by the other engines. Skarloey later had Sir Handel meet his matches with a bad-tempered steamroller named George to teach him some sense, which resulted in him having an accident when George rammed his front roller into his train. Despite this, Sir Handel still took belief that he sent George packing, but he stopped talking about it after some children heard about his situation with George and teased him about it.
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. He returned to Sodor in 1984 to take his share of the summer traffic.
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
As in the Railway 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, all of which were reprised from the Railway Series. 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 when he arrived on the Skarloey Railway, 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.
When Samson was sent to the quarry to collect stone, he asked Sir Handel if the other trucks are meant to go to Brendam, with the little engine replying that they are, but he was not sure if Samson could pull all of them. Sir Handel and Peter Sam laughed at him for his actions by pulling the heavy trucks.
He currently works on the Skarloey Railway with Skarloey, Rheneas, Peter Sam, Rusty, Duncan and Luke.
Sir Handel, named Falcon and under the supervision of Duke in his younger days, has been prone to moody tantrums and thinking that he knows better than others, and at times, is arrogant, pompous, rude, stubborn, naughty, and bad-tempered. When he was given broad wheels which hold well to the rails and has been said to give a smooth ride, this contributed to his arrogant self-importance and his belief that he is a grand engine. He is not known for being a well-behaved engine since he has been known in the past to take a disliking to the narrow gauge coaches (often referring to them as "cattle trucks/cars"), feigning illness to avoid jobs he doesn't want to do, bumping trucks even if they behaved themselves which gives him a bad reputation with them, derailing himself and damaging his firebars deliberately, and believing that he should be in charge and he has a tendency to get too big for his wheels.
Sir Handel can be quite impressionable when it comes to engines who he views as important, express engines, or "the best engines in the world", such as Gordon, Duke or Skarloey. However, when the advice he is given results in him getting into trouble, as shown from Gordon, he can have second thoughts and want to give them a piece of his mind. He once claimed to be an express engine himself.
Despite all this, Sir Handel means well, and he always works to get things done. He is proud to be a reliable, helpful and good-hearted engine.
From the tenth season of the television series onward, Sir Handel had been portrayed as a steady, thoughtful and more mature 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 that originally worked on the Corris Railway. Albert and Proteus share the same basis. The Corris Railway is currently building another "Falcon" locomotive.
In the Railway Series, Sir Handel was painted dark blue until coming to work on the Skarloey Railway, where he was painted in the Skarloey Railway's standard red livery with blue and yellow lining, and with his name painted on the sides of his saddletank in yellow. In the television series, he is painted dark blue with red lining and brass fittings. He has red and gold name and number plates on the sides of his saddletank and coal bunkers respectively.
In The Thomas Way DVD, the Mr. Perkins segment features a re-illustrated version of Trucks! In this, Sir Handel is painted dark blue, like in the television series.