Ashima is a brightly-painted Indian tank engine who works on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway. She participated in the Great Railway Show, and competed in the shunting challenge.
Ashima was invited to participate in the Great Railway Show, and she and the other eleven engines who would be competing in the events were shipped to England on a ferry. However, the ship stopped on the Island of Sodor by mistake, and when the international engines rushed onto the ship, Ashima was accidentally left behind. As she rushed back to the ferry dock, Ashima accidentally bumped into Thomas and nearly pushed him into the sea, but she managed to save him. As she did not know how to get to the Mainland by rail, Ashima became lost on Sodor. She tried to get help from Thomas, but as he was already jealous of her, he refused to help her.
After Thomas cancelled his local train and rushed off to the Steamworks, Ashima decided to take Annie and Clarabel out on his branch line. When Thomas returned to find his coaches, he scolded Ashima for taking them without his permission, but Annie and Clarabel berated him for cancelling their train without telling them why. Thomas began feeling guilty and confessed to Ashima that he had attempted to have himself repainted so he could be like her, but she managed to convince him that he should just be himself for the railway show and suggested that he take part in the shunting challenge. Thomas gladly agreed, but unfortunately, he was damaged in an accident the following day and was unable to go to the railway show. Ashima tagged along with the other Sudrian engines as they headed to the Great Railway Show.
Thomas eventually got the chance to go to the Great Railway Show, and Ashima competed against him during the shunting challenge. However, the event was interrupted when Vinnie was chasing Philip across the yard, and Ashima helped Thomas to hold Vinnie back to allow Philip to escape. When the shunting challenge resumed, Ashima and Thomas were both close to winning the event, but Thomas sacrificed his chance of winning when he deliberately ran into a flatbed that had been on Ashima's track. Ashima was declared the winner of the shunting challenge, but Thomas also won the event due to his outstanding sportsmanship. When the Fat Controller came over to praise Thomas, Ashima mysteriously disappeared.
Thomas came across Ashima taking on coal that evening, and she told him that she would have to leave the Mainland and return to India on the ship. However, Thomas told her that the ship would be stopping at Brendam Docks and that she could return to Sodor with him and the other engines, thus putting their goodbye on hold temporarily. Ashima went back to Sodor with Thomas and the other Sudrian engines, where she boarded the ship to India and left. (TVS; The Great Race)
Personality and Traits
Ashima is based on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway X class. These 0-8-2 tank engines were built at the Swiss Locomotive and Machine Works for the Nilgiri Mountain Railway in India, and an additional four were built at the Golden Rock Workshop in Tiruchirapalli, India in 2011. Ashima appears to be based on the oil-burning variety of the class, as she carries her oil tank on top of her tanks in front of her cab.
Ashima is also modified to work on British standard gauge railways. She is scaled up from narrow gauge to standard gauge, and is fitted with bufferbeams, buffers and screwlink couplings. She also lacks a rear cowcatcher, unlike her basis.
Ashima is painted magenta with white lining, her boiler is black, and her wheels and bufferbeam are painted blue with white trimming. Her cylinders are painted orange with white and pink decals, and she sports several green, orange, white and pink decals, all inspired by Indian textiles and henna tattoos.
- For unknown reasons, Ashima's siderods do not connect to her first two wheels.
- Even though she appears to be based on an oil-burning steam engine, Ashima still takes on coal and requires it to make steam.