I'll be honest, this post was meant to be a character analysis for Ashima. But every time I tried to think of things to say about her, I couldn't really justify turning them into a separate post. So I'll be analysing her in The Great Race review, which will be online on September 12th (exactly a week after the UK DVD release) and this post will instead look at, what's turned into, a plot device to get Thomas away from his branch line in order to serve a purpose in particular episodes and The Great Race: "The Local".
NOTE: This blog post contains minor spoilers for The Great Race and The Other Side of the Mountain. Reader discretion is advised
I'm going to say it now before I get lynched: I love the idea of certain trains being named, or passenger trains having a specific purpose. Heck, if you follow my headcanon on DeviantART, you'll know that I've taken that idea and driven off with it (I can't run, obviously). When it was introduced in Gordon Runs Dry, I was hoping that more specific trains would be featured or that "The Local" would be designated to an engine other than Thomas.