Sir Handel, named after Sir Handel Brown and formerly named Falcon after his builder, is a narrow gauge saddle-tank engine who works on the Skarloey Railway. Prior to working on the Skarloey Railway, Sir Handel used to work on the Mid Sodor Railway up until the line closed down.
Sir Handel is well-known for being rude, conceited and irresponsible, throwing temper tantrums and believing that he is a grand engine. Despite causing so much trouble over the years, Sir Handel still tries to do his best to be a useful engine.
Falcon was built as an 0-4-0 at the Falcon Works for the Mid Sodor Railway in 1904 to replace an engine that had been scrapped, and was delivered to the railway at Arlesburgh by ship. Upon his arrival, Falcon was painted blue and was given the name "Falcon" after his builder. In 1910, he was rebuilt with trailing wheels to improve his stability, making him an 0-4-2. (RWS; The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways)
When he was a new engine on the railway, Falcon impressed the Manager with his work, and was given the job of taking the "Picnic" train along the Mountain Road. Falcon was excited, but was cross when he found out that he would be double-heading the train with Duke. When it was time for the two to take the train, Falcon insisted that he be the front engine, but ignored Duke's warnings about attending to the track. When the train made its way out of the tunnel, Falcon derailed and hung dangerously over the edge, but Duke managed to hold him long enough for the breakdown gang to arrive. The train made it to the top station safely, and Falcon apologized to Duke for being so rude to him.
For many years, Falcon happily worked on the Mid Sodor Railway alongside Duke and Stuart. However, the railway began facing hard times, and in 1947, the railway closed down. Falcon and Stuart were both purchased by the Sodor Aluminium Company, and left their old railway and Duke to begin work. (RWS; Duke the Lost Engine)
Falcon helped out with the extension at the Aluminium Company. However, when the project was finished in the 1950's, Falcon was no longer needed, and was sheeted up and stored away at Peel Godred. He and Stuart remained here for over a year, until they were purchased by the Skarloey Railway. After undergoing an overhaul at Crovan's Gate, Falcon entered service in 1952, and was renamed "Sir Handel" after the Owner of the line. (RWS; The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways)
When Sir Handel began work on the Skarloey Railway, he proved to be unruly and conceited. Upon his arrival, he insulted Skarloey when he first met him, and insulted the coaches, Agnes, Ruth, Lucy, Jemima and Beatrice, calling them "cattle trucks" and believing them to be improper. The coaches became infuriated with Sir Handel, and pulled him back when he reached an inclined section of the line.
After being scolded by the Thin Controller, Sir Handel behaved well for several days. However, upon finding out that he was required to fetch a train of trucks from the quarry, Sir Handel refused to go, pushing the rails apart and derailing. After this incident, the Thin Controller shut Sir Handel up in the shed, and Peter Sam began doing his work as well as his own.
Eventually, Sir Handel came out of the shed when Peter Sam needed repairs and tried to be friendly with the coaches, but they did not trust him, and when Sir Handel came to a stop to avoid running into some sheep on the line, the coaches believed he was bumping him and pushed him off the rails, damaging him. As Sir Handel was unable to take the train anymore, Skarloey came out of the sheds to do it. After Skarloey left to be overhauled, Sir Handel gained a newfound respect for him, and learned how to treat the coaches with respect. (RWS; Four Little Engines)