Gronk is a small diesel shunter who used to live at Copley Hill.
Gronk was built at Derby Works in 1953. He was allocated to Copley Hill yard, where he was put to work shunting about the yard. At this time, he was the only diesel engine in the yard. He was a very good shunter, and was often praised for it. When Hawk returned to the yard for a visit, Gronk was nervous, as the other engines seemed to be more impressed with him that they were with Gronk. However, when Gronk prevented an accident, him and Hawk became good friends.
Gronk worked alongside Hawk for many years, until Hawk had to return to the Western Region. On the day he left, Gronk was ordered to move Nigel to the Out of Use line by the Foreman. When the other engines saw Nigel that night, they thought that he was going to be scrapped, and Gronk felt very guilty.
He was pleased when Nigel returned, but he was afraid that somebody would discover his secret. Unfortunately, it was revealed, after Deltic forced him to tell him, and then he revealed it to the other engines. When Deltic failed, he apologised for the trouble he caused, but that night, the engines accused him of taking Nigel for scrap, but when Allen pointed out that he was ordered to do it, they had second thoughts on the matter. Others, including Geoffrey, were still in opposition. Stephen then arrived, and after he was told about the matter, he told Gronk to leave Copley Hill and go to live at Leeds Central.
Gronk was very upset, and when Stephen came to visit him at the diesel depot, he was furious with him, despite Stephen trying to tell him that it was for the best. After helping Stephen get Hawk back to Copley Hill after he was discovered at Leeds Central, Gronk cheered up, and left Copley Hill once more, understanding that he will be happier with his fellow diesels.
Gronk is a shy, but very friendly engine.
Gronk is based on the real No. 13238, a BR Class 08 shunter. Over seventy members of this class survive today in preservation, while around 100 remain in service on the national rail network. They were in fact the most successful shunting engines in the world, with 996 of them built.
Gronk is painted in BR jet/unlined black with red coupling rods.
- The Legacy of Gadwall (cameo)
- Hawk Eyed!
- Hawk the Hunter
- Suburban Tank (mentioned)
- Silent Night (does not speak)
- Day of the Deltic
- The Parting of Ways
- Fowler's Ghost (mentioned)
- The Ghosts of Engines Past (mentioned)
- Simon Martin said that Gronk will appear in the relaunch and in a future book.
- Gronk was the first diesel character to be introduced in the series.
- Gronk's name comes from the nickname for his class.