Ashima is a brightly painted Indian tank engine, who works on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway in the Nilgiri Hills of southern India. She participated in the Great Railway Show, and took part in the shunting challenge.
Ashima was invited to participate in the shunting competition at the Great Railway Show, and she travelled on a ferry with the other eleven engines who would be participating in the events. However, the ship stopped at Sodor by mistake, and in the rush of everything, Ashima was left behind. Lost and not knowing the way to the Mainland, Ashima tried to ask Thomas if he could take her there. However, Thomas refused to help her, as he was jealous of her. Ashima soon managed to befriend Thomas, convincing him that he did not need to change anything about himself for the Great Railway Show and that he was perfect the way he is, before telling him about the shunting challenge and that he could compete in the event. Thomas gladly accepted the offer, but was unfortunately damaged in an accident before he could be taken to the show. The Fat Controller took Ashima with him and the other Sudrian engines who would be competing to the Great Railway Show.
At the Great Railway Show, Ashima competed in the shunting challenge against Gina, Raul, Ivan and Thomas, who managed to make it to the Great Railway Show after all. However, when the race was briefly interrupted by Vinnie, Ashima helped Thomas hold Vinnie back in order to allow Philip to escape. After that, the shunting race resumed, and Ashima ended up winning after Thomas sacrificed his chance of winning when he ran into a flatbed that would have been on her track. However, both were declared the winners of the shunting challenge. When the Fat Controller came over to congratulate Thomas, Ashima mysteriously disappeared.
Thomas and the other engines searched all throughout the yard to find Ashima, when he found her taking on water. Ashima told Thomas that she would have to leave Sodor and return to India, but decided to stay a little while longer. Ashima went back to Sodor with Thomas and the other engines, where she would then take a ship back to her home country. (TVS; The Great Race)
Ashima is based on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway X class, an 0-8-2T rack-and-pinion compound locomotive which is used on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway in Tamil Nadu, India. At least twenty-one of these engines have been produced, and some of them have been converted to oil-burning engines. Ashima appears to be based on the oil-burning version of the class, as she carries her oil tank on top of her boiler just in front of her cab.
Ashima is also modified so that she can work on British standard gauge railway lines. She is scaled up from 3ft 3 3⁄8in (metre gauge) to 4'8½" (standard gauge), and is fitted with bufferbeams, buffers, brakepipes and screwlink couplings. She also does not have the rear cowcatcher that her basis carries.
Ashima is painted in bright colours and patterns, all inspired by Indian textiles and henna tattoos. She is painted magenta with white lining, with orange and green detailing in the corners of the lining. Her wheels, bufferbeams and running board are painted indigo, and her cylinders are painted orange with white and and pink crescent-shaped patterns. Her boiler, dome, funnel, the front of her cylinders and her front bufferbeam are painted in several orange, white and green patterns.
- For unknown reasons, Ashima's two front wheels are not connected to her siderods.