After 73 years on television, children's classic Thomas the Tank Engine is getting an overhaul.

The popular British TV show is adding female trains to the mix, which premieres on the UK's Channel 5 next week.

Not only will the new trains feature women, but they will represent different countries and nationalities from around the world.

Isla, an Australian flying doctor, Hong-Mei, a number one blue tank from China, Nia from Africa and Churubala, a female controller from India will all be introduced as Thomas heads abroad.

The show has been developed with the United Nations as part of its sustainable development program, ensuring to focus on gender equality and comes off the back of market research from around the world.

The iconic theme song, which has already been updated previously, has been given an overhaul to introduce the new friends.

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Nia the African train is one of the multicultural females that Thomas will meet in his new adventures abroad.

The "Steam Team" will now have three male and three female characters including Percy, James, Gordon, Emily and new members Nia and Rebecca, as well as Thomas.

The unveiling is intending to capture a brand new generation with updated graphics, vibrant colours and catchy tunes.

Say goodbye to the "Fat Controller", as Thomas himself will become the narrator, introducing his new friends to the world around them.

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