Richard Hatt is the son of the current Fat Controller and is likely to take over the role once his father retires.
Prior to Donald's accident and Douglas' subsequent overhaul, the engines were assembled at Knapford Yard as to learn about the changes that would be occurring on the railway because of it. They eagerly awaited the arrival of Sir Stephen Topham Hatt, the Fat Controller, and were surprised when they saw Richard arriving in fine fashion aboard Winston. After Richard tells the engines about Donald and Douglas, he also tells them that the Fat Controller is considering retiring and the "handing of the torch" may not be too far off in the future. Though the engines are skeptical, they recognize that he is a good man, and will most likely make a fine controller (though he might not fit the informal title).
Richard implemented a suggestion box for the engines and crews, optimistic that it would provide a voice for the engine's concerns. However, only a few of the submissions were actually feasible suggestions, and when Diesel's joke of "Gordon is a Galloping Sausage" came in, the other engines left in disgust, leaving Richard a little discouraged, though he did seriously consider the idea of increasing Sodor's recycling options, which had been proposed by Whiff. His father later assured him that there are people in line to help him learn through these mistakes, and found that one suggestion, which proposed a new branch line from Arlesburgh to Harwick as an alternative to the Little Western Extension, was left unread. Richard thus watched his father take the suggestion box to be burned, and claim the idea (Which had been proposed by Daisy) as his own. Richard sadly murmured that it was his favorite box as he returned to reviewing the NWR packet.
Richard is passionate about railways and writes about the Sudrian engines in magazines, allowing him to be well-received as far as the engines are concerned. Though he might take awhile to mold into the iconic figure his father has been for decades, he is good at heart and the engines can mostly agree that he will make a fine Fat Controller for decades to come.
Richard means well but in terms of running a railway properly, he will have to go through a little trial and error.
- Season 2: Thomas and the Fortune Teller (cameo)
- Season 3: Perhaps He's Got a Corset, The Suggestion Box, Penn Pals (cameo), Ice Breaker (cameo), Percy and Asbestos