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'Arry and Bert are twin diesel shunters who work at the smelters and scrapyards of the Sodor Ironworks. They have also been seen frequently working at the Ffarquhar Quarry.


Thomas & Friends

In their first appearance, 'Arry and Bert crept alongside a lonely Stepney, who had mysteriously been sent to the smelters by mistake. They shunted Stepney into the larger smelting shed underneath a giant grabber and left him there to be scrapped. Thankfully, Stepney was saved by the Fat Controller at the last second.

Despite being villainous, 'Arry and Bert are also known for playing tricks on steam engines, such as making them "middle engines". Once, they shunted trucks in front and behind Percy. This later led Percy to being pushed onto the coal tipper by mistake. When Jamestook over Percy's duties following the incident, 'Arry and Bert played the same trick on him. Some time later, they gave Fergus, who was tricked into going to the smelters by Diesel, such a fright that he broke the rules and ran away. On another occasion, they bullied Neville by making him think he wasn't close enough to his trucks, causing him to bump into them, and insulting and laughing at him for his mistake, calling him "clumsy wheels".

On some occasions, 'Arry and Bert's teasing ways backfire. Once, they played a ghostly prank on Thomas and Emily during Halloween, though they ran away when they thought Emily was a ghost. Another time, 'Arry and Bert teased Percy when he whistled hello, and Bert loudly blew his horn to one-up Percy, rattling him. Percy paid them back by creeping up behind them and blowing his whistle as loudly as possible. Later, Diesel, 'Arry and Bert began teasing Thomas for being smelly, but were later covered in stinky cheese. By the time they had a washdown, they, along with Diesel, were assigned the task of shunting Thomas' delivery of stinky cheese while Thomas gets a washdown, much to Thomas' delight.

'Arry and Bert were also part of the group of diesels that took over the Sodor Steamworks. In another episode, the pair teased Henrybecause of the coal he had to use by calling him "Mr. Special Steam". They also laughed at Gordon after he ran into Diesel's flatbed and damaged his bufferbeam.

Diesel claims that his friends, 'Arry and Bert, like him because he is rough and tough, to which they responded in kind as they passed by, despite chasing a butterfly at the moment. Thomas attempted to blackmail Diesel into being nice to everyone with the threat of telling 'Arry and Bert of his secret affection for a group of ducklings. When Diesel broke this promise, Thomas took 'Arry and Bert to the ducklings while Diesel followed behind them. Although Thomas had intended for this to embarrass Diesel, he soon found out that 'Arry and Bert also took a liking to the ducklings and are just as big softies as Diesel when it comes to them.

When Diesel had bumped Daisy, breaking her springs, Mavis told 'Arry and Bert that Den and Dart say she may have to be scrapped, horrifying them. They told Diesel, who thought that they were blaming him.


'Arry and Bert are unquestionably devious and scheming. They feel superior to steam engines and working at the scrap yards, they enjoy the chance to break up engines or at least make their lives more difficult. Due to their grim task, they have earned a reputation on Sodor as "The Grim Messengers of Doom". According to their merchandise bios, they wish to scrap Oliver and Stepney, who have both escaped the cutter's torch once before. They have also attempted to scrap Fergus.

'Arry and Bert also have a tendency to act scheming, slimy, greasy and oozy, playing tricks and coming up with schemes to make the steam engines' lives miserable and more difficult.

However, despite their prejudices, the diesels have co-operated with steam engines on occasions and when they are in trouble, steam engines often come to the rescue.

They also have a soft spot for ducklings and chase butterflies, and they appear to be more level-headed and have a caring side when it comes to hearing about a fellow diesel potentially having to be scrapped.

Technical Details


'Arry and Bert are based on BR Class 08 diesel-electric shunters. 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. Diesel, the Diesel Shunter, Splatter, Dodge, Paxton, Sidney, Ulli and the Mainland Diesels are also members of this class.

'Arry and Bert's basis


'Arry and Bert are painted green-grey with yellow hazard stripes on their fronts with yellow cabs. They have "Sodor Ironworks" written on their sides in white.


Thomas & Friends

  • Series 5 - Stepney Gets Lost (Arry not named; Bert does not speak)
  • Series 6 - Twin Trouble (Arry or Bert cameo) and Middle Engine
  • Series 7 - Bill, Ben and Fergus (cameos)James and the Queen of Sodor (cameos) and Fergus Breaks the Rules
  • Series 8 - Percy's New WhistleThomas to the Rescue (do not speak)Percy's Big Mistake (cameos)Halloween and Percy and the Magic Carpet (cameos)
  • Series 9 - Thomas and the New Engine
  • Series 11 - Dirty Work (cameos), Hide and Peep (Arry or Bert cameo) and Thomas and the Stinky Cheese
  • Series 12 - Don't Go Back (do not speak) and Gordon Takes a Shortcut (cameos)
  • Series 14 - Victor Says Yes and Thomas in Charge (cameos)
  • Series 15 - Edward the Hero (cameos) and Henry's Happy Coal
  • Series 16 - Ol' Wheezy Wobbles and Bust My Buffers!
  • Series 18 - Signals Crossed (cameos) and Thomas the Quarry Engine (cameos)
  • Series 19 - Salty All at Sea (Arry only; cameo)
  • Series 20 - Diesel and the Ducklings
  • Series 21 - Springtime for Diesel, Dowager Hatt's Busy Day (Arry only; cameo) and The Big Freeze (cameos)
  • Series 23 -  Steam Team to the Rescue (cameos)


  • 2005 - Calling All Engines!
  • 2008 - The Great Discovery (cameos)
  • 2011 - Day of the Diesels
  • 2016 - The Great Race (cameos)
  • 2017 - Journey Beyond Sodor (cameos)
  • 2018 - Big World! Big Adventures! (cameos)

Music Videos

  • Series 7 - There Once Was an Engine Who Ran Away
  • Calling All Engines! - Trying, Together and Engine Roll Call
  • Series 9 - Pride
  • Jack and the Sodor Construction Company - The Work Song
  • Series 10 - There's Always Something New and Responsibility
  • Day of the Diesels - Day of the Diesels
  • The Great Race - I'm Full of Surprises (cameos)
  • Journey Beyond Sodor - I Want to Go Home (cameos)
  • Series 21 - Set Friendship in Motion and Trying
  • Big World! Big Adventures! - Where in the World is Thomas? (cameos)

Learning Segments

  • Series 8 - Steamies and Diesels Sounds (cameos)
  • Calling All Engines! - Diesel Engines and Steam Engines are Different and Which Diesel Engine with Which Steam Engine?

Magazine Stories

  • 2004 - Steam Power (Arry only)
  • 2005 - Thomas' Hallowe'en (Bert does not speak)
  • 2006 - Percy's New Whistle, Thomas and the New Engine (cameos) and Bridge Bother (do not speak)
  • 2008 - Flower Engine (do not speak)
  • 2011 - Victor Says Yes (do not speak), Flower Engine (do not speak) and Creepy Claw
  • 2012 - Henry's Happy Coal, Ol' Wheezy Wobbles (Arry only; cameo) and Fish and Ships (Arry only; does not speak)
  • 2014 - Wobbly Ol' Wheezy (Arry only; cameo)
  • 2015 - Bust My Buffers!
  • 2017 - Diesel and the Ducklings (Arry speaks in speech bubble only; Bert does not speak)

Audio Files



First used Last used Sound Effect
Calling All Engines! Series 11
First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 14 Active



First used Last used Sound Effect
Calling All Engines! Series 11
First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 14 Active


  • The two are not quite identical: Bert has more stubble.
  • Bert is the first character in the franchise to share his name with another character and the second to do so in the television series.
  • The 1998 Official Website and Question Time with Sir Topham Hatt called 'Arry and Bert "The Yellow Diesels".
  • In merchandising and the official website, the twins are named "Iron 'Arry" and "Iron Bert".
  • 'Arry and Bert were possibly named after the nicknames of two brothers, from the 1970s BBC animated children's show Adventures of Sir Prancelot. These characters full names were Harold and Albert respectively.[3].
  • 'Arry is called "Harry" in the Japanese and Norwegian dubs respectively.
  • 'Arry and Bert's television series models do not have handrails, although some of their merchandise lines do.
  • 'Arry and Bert's fifth series models were repainted and constructed into Splatter and Dodge for Thomas and the Magic Railroad.
  • A model of 'Arry and one of Bert used to be on display in Canada at Nitrogen Studios.
  • 'Arry's name was not revealed until merchandising of him was released.
  • On 'Arry's trading card and Bachmann model, he is depicted with more stubble than Bert, the opposite of how they usually are.
  • There were a few occasions where they went faster than their basis' top speed.
  • 'Arry is the only character whose Mini does not have a classic variant, despite having a DC comics variant. 
  • 'Arry and Bert's liveries might have been inspired by the NS Class 600's livery of black and yellow in some merchandise, even though the NS Class 600 resembles a British Rail Class 11 more than a British Rail Class 08, which is 'Arry and Bert's basis.


“Stepney was all alone, but not for long. Two diesels approached.
"Got ya this time, Stepney. You'll make very fine scrap indeed. Buffer 'im, Bert!"
The diesels took him to the large smelting shed
"Bye-bye, Stepney!" said the diesel.”
―'Arry and Bert's introduction, "Stepney Gets Lost", fifth series
“The next day, James arrived at the smelters. He was determined not to be tricked by 'Arry and Bert.
"'allo, James!" oozed 'Arry. "Come to learn a thing or two from those who know?"
"Just get my trucks ready and stay out of my way!" huffed James importantly.
"Yes, sir". Bert chimed greasily.”
―James meets 'Arry and Bert, "Middle Engine", sixth series
“Fergus and his driver arrived at the smelters.
"I want to go back to the Cement Works! None of the other engines like coming here, its so scary!"
"You're right!" said his driver.
Just then, the scrap diesels emerged.
"'Ello! Are you happy to be here?"
"Noooooo!" cried Fergus.”
―Fergus meets 'Arry and Bert, "Fergus Breaks the Rules", seventh series


  • ERTL (discontinued)
  • Wooden Railway (normal, oil-covered; discontinued; cheese-covered Bert; discontinued)
  • Take Along (normal and metallic; discontinued)
  • Take-n-Play (discontinued)
  • TrackMaster (discontinued)
  • Bachmann (discontinued)
  • Hornby (discontinued)
  • Lionel (discontinued, later reintroduced with LionChief remote)
  • My First Thomas ('Arry only with Bert's face discontinued)
  • My Thomas Story Library (discontinued)
  • Trading Cards (discontinued)
  • De Agostini (discontinued)
  • Minis
    • Classic Minis (Bert only)
    • Neon Minis (Bert only)
    • DC Super Friends Minis ('Arry as Shazam (2015 & 2016) and Bert as Shazam (2017))
    • Electrified Minis (Bert only)
    • Space Minis (Bert only)
    • Aquatic Minis (Bert as a jellyfish; with 'Arry's face mask)
  • Adventures (Bert only; discontinued)


  1. ↑ #Trivia
  2. ↑ T&F S7 #19 "Fergus Breaks the Rules"
  3. ↑ "Origin of 'Arry and Bert's names"