Thomas and Bertie's Great Race is the fourteenth episode of the first series.


Thomas is waiting at a junction when a bus drives up alongside him. The bus introduces himself as Bertie, who remembers Thomas from the time he took his passengers home after Thomas crashed into a snowdrift and tells Thomas that he has come to help his passengers today. Thomas claims that he can go faster than Bertie. Bertie then challenges Thomas to a race. Their drivers agree and Thomas and Bertie begin their race.

As it takes Thomas a while to build up speed, Bertie draws in front at the beginning of the race until he reaches the level crossing, where Thomas passes him and takes the lead. After that, the road leaves the railway and Thomas stops at the next station to collect passengers. He tells them to get in quickly and as he starts off again, he sees Bertie zooming over the bridge and retaking the lead. Thomas tries to catch up, but he has to stop at the junction because the signal is up. Bertie continues on gleefully and Thomas now feels sure that he will lose the race, but he feels better after a drink and is ready to continue just as the signal drops.

While crossing the bridge, Thomas finds that he still has a chance to win, seeing Bertie waiting on a traffic light. As Bertie starts again, Thomas reaches full speed and takes the lead as he passes Bertie at the tunnel and makes it to the last station, winning the race. Everyone cheers for Thomas, but they also give Bertie a big cheer. Bertie congratulates Thomas and remarks that he would have had to be an aeroplane to beat him over the hill.

The two friends are now kept very busy with each other and often talk about their race, but the passengers do not like to bounce around and the Fat Controller warns Thomas about running at dangerous speeds. Although it does not seem likely the two will ever race again, they secretly hope to have another someday.



  • Elsbridge
  • Ffarquhar
  • Dryaw
  • River Els
  • Wellsworth Bridge
  • The Windmill
  • Terence's Field
  • Hackenbeck Tunnel
  • Knapford Bus Yard
  • Rail Under Road Bridge and Signalbox
  • Lower Arlesburgh


  • This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Tank Engine Thomas Again.
  • Stock footage from Thomas and Gordon and Thomas and the Guard is used.
  • The shot of Thomas passing the windmill was featured in the show's original opening.
  • The episode can be seen in a Japanese PC game, Magical Adventure.
  • At one point, Thomas is on Toby's old tramway.
  • This marks the last appearance of Terence's Field until the twenty-first series episode, Terence Breaks the Ice, not counting stock footage in the second series episode, Better Late Than Never.
  • The house by the level crossing is really the Lower Arlesburgh station building.


  • When Thomas and Bertie are about to start their race, in the bottom left corner of the screen, a camera shadow can be seen.
  • Thomas has Percy's tired face mask on when he puffs into Elsbridge.
  • The narrator says "After that, the road left the railway so they couldn't see Bertie," but there is a road right next to Thomas.
  • The plane seen taking off as Thomas and his coaches leave Dryaw suddenly stops moving before they have passed the camera.
  • In a close-up of Bertie, he has no driver.
  • In the shot of Thomas racing past Lower Arlesburgh, the end of the set is visible in the background.
  • In the shot of Thomas entering the tunnel, in the top left corner, studio equipment can be seen.
  • Annie and Clarabel keep changing positions throughout the race.
  • In the restored version, studio equipment can be seen when Thomas pulls into Ffarquhar after the race.
  • In a close-up of Thomas, we can see a camera capture on his coupling.
  • The narrator says Bertie was fuming at the gates, but Bertie looks happy.
  • Because stock footage is used, sometimes Annie and Clarabel are not behind Thomas.
  • When Thomas stops at Elsbridge, he passes the end of the platform, but when he is drinking water, he has moved backwards.
  • In the final scene, studio equipment can be seen in the top left corner.

Home Media Releases


VHS/DVD Boxsets

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