|Bertie the Bus|
|Thomas & Friends character|
|First appearance||Tank Engine Thomas Again (1949)|
|Created by||Rev. W. Awdry|
Bertie the Bus is a small red bus character from The Railway Series books by the Rev. W Awdry and who also appears in the spin-off children's television series Thomas & Friends.
Bertie first appeared in "Thomas, Terence and the Snow", a story in Tank Engine Thomas Again (published 1949). His first major appearance came in the next story, "Thomas and Bertie", where he had his famous race with Thomas. The story proved to be very popular, which ensured that Bertie would return. He did eventually return, in "Edward the Blue Engine", becoming the only non-rail character to appear in more than one book by the Reverend Awdry. He made one final appearance in More About Thomas the Tank Engine (published in 1986), by Christopher Awdry, though has had numerous mentions under Christopher's name.
TV series character
Bertie is first seen rescuing Thomas' passengers after Thomas gets stuck in a snowdrift adjacent to Mrs Kyndley's cottage, though the character is not properly introduced until the following story, "Thomas and Bertie". Bertie's most famous adventure was challenging Thomas to a race in which Thomas eventually won. Bertie also had to chase after Edward after he left the station without Thomas' passengers.
Thomas and Bertie do in fact have a lot more races in the television series. One is in the Season 7 finale, "3 Cheers for Thomas", but Bertie only won because Thomas was sidetracked with running an errand for the Fat Controller.
He is one of the best known non-rail characters in the television series. He is cheerful and boisterous, and although he enjoys a good-natured rivalry with the engines, he is most usually seen helping them out, whether bringing passengers or assisting when the railway is out of action.
From 2011 to 2012, Bertie was voiced by Rupert Degas (UK/US). From 2013 onwards, he is currently voiced by Keith Wickham (UK/US) in the CGI version of the series.
Bertie has appeared in every season of the series except for the 22nd, excluding a stock footage cameo in "Seeing is Believing".
In Series 23 Bertie has a new look in 2019, along with Bulgy (who was helping him after he was send for repairs).
Bertie appeared in feature length specials including: Thomas and the Magic Railroad, The Great Discovery, Misty Island Rescue, Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure, The Great Race, and Big Worlds! Big Adventures!.
Thomas and the Magic Railroad
In the film Thomas and the Magic Railroad, Bertie was voiced by Kevin Frank. In this, Bertie had a habit of saying, "Vroom-vroom!" at the end of his speeches. This habit was carried over into the television series for a short time. He also asks Thomas to have a race which is a reference to Thomas and Bertie, Better Late Than Never, and Trust Thomas.