'Arry and Bert (also known as Iron 'Arry and Iron 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.

Biography

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 threatened to scrap him. Thankfully, Stepney was saved by the Fat Controller, once the diesels had left.

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. Later, 'Arry and Bert played the same trick on James. Sometime later, they frightened Fergus away from the smelters and bullied Neville, which made the engines think he was planning to bump them.

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 for having a whistle. Percy paid them back by creeping up behind them and blowing on his whistle. Later, along with Diesel, 'Arry and Bert began teasing Thomas for being smelly, but were later covered in stinky cheese.

'Arry and Bert were also part of the group of diesels that took over the Sodor Steamworks. They later teased Henry because 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.

'Arry and Bert liked being rough and tough along with Diesel, but they realised Diesel was trying to be nice to everyone. So Thomas took 'Arry and Bert to the ducklings while Diesel followed behind them. Diesel, 'Arry and Bert then realised the ducklings were cute.

When Diesel had bumped Daisy, he caused her springs to break. A rumour spread about Daisy being scrapped and Mavis told 'Arry and Bert about the rumour, which horrified the two and they both told Diesel, who thought that they were blaming him

Personalities

'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".

'Arry and Bert also have a tendency to act scheming, slimy, greasy and oozy. 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.

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.

Technical Details

Basis

'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.

Livery

'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.

Appearances

Thomas & Friends

  • Series 5 - Stepney Gets Lost (Bert does not speak)
  • Series 6- Twin Trouble (Bert only; cameo) and Middle Engine
  • Series 7- Bill, Ben and Fergus (cameo), James and the Queen of Sodor (cameos) and Fergus Breaks the Rules
  • Series 8- Percy's New Whistle, Thomas to the Rescue (does not speak), Percy's Big Mistake (cameo), Halloween and Percy and the Magic Carpet (cameo)
  • Series 9 - Thomas and the New Engine
  • Series 11 - Dirty Work (cameo), Hide and Peep ('Arry only; cameo) and Thomas and the Stinky Cheese
  • Series 12 - Don't Go Back (do not speak) and Gordon Takes a Shortcut (cameo)
  • Series 14 - Victor Says Yes and Thomas in Charge (cameo)
  • Series 15 - Edward the Hero (cameo) and Henry's Happy Coal
  • Series 16 - Ol' Wheezy Wobbles and Bust My Buffers!
  • Series 18 - Signals Crossed (cameo) and Thomas and the Quarry Engine (cameo)
  • 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 (do not speak)
  • Series 22 - Banjo and the Bushfire (life lesson; cameo)
  • Series 23 - Steam Team to the Rescue (cameo)

They will appear in the twenty fourth series.

Specials

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

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
  • Season 10 - There's Always Something New and Responsibility
  • Day of the Diesels - Day of the Diesels
  • The Great Race - I'm Full of Surprises (cameo)
  • Journey Beyond Sodor - I Want to Go Home (cameo)
  • Series 21 - Set Friendship in Motion and Trying
  • Big World! Big Adventures! - Where in the World is Thomas? (cameo)

Learning Segments

  • Season 8 - Steamies and Diesels Sounds (cameo)
  • Calling All Engines! - Diesel Engines and Steam Engines are Different (do not speak) and Which Diesel Engine with Which Steam Engines? (do not speak)

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 (cameo) and Bridge Bother (does not speak)
  • 2008 - Flower Engine (does not speak)
  • 2011 - Victor Says Yes (does not speak), Flower Engine (does 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)

Voice Actors

'Arry

  • Kerry Shale (UK/US; fourteenth series onwards)
  • Moriya Endo (Japan; fifth series only)
  • Yuki Sato (Japan; sixth - eighth series)
  • Shinichi Namiki (Japan; Calling All Engines! onwards)
  • Jurgen Holdorf (Germany; fifteenth season onwards; excluding Audio Books)
  • Holger Potzern (Germany; Audio Book; Calling All Engines! only)
  • Ben Hecker (Germany; Audio Book 11 only)
  • Christoffer Staib (Norway; fourteenth - sixteenth series)
  • TBA (Norway; twentieth series onwards)
  • Jan Kulczycki (Poland; fifteenth series onwards)
  • Victor Delgado (Latin America; fourteenth - sixteenth series)
  • Oscar Gomez (Latin America; twentieth series onwards)
  • Fernando Castro (Spain; fourteenth series onwards)
  • Michel Lasorne (France and French speaking Canada; eighth - eleventh series)
  • Jukka Voutilainen (Finland; fourteenth series only)
  • Pasi Ruohonen (Finland; fifteenth series onwards)

Bert

  • Kerry Shale (UK/US; fourteenth-fifteenth series)
  • William Hope (UK/US; sixteenth series onwards)
  • Keiji Hirai (Japan; sixth - eighth series)
  • Shinichi Namiki (Japan; Calling All Engines! onwards)
  • Rainer Schmitt (Germany; fifteenth series onwards; excluding Audio Books)
  • Lutz Harder (Germany; Audio Book; Calling All Engines! only)
  • Klaus Dittmann (Germany; Audio Book 11 only)
  • Sigbjorn Solheim (Norway; fourteenth - sixteenth series)
  • TBA (Norway; twentieth series onwards)
  • Mieczyslaw Moranski (Poland; fourteenth series only)
  • Piotr Bak (Poland; fifteenth series onwards)
  • Jorge Roig (Latin America; fourteenth - sixteenth series)
  • Cesar Soto (Latin America; twentieth series onwards)
  • Michel Lasorne (France and French speaking Canada; eighth - eleventh series)
  • Pasi Ruohonen (Finland; fourteenth series onwards)

Trivia

  • 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 is called "Harry" in Japan.
  • 'Arry and Bert's television series models do not have handrails, although some of their merchandise lines do.
  • 'Arry and Bert's fifth season 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.
  • 'Arry and Bert have gone through a few changes in the television series:
    • Series 6:
      • Their side rods change from silver to black.
      • Their faces became smaller.
      • The text, "Sodor Ironworks", on their sides became bigger.
      • Their models were significantly less weathered than the pervious series.
    • Series 12:
      • Their faces become smaller still.
    • Series 14:
      • Their faces returned to the size they were in Season 5.
      • They gained new horn sounds.
    • Series 18:
      • They each gained a tail-lamp.
  • On 'Arry's trading card, he is depicted with more stubble than Bert, 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, to date, it will still be unknown when he's getting a classics 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 through the NS Class 600 resembles a British Rail Class 11 more than a British Rail Class 08, which is 'Arry and Bert's basis.
  • '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.

Quotes

"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 season

"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 season

"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 season

Merchandise

  • 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 (Shazam)
    • Electrified Minis (Bert only)
    • Space Minis (Bert only)
    • Aquatic Minis (Bert as a jelly fish; with 'Arry's face mask; Bert only)
    • Icky Minis (Cockroach; Bert only)
  • Adventures (Bert only; cancelled; discontinued)
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