- 'm not sure people will want to ride on an old traction engine, after travelling in a smart red bus like me!"
- — Bertie teasing Trevor, Edward, Trevor and the Really Useful Party, third season
Bio in the Railway Series
After Thomas became stuck in a snowdrift, Bertie came to rescue Thomas' passengers. He later raced Thomas after claiming he was the faster of the two, but lost after having to stop at a traffic light.
When Thomas' fireman did not come into work, Bertie promised to help his passengers catch Edward's train, however he was late at the junction and missed him at the station. Bertie chased after him, and almost caught him at the next station, but arrived just as he left. Due to being able to climb hills better than him, Bertie finally caught up to Edward at the third station. Edward apologised to Bertie for the chase, and the passengers cheered at him.
When the Viaduct was being repaired, the Main Line engines were delayed in bringing Thomas his passengers, thus making Thomas late in meeting Bertie at the stations along the branch. Bertie teased Thomas about being slow because of this, and even challenged him to another race, but had to eat his words after breaking down. Thomas took his passengers home and called for help at the next station. When he was repaired, Bertie apologised to Thomas for teasing him and thanked him for helping his passengers.
Bertie was once mentioned as being sick and unable to help Toby and Henrietta with carrying the quarry workers.
After the partial collapse of Henry's Tunnel, Bertie helped pick up visitors who wanted to see the bust of the Thin Clergyman unveiled at Tidmouth.
Bio in the Television Series
As in the television series, Bertie reprised some of his roles from the Railway Series, but was later chosen to take visitors to the Vicar's party, and teased Trevor by calling him a "stick-in-the-mud" and old fashioned. However, he got his comeuppance when he got himself stuck in the mud and had to be pulled out by Terence. After that, Bertie thanked Trevor and gave him an apology for teasing him.
When Edward had an accident on the day before he was to take the Brass Band to a concert, Bertie had to take them instead, but got stuck in the mud again. Luckily, Edward was repaired and took the Brass Band to their concert.
Bertie is continuously alluding to his race with Thomas and how he could win next time. He actually raced Thomas again in the seventh season episode, Three Cheers for Thomas, but only won because Thomas was sidetracked with collecting the sport medals.
Bertie and Thomas have seemed to continue this tradition of racing. However, in the seventeenth season, he was re-routed giving him an advantage. Thomas is still able to beat him occasionally.
In the nineteenth season, he, Thomas and Spencer got into an argument after Mr. Percival claimed two wheels was best; Bertie argued four wheels was in fact best. He tried to prove his point by taking The Duke and Duchess of Boxford to Callan Castle after both Thomas and Spencer failed to do so, but he too failed after receiving a flat tyre. Harold eventually came to the Duke and Duchess' rescue. He later teased Thomas by telling him about what was on the other side of a mountain on his branch line. Thomas was cross by Bertie's teasing and became determined to find out what was there. Thomas eventually discovered it was a roadside billboard Bertie was describing, though he got into an accident while trying to find out. Bertie visited him at the Steamworks and apologised, though Thomas was able to trick him into believing that he was getting fitted with wings.
In Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure, while he and Thomas were racing, Thomas nearly collided with Toby, and he nearly collided with Oliver the Excavator. At Ffarquhar, he complained that he was always getting stuck behind slow construction vehicles since construction of the new branch line had started. He was then seen on the road by the Harwick Branch Line. Sheep were in his way, but Bertie just smiled.
Bertie is friendly and ready to help anyone in need. However, he can be quite cocky and boastful about himself, especially to Thomas, always joking around and teasing him about their races. He can sometimes be quite grumpy, as whenever he breaks down or gets stuck, he grumbles about it. He is always, however, easy-going and cheerful to everyone he sees.
Bertie is based on an AEC Regal "T Class" London Country Area bus. 8 of these are known to survive in preservation. One of these, T31, is believed to have been the first bus to be privately preserved in the UK.
Bertie is painted in the common red livery of buses in the United Kingdom, mostly famously used by London Transport. His number plate, CRD54, refers to the fact that it was first seen in Edward the Blue Engine, published in 1954, and illustrated by C. Reginald Dalby.
Bertie on the Big Screen
Bertie was voiced by Kevin Frank in Thomas and the Magic Railroad. In the film, when Thomas headed off to find Mr. Conductor after the meeting with the engines, Bertie asked Thomas if he wanted to have a race, but Thomas said he had no time and apologised to Bertie when he unable to race with him. Later, Bertie passed and greeted Thomas that he had five coal trucks instead of six.