Bio in the Railway Series
Bert worked on an unnamed line in England until 1967, at which time it closed down and he, Rex and Mike were sent toSodor to work the Arlesdale Railway. Some time after his arrival, Bert took offence when the Reverend W. Awdry and theReverend Teddy Boston accidentally sprayed him with mud while passing him in their car, and in retaliation, Bert drenched the Reverend Teddy Boston with water when he took a ride in Bert's cab. However, both parties made up and as a result, Bert was featured in the Reverend W. Awdry's next book, Small Railway Engines.
For a long time Bert had trouble with steaming, but this has stopped since he was rebuilt with a taller chimney (with Kylchap blastpipe) and cab in 1973, giving his current narrow gauge outline appearance.
Bio in the Television Series
Marion first met Bert and Rex in the Arlesburgh Woods while she was heading up to assist the construction of the new branch line when the two of them streaked past on the other side of some bushes. Marion thought she was seeing things, and subsequently shut her eyes, resulting in her collision with Oliver and Toad under the chute. Marion was positively alarmed when she saw Mike shunting ballast wagons up the chute to fill Oliver's train, until Toad introduced them. Marion was doubtful of the engines' existence due to their miniscule size. Mike replied somewhat hostily that they were responsible for bringing all of the ballast for the new line, while Bert and Rex more kindly explained about wool traffic and passenger service. The following day when Thomas came up to their junction depressed that The Fat Controller withdrew his branch line, Bert, along with the other two, sang Never Overlook A Little Engine to cheer their friend up. Though it worked, Thomas became so eager to help out with the line's construction that he ended up falling into Calles Cavern. At dusk that day, Marion reappeared at their junction to make a wish, and while Rex and Bert managed to escape unnoticed, Mike had the misfortune to be the one Marion made her wish to. Two nights later whenSailor John came through trying to escape using the pirate ship, Bert, Rex and Mike shoved a train of ballast wagons off the chute to slow it down after hearing Thomas yell for them to help. As the ship slowed down, Ryan then inadvertently derailed the ship.
Bert is the quietest of the Arlesdale Railway engines. He appears to be very easy going and friendly. One thing Bert doesn’t like, however, is the idea that bigger engines (and some people) might look down on the little engines just because they’re small. Bert usually gets on with his jobs without complaining and doesn’t mind what kind of work he does as long as he’s treated with respect.
Bert is based on the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway's River Irt pre-1972 shape. River Irt also appeared in aseventeenth season learning segment which featured Mr. Perkins.
Bert is painted NWR blue with red-and-yellow lining. He has a brass dome, red nameplates with yellow writing mounted each side of his boiler and "Arlesdale" written on his tender in yellow. In the Railway Series his wheels are painted black, but in the television series they are blue.