Wikia

Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia

Bill and Ben

Redirected from Ben

6,267pages on
this wiki
Comments20
This article is about the engines. You may be looking for the Story Library book or the annual story.
"There's no real harm in them, but they're maddening at times."
— Edward, The Diseasel, Main Line Engines


BillCGIpromo2BenCGIpromo2
Bill and Ben
  • Numbers: SCC 1 and SCC 2 respectively
  • Class: Bagnall 0-4-0STs
  • Designer: W.F. Bagnall
  • Builder: W.F. Bagnall
  • Configuration: 0-4-0ST
  • Built: 1948
  • Arrived on Sodor: Sometime between 1949-1964

Bill and Ben are tank engine twins that work for the Sodor China Clay Company, near Brendam, though they have also been known to work at Centre Island Quarry. They enjoy playing tricks and being cheeky to bigger engines.

Bio in the Railway Series

Main Line Engines

Bill and Ben make their first appearance listening to Percy recount the time he got caught in a flood helping Thomas, before being shooed off by Henry. One day, Bill and Ben returned from shunting some trucks to find that some other trucks they had shunted earlier were missing. Their drivers, after examining a puddle of oil on the ground, concluded a diesel was responsible. After the twins argued over who brought the "diseasel" into the yard, the drivers suggested they go looking for the diesel. The twins were horrified at the possibility that the "diseasel" might magic them away like he did with the trucks, but their drivers quickly persuaded them otherwise, and so they set off.

At last, the twins found the "diseasel". While Ben ran behind, Bill confronted the "diseasel" over the theft. The "diseasel" claimed the trucks were his and ordered Bill to "go away"; Bill pretended to be frightened and slunk away, remarking, "You'll be sorry". With that, Ben ran up and accused the "diseasel" of being a "truck stealer", before running back so Bill could run up again. This continued until the "diseasel", under the impression that there was only one very swift and annoying saddletank, became so giddy that his eyes "nearly popped out", just as the twins puffed up beside him. The "diseasel", initially confused, laughed at his ignorance. When Edward arrived moments later, inquiring as to why Bill and Ben were not shunting, the twins angrily claimed that the "diseasel" had sneaked into their yard and stolen their trucks. Edward soon realized what was going on and explained the situation. The twins, embarrassed, apologised to the "diseasel", who asked to be called BoCo, and then left to shunt some more trucks, leaving Edward and BoCo to laugh about the incident.

A few days later, after BoCo took the Express in James' "absence", Edward recounted what Gordon had said about branch lines to the twins. The next morning, after Gordon ended up at Brendam after a series of events involving poor preparations and a large floppy green hat, the twins snuck up beside him and loudly recounted what Gordon had said about branch lines. Concluding that the engine beside them could not be Gordon, the two declared he was nothing more than a pile of old scrap-iron, and began to contemplate what they should do (Bill was all for sending Gordon to be scrapped, while Ben favoured the more humane option of dumping him in the sea), all the while ignoring Gordon's protests, until at last, BoCo arrived. Gordon begged him to save him, and so BoCo threatened the twins to leave with the trucks he had brought. The twins quickly left, leaving Gordon with BoCo. BoCo wisely neglected to tell Gordon the twins were joking.

Sometime later, a group of enthusiasts came to visit the railways of Sodor. When Edward brought them to Brendam, the twins took them to the China Clay Workings in a brakevan special.

Thomas and the Twins

In 1988, Thomas was sent to work on Edward's Branch Line while repairs were carried out on the bridge. The twins were quick to tease him about his colour, but Edward was savvy enough to send the twins away before an argument broke out.

After Thomas returned to the Yard, covered in dairy from a collision with a farm lorry, the two teased him even more about his new livery. This continued until Edward announced a party of enthusiasts were coming, and threatened that he would not bring them to see the twins. The twins, excited, decided instead to worry about their own paint - e.g., how clean it was - although one day, when the drivers remarked that "the enthusiasts [would not] eat their dinner off [them]", Bill quipped that "They might if we were Thomas".

When at last, the enthusiasts did arrive, a photographer with an "instant" camera began harassing Ben by continuously taking pictures of him, even after the remainder of the crowd went to watch Bill tug a boat into deeper waters. At last, the photographer prepared to take one final picture, just as Bill's driver arrived to ask for assistance. Ben's driver turned on the steam just as the photographer took the picture; disgusted with the poor quality of the shot, he abandoned it on the floor and left. The picture was later discovered by Bill's driver after the two rescued the boat.

The repairs to the bridge took a long time, and Thomas was still at Brendam when the rainy season came. At the "Drain", a hollow in the land where rainwater collected, the water even began to come near the rails, although no one took much notice. One particularly wet day, as Ben returned from the Workings, the wind whipped the rainwater into a wave which swamped Ben, dousing his fire. His fireman went for assistance, and brought Thomas to help. While Thomas dragged Ben out, Bill took away the trucks. When at last the water subsided four days later and Bill returned to Brendam, the two made a pact to never tease Thomas again.

Bio in the television series

One day, Bill and Ben were sent to work in the yard. They got to use the turntable as a reward for their hard work. But Bill and Ben were accidentally sent down the same track and they end up buffer-to-buffer. They each blamed each other for the incident and refused to speak to one another. At last, Edward and BoCo lost patience and the Fat Controller is heard about the incident. He gave the twins a chance to work together, and sure enough, the plan worked. The twins started to speak to each other again. Bill and Ben sometimes find it dull up at the clay works and they wanted something exciting to happen. They got their wish when a rockslide devastated the quarry. Luckily, Bill and Ben had taken all of the workmen and the foreman out of the quarry before the rockslide. The Fat Controller was so pleased that he called them heroes.

Later, BoCo couldn't handle the twins as much as he used to, so the Fat Controller had to bring in another diesel, Derek. Bill and Ben had heard from Percy that Derek had a toothache. But they soon found out that Derek really had teething troubles. The twins and Derek had to pull a train the next day, and Derek soon overheated. Together, the twins got the train to their destination. That night, they, BoCo, and Duck talked about Derek all night long.

When Salty was sent to work with the twins and Mavis with an important job, he impressed the twins with his skills handling the trucks. When Salty handled the trucks with songs and tales of the sea, Bill and Ben became jealous. They became even crosser when Salty told them stories. Luckily for them, Salty was transferred to Brendam Docks. Afterwards, Ben had to get new buffers, so he was sent to the Works. Bill became jealous and his mind drifted away from his work. After some trucks tease him, Bill crashed into a ditch. Ben arrived to rescue Bill and Bill was taken to the Works to be mended.

Some time later, Fergus was sent to help the twins at the quarry. They got tired of his "do it right" attitude. Bill and Ben collected a rock crusher from the docks and caused a rockslide. Fergus pushed them out of the way, but the twins returned the favour when they helped him out of the rocks.

Later, they teased Percy after he had an accident with a mail bag, unaware the pumpkins on their train were falling onto the tracks, which caused more problems for Percy. After the Fat Controller ordered one twin to act as a back engine, Bill reluctantly went to push from behind. Ben ended up derailing near an embankment, and Percy, although he was nervous because he had lost his new lucky charm, helped Bill pull Ben back onto the tracks.

After racing Connor several times (by racing, one would start the race and the other twin would be waiting at the finish) Sir Topham Hatt figured out their tricks. So people would not confuse the two or think they were the same engine, Bill is repainted blue. To continue the tricks, Ben tricked Kevin into giving him a blue coat of paint too. Since then they were repainted to their yellow schemes.

Thomas was sent to work with the twins at the Clay Pits while a bridge on his branch line was being repaired. They ran away from him, and after he caught up, they teased him about being slow. They showed him to a line of trucks, which he was coupled up to. Thomas began pulling them, but did not realize that Timothy was on the other end, jerking the little oil-burning engine backwards. Later that day, there was a storm at the Pits, and the rain made the cliffs unstable. Thomas was near some cliffs, and saw a set of mysterious footprints. However, the area was still unstable and he was unable to investigate. Bill and Ben pushed Thomas to safety just before the three were hit by a landslide. The next morning, the twins were congratulated by the Fat Controller. Later in the week, when Thomas asked if they were playing a trick on him by scaring him with fake footprints, Bill and Ben, offended, puffed away. The next morning at dawn, when Percy went to the clay pits to prove his bravery to James, Bill accused Ben of making puffing noises in his sleep, and when Thomas came looking for Percy, the twins assumed that they could literally hear what Timothy was dreaming. When they went to work for the day, they were almost hit by a landslide, and after Marion found a fossil, Bill and Ben were both very intrigued by the concept of fossils.

In the eighteenth season, Bill and Ben played Guess What's In My Shovel with Marion. They also teased Timothy for being an oil burning engine, but when the Clay Pits ran out of coal, Timothy went to pick up some more. They apologised for their teasing. However, they later sent Timothy on what the Fat Controller refered to as a "fool's errand" to search for a rainbow-coloured truck. Timothy brought back a green truck with several colours of paint on it full of dockyard waste. Bill and Ben were sent to take it to Whiff's Waste Dump as a punishment, as well as being on waste duty. They also teased Emily, Samson and Henry because he believed he saw a ghost ship.

Persona

Bill and Ben are Sodor's mischievous saddle tank engine twins, who have great fun in teasing the other engines of the railway. Each has four wheels, a tiny chimney and dome, and a small squat cab. They often work in the China Clay pits and quarries. Their loads of clay can be used for many things such as paper, paint, and pottery. They take trucks for engines on the main line and ships in the harbour and are regularly seen around Brendam Docks. They enjoy attention and love taking visitors and being photographed. They tend to work together, like most twins, but even this youthful pair can have their arguments among themselves and can squabble with one another. They are highly prone to playing tricks and being cheeky. They have even teased Gordon on more than one occasion. Duck has called them "the bees" before, for being terrors when they start buzzing around. Edward and BoCo are the only engines who can really keep them in order enough to put a stop to their games and make them scamper along and behave. There is no real harm to them, but even Edward admits that they are maddening at times.

Basis

Bill and Ben are based on the Bagnall 0-4-0STs "Alfred" and "Judy" of Par, Cornwall, who are both preserved and in working order at the Bodmin and Wenford Railway.

According to the foreword of Thomas and the Twins, Alfred and Judy are both Bill and Ben's twins.

Livery

In the Railway Series, Bill and Ben are painted dark orange with red lining. In the television series, they are painted yellow with red lining.

Bill and Ben both have brown nameplates with yellow writing, "SCC" written on both sides in yellow and "Brendam Bay" on the front of their saddle tanks. In the Railway Series, they have number plates reading 1 and 2 respectively above both the back of their cabs and their faces.

From the seventeenth season onwards, the twins have had red wheels instead of black ones. In the episode from the same season, Bill or Ben?, the twins were painted dark blue with blue wheels, yellow lining and yellow lettering, but they returned to their normal livery soon afterwards.

Appearances

Railway Series

Television series

Specials:

Magazines stories

Bill and Ben also appeared in the magazine stories, Bill and BoCo, Bulgy's Bridge, Diesels with Measles!, Engine Plates, New Paint, Nice Neville, On Inspection, Railway Open Day, Rock and Roll, Snake Mistake, So Much to See, Special Treats, and The Trainspotters.

Annuals

Voice Actors

Bill:

Ben:

  • Jonathan Broadbent (UK/US; seventeenth season onwards)
  • Miyuki Hara (Japan; second - third seasons)
  • Hiromi Nishida (Japan; fifth - seventh seasons)
  • Noriko Shitaya (Japan; ninth season onwards)
  • Sascha Draeger (Germany; Tale of the Brave onwards)
  • Wojciech Chorąży (Poland)
  • Anders Sundstedt (Norway; seventeenth season only)
  • Scott Maurstad (Norway; Tale of the Brave onwards)
  • Reinder van der Naalt (The Netherlands)
  • Benjamín Rivera (Mexico; seventeenth season only)
  • Miguel Ángel Leal (Mexico; Tale of the Brave onwards)
  • Silas Borges (Brazil; seventeenth season onwards)
  • Miguel Ángel Poison (Spain; seventeenth season onwards)

Trivia

  • A behind the scenes picture reveals that Bill and Ben were to have numbers on their smokeboxes above their faces, as they did in the Railway Series.
  • From the third to twelfth seasons, Bill and Ben's nameplates were painted on their tanks.
  • Bill and Ben's television series models are currently on display at a museum in Japan.
  • In the television series, Bill and Ben are twice the size of their basis'; Alfred and Judy. This was so their eye moving equipment and motors could be accommodated. They remained the larger size when they returned in CGI.
  • Ben's whistle sound is Thomas' in a higher pitch, and Bill's is the same in an even higher pitch.
  • When Bill and Ben returned in the seventeenth season, they had some modifications. These include:
    • Permanent lamps and taillamps
    • Taller cabs
    • Brass nameplates
    • Red lining behind the "SCC" lettering on their boilers
    • Red wheels
    • Black domes and crossheads
    • Brake pipes
    • Yellow wheel lubricators on both sides, that are also connected to their valve gears
    • Additional sandboxes upon which their lamps are mounted
    • Yellow siderod guards
    • Red lining in the crevices of their wood paneling
    • Their rear windows became smaller to accommodate a taillamp
    • Their faces have become smaller, and have been raised slightly higher up.
  • Nathan Clarke did an audio sample Bill and Ben on his DAA Management Page
  • In an interview with SiF , Andrew Brenner stated that Bill and Ben were some of his favourite characters, along with James and Toby.

Quotes

Their drivers examined a patch of oil.
"That's a diesel!" they said.
"It's a what'll?" asked Bill.
"A Diseasel, I think!" replied Ben. "There's a notice about them in our shed."
"Coughs and sneezles spread diseasels!"
"You had a cough in your smokebox yesterday! It's your fault the Diseasel came!"
"It isn't!"
"It is!"
"Stop arguing you two!" laughed their drivers.

- Bill and Ben arguing, "The Diseasel", "Main Line Engines".

"What's that?" asked Bill loudly.
"Shh!" whispered Ben. "It's Gordon!"
"It looks like Gordon, but it can't be. Gordon never comes on branch lines, he thinks them vulgar!"
Gordon pretended he hadn't heard.
"If it isn't Gordon!" said Ben. "It's just a pile of old iron."
"Which we better take to the scrapyard!"
"No Bill, this lot's useless for scrap! We'll take it to the harbour and dump it in the sea!"
Gordon was alarmed.
"I am Gordon! STOP! STOP!"

- Bill and Ben teasing Gordon, "Wrong Road", second season.

"I remember the first time I met those two," laughed BoCo. "They nearly made my eyes pop out! Edward soon put a stop to their games."
"Edward is the only one who can keep Bill and Ben in-order," chuckled Duck. "I sometimes call them, the Bees."
"A good name!" replied BoCo. "They're terrors when they start buzzing around!"

- BoCo and Duck talk about Bill and Ben, "Buzz Buzz", third season.

Merchandise

Gallery

Merchandise Gallery

See Also

Other Sudrian railways
Bill and BenNeilSodor and Mainland Railway Numbers 1 and 3"Coffee Pots"Wellsworth and Suddery Railway Tank EnginesMidland Railway EnginesThe Little Blue Tank EngineMavisSkarloey Funicular Railway
StephenTimothyMillie
Marion
VictorSidneyLittle BarfordSilverThe Old Tram CarThe Pier TrainThe Cable CarThe Dark Green Tank EngineThe Little Blue Engine

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki