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Bluebell and Primrose are tank engine twins who live on the Bluebell Railway.


The Railway Series

Bluebell and Primrose were brought for preservation by the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society. They arrived at the Bluebell in 1960 and 1961 respectively, and remained stalwarts in the Bluebell's locomotive fleet.

When Stepney visited the Island of Sodor in 1962, he mentioned Bluebell and Primrose in a conversation with Edward. According to Stepney, they had no names at first, so their controller gave them names. He says it made them over-confident, but they still work hard. [1]


Stepney describes Bluebell and Primrose as hard workers and being "as like as two peas". They were given the privilege of being named once they joined the Bluebell Railway, though this made them rather cocky.

Technical Details

Real-life History

Bluebell and Primrose are based on the real Bluebell and Primrose, members of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway (SE&CR) P Class built from 1909-1910 for lightweight passenger trains and later used for shunting.

From March 2011 until very recently, Bluebell was operational. Unfortunately however, she has being withdrawn earlier than expected due to firebox problems. As it is not economical to carry out the repairs having spent eight years in traffic, Bluebell is now on display inside the SteamWorks! Engine Shed awaiting her next overhaul; whilst, Primrose is currently undergoing restoration, expecting to end between 2021 to 2023.


Primrose, and Bluebell in The Railway Series, are painted dark green with red and yellow lining. The initials "SE&CR" are painted on the sides of their tanks in yellow. Primrose's number (27) is painted on the sides of her bunker, also in yellow.

When she was first acquired by the Bluebell Railway, Bluebell was painted blue with white lining. On the sides of her tank, she had a red nameplate with "BLUEBELL" on it in gold. In 1998, she was painted in the livery she carried in World War I. As of March 2011, Bluebell is currently in a variant of the SE&CR pre-war livery, but with blue instead of green and "BLUEBELL" instead of "SE&CR", painted on the sides of her tanks in gold.

Primrose is painted dark green with red and yellow lining. The initials "SE&CR" are painted on the sides of her tanks in yellow and her number (27) is painted on the sides of her bunker, also in yellow.


The Railway Series

Companion Volumes


Bluebell appears in the 54th issue "Play and Learn" edition published in 2002.


Official Description

From Official Media:[1]

Bluebell: Bluebell and Primrose are twins, and as like as two peas, according to Stepney. They only had numbers at first and were very pleased when Sir Topham Hatt, The Fat Controller gave them names.

Historical Note: Bluebell is based on the London Brighton and South Coast Railway 0-6-0 E2 with extended side tanks.


  • Despite not having faces, Bluebell and Primrose were the first female steam engines to be introduced in The Railway Series.
  • At present, neither engine is operational as Bluebell has been withdrawn from traffic and Primrose is undergoing restoration.
  • Bluebell's Ertl toy was in fact Thomas merely repainted and with a different smokebox. She was originally going to have her own toy. This prototype had a driver leaning out of her door. This would have been the only Ertl toy to have this feature. Furthermore, on the back of Bluebell's Ertl packaging, it incorrectly says she is an LB&SCR E2 class instead of a SE&CR P class, and that the Fat Controller had given her and Primrose names. However, the former mistake is understandable as the toy of Bluebell herself is a repainted Thomas, who is also an LB&SCR E2.


  • Ertl (Bluebell only; discontinued)


Merchandise Gallery


* RWS only | ** T&F only

* RWS only | ** T&F only