Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia
This article is about 'the barge'. You may be looking for 'the Story Library book'.

Bulstrode is a self-propelled barge who works at the harbour. He resides on a beach as a children's play structure.


Bulstrode was used to carry coal and stone to Knapford Harbour, but always complained about not being loaded fast enough, which annoyed the trucks. One day, Percy was shunting some stone trucks off the quay when the trucks fell off and into Bulstrode's hold, bursting a hole in his hull. He was then towed to a beach, where he was turned into a children's play structure. He remains there today, most likely still grumbling.


Bulstrode was grumpy, rude, and always found something to complain about. Judging from the way he treated the trucks, he was not above bullying others for things beyond their control.

Technical Details


Bulstrode is based on a 1920s self-propelled coastal barge.


Bulstrode is painted with a cream cab, brown deck, a black hull and a red keel. His name is painted on his bow in white. In the "My First Thomas" range he is painted blue, red and yellow.


Audio Files


In Something in the Air, Bulstrode's faceless model shares its horn sound with the Salvage Tugboats.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Something in the Air Something in the Air

In the video game, Thomas Saves the Day, Bulstrode seems to have a stock horn of unknown origin.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Thomas Saves the Day Thomas Saves the Day

In the flap-book, Find That Freight, Bulstrode has a horn that is sourced from a stock sound effect, which is also used in the 2021 reboot, Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Find That Freight! Find that Freight!

In the book, 10 Stories from Thomas & Friends, Bulstrode has yet another stock horn sound.

First used Last used Sound Effect
10 Stories from Thomas & Friends 10 Stories from Thomas & Friends


  • Bulstrode's appearance in the television series is rather different from his Railway Series appearance: in the Railway Series he has two square cargo holds, six bumpers on each side, and his face is the same colour as his cab and rectangular, while in the television series he has only one rectangular hold with three bumpers on each side and a square standard grey face.
  • Bulstrode was the only non-human character created by Christopher Awdry to be introduced into the television series.
  • According to Abi Grant, Bulstrode was meant to have a large scale model built for the Wharf, but this never happened due to budget concerns.
  • Bulstrode's original model began to deteriorate during the production of the fifth series, and was subsequently damaged while being shipped to/from Canada during the production of Thomas and the Magic Railroad. The damage can be seen in certain Series 5 episodes where his model is used with noticable damage. A new model of Bulstrode was built to replace the original and had different dimensions. The newer model of Bulstrode never ended up being used in the television series outside of a promotional image for No Sleep for Cranky, but is currently on display at Drayton Manor on a beach near Bluff's Cove and wore his shocked face from 2009-early 2020. During early 2020, Bulstrode's unused happy face was fitted on his newer model now.
  • Bulstrode had a total of five facial expressions, one of which (a happy face) for his newer model that was not used on-screen. However it was used for the Rocking Bulstrode rides at Drayton Manor and Thomas Land, merchandise such as his TrackMaster and 2013 Wooden Railway toys and his actual model on display at Drayton Manor as of 2020.
  • In a few of the HiT Era episodes, Bulstrode's shocked face was used as a truck's face.
  • Bulstrode's original model had windows with lights at the back of the model. When the model was replaced after Thomas and the Magic Railroad, these windows were removed.
  • Bulstrode is frequently paired with Cranky in merchandise, magazines, and video games, despite having been written out of the series before Cranky's introduction.
  • Despite being absent in both the television series and the Railway Series since his introduction, he is still depicted as being used in forms of media such as Magazines, Video Games, and DVD Minigames.
  • Bulstrode is depicted with his shocked face in almost all promotional material and merchandise, much like Annie. Following the introduction of CGI-styled merchandise of Bulstrode, this appears to have ceased.
    • In instances where a happy expression was required he would be depicted with either Cranky's face or a rectangular version of Percy's.
  • Bulstrode had a nameboard but it was never used in any of the intermission segments along with Toad's nameboard.
  • Bulstrode is the only character from Thomas & Friends to appear in the spinoff series Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go without appearing in the CGI era of the original series.


Non-rail vehicles

* RWS only | ** T&F only | *** Other Media only