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“Oh, Isabel's a funny coach and so is Dulcie too. If I didn't look after them, they'd not know what to do!”
Oliver sings about his coaches[src]

Isabel and Dulcie two Great Western autocoaches pulled by Oliver on The Little Western. Isabel joined Oliver and Toad when they escaped from the Other Railway, and Dulcie was later rescued by the Fat Controller and given to Oliver to help run the Little Western.

Biography

The Railway Series

Isabel worked with Oliver and Toad on a branch line in the West Country. In 1967, the branch line was closed and Oliver's crew plotted an escape to the Island of Sodor. [2] They were nearly caught by diesels several times, and eventually made it to Barrow-in-Furness, where Oliver ran out of coal. Shortly afterwards, Douglas helped the group escape across the bridge to Sodor and stored them at Crovan's Gate; Oliver's crew hid inside Isabel during the journey. Sir Topham Hatt then had the three repaired and repainted in Great Western colours for work on the Arlesburgh Branch Line.

The Fat Controller was already making plans to acquire an autocoach for the purpose of handling passenger traffic on the re-opened Arlesburgh branch. The coach turned out to be Dulcie, and thus the arrival of Isabel, with Oliver, to augment the stock could not have been better timed. [3] Isabel and Dulcie were joined by Alice and Mirabel shortly after, who were paired with Duck.

Personality

Oliver says Isabel is very clever, as she always keeps a good look out when he pushes his trains and cannot see where he's going, and talks to him with her bell. He finds them to be funny coaches, and believes that they would not know what to do without him. Despite what Oliver thinks, they are very faithful to him and are easily able to see when he is heading for trouble.

Technical Details

Basis

Isabel and Dulcie are based on British Railways (BR) Hawksworth autocoaches, which were used in push-pull service on branch lines - while designed by Hawksworth for the Great Western Railway (GWR), they were never built until after BR was formed. The autocoaches were efficient because it eliminated the need for the engine to run around to the other end of the train to turn around. Fifteen Hawksworth autocoaches are preserved by heritage railways, such as the Llangollen Railway in North Wales. [4]

Alice and Mirabel are also based on these coaches.

Livery

Isabel and Dulcie are painted in the GWR chocolate brown with cream window surrounds livery. Their rooftops are pained light grey. When Isabel first came to Sodor, she was painted in the BR maroon with yellow lining livery. Dulcie was also painted in this livery in the 1985 annual. [5]

Appearances

The Railway Series

Companion Volumes

Books

Magazines

Annual Stories

Trivia

  • Isabel's name is a pun on the fact that there "is a bell" on her.
  • Isabel's Ertl toy is misspelled "Isobel".

Merchandise

  • Ertl (Isabel only; maroon; UK only; discontinued)

References



* RWS only | ** T&F only | --- Dropped
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