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“Hey! Watch out, Bill... or is it Ben?"
"Watch out, Ben... err... Bill... well, whoever you are!”
―Porter and Salty

No Steam Without Coal is the fourteenth episode of the eighteenth series.


At Brendam Docks, Bill is collecting some equipment for the clay pits while Ben has to wait for his trucks to be filled with coal. Bill says that he will be back at the clay pits first which Ben does not like. Ben races after his twin without waiting for the coal to be loaded.

With only a train of empty trucks, Ben makes it back to the clay pits first. Marion realises that Ben has not got the coal. She tells Ben that they all need coal to work, but Ben points out that Timothy is the odd-one-out as he is an oil-burning engine and does not need coal at all. Ben tells Marion that he is sure the hopper is still pretty full, but Marion is still concerned. Ben promises to go back for the coal...eventually. Timothy rolls up and tells the twins that Marion is right and that they should try not to waste any coal. Bill and Ben are not listening to Timothy; they are too busy bickering about who has the loudest whistle.

Later, Bill and Ben are still competing with each other and are still burning through their coal. Bill tries to prove that he is stronger by pulling loads of heavy trucks, while Ben proves that he is still the fastest. Unfortunately, Ben nearly collides with Timothy who tells him to stop messing around and go and fetch more coal. Bill and Ben call Timothy boring before reversing away.

A little while later, Bill makes Timothy jump while he is being refilled with oil. Timothy is not impressed and says that the twins could have caused an accident. Bill and Ben think Timothy is no fun and the odd-one-out. Timothy usually likes being different, but sometimes Bill and Ben's teasing takes its toll on poor Timothy.

Soon, it is time for Bill and Ben to be refilled with coal. Unfortunately, only a couple of lumps fall out of the hopper. Bill blames Ben for not collecting the coal earlier on and for messing about. Ben is not happy with his twin's accusations. Bill and Ben decide to steam away from each other, but after only a couple of turns of their wheels, Bill and Ben shudder to a stop. They have completely run out of coal. Marion is not happy; there is no steam without coal, after all. Bill and Ben ask Timothy to go to the docks to collect more coal for them. Eventually, Timothy agrees.

Timothy soon arrives at Brendam Docks with trucks of china clay from the pits and couples up to truckloads of coal. Timothy then takes the coal back to the clay pits and the hopper is soon refilled. Bill and Ben argue about who is going to fill up with coal first, but Marion declares that she is going first, since Bill and Ben cannot move anyway. She then prompts the twins to thank (and apologise to) Timothy. Bill and Ben agree that oil-burning locomotives have their uses - especially when they run out of coal.





US and CAN

  • Jonathan Broadbent as Bill and Ben
  • David Menkin as Porter
  • Tim Whitnall as Timothy
  • Keith Wickham as Salty, the Dock Worker and Bill and Ben's Crews
  • Olivia Colman as Marion


  • Going by production order, this is the seventeenth episode of the eighteenth series.
  • In the Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Baltic Russian and Vietnamese dubs, the UK dub can be heard in the background as a dubbing track was not used.


  • The narrator states that Timothy is the only oil-burning engine on Sodor, although Victor is oil-burning as well.
  • When Timothy is about to come out of the tunnel his lamp is not on.
  • When Timothy nearly collides with Ben, he simply shuts his eyes, but the sound designers seemingly mistook this as him whistling and added his whistle sound effect. As a result, no steam emits when he "whistles."
  • After Timothy is uncoupled from his delivery of china clay, he appears to be whistling, but Salty's horn sound is used instead.

In Other Languages

View content
Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese Não há vapor sem carvão
Czech Není páry bez uhlí
Dutch Zonder Kolen, Geen Stoom
French Un Réservoir Bien Vide
Hungarian Nincs gőz szén nélkül
Japanese せきたんかないビルとベン
Korean 석탄이 필요해요
Norwegian Ingen damp uten kull
Polish Nie ma Pary bez Węgla
Romanian Nu Iese Aburi Fără Cărbune
Russian Нет пара без угля
Slovenian Brez premoga ni pare
Spanish Sin Carbón, No Hay Vapor
Ukrainian Немає пари без вугілля

Home Media Releases



  • Signals Crossed (Direct-to-Home Video)
  • Season 18


  • Signals Crossed