Thomas and Bertie, lengthened to Thomas and Bertie's Great Race in American releases, is the fourteenth episode of the first series. It is based on the story of the same name from the Railway Series book Tank Engine Thomas Again.
Thomas is waiting at a junction when a bus drives up alongside him. The bus introduces himself as Bertie, who remembers Thomas from the time he took his passengers home after Thomas crashed into a snowdrift and tells Thomas that he has come to help his passengers today. Thomas claims that he can go faster than Bertie. Bertie then challenges Thomas to a race. Their drivers agree and Thomas and Bertie begin their race.
As it takes Thomas a while to build up speed, Bertie draws in front at the beginning of the race until he reaches the level crossing, where Thomas passes him and takes the lead. After that the road leaves the railway and Thomas stops at the next station to collect passengers. He tells them to get in quickly and as he starts off again, he sees Bertie zooming over the bridge and retaking the lead. Thomas tries to catch up, but he has to stop at the junction because the signal is up. Bertie continues on gleefully and Thomas now feels sure that he will lose the race, but he feels better after a drink and is ready to continue just as the signal drops.
While crossing the bridge, Thomas finds that he still has a chance to win, seeing Bertie waiting on a traffic light. As Bertie starts again, Thomas reaches full speed and takes the lead as he passes Bertie at the tunnel and makes it to the last station, winning the race. Everyone cheers for Thomas, but they also give Bertie a big cheer. Bertie congratulates Thomas and tells him that he would have had to grow wings and be an aeroplane to beat him over the hill.
The two friends often talk about their race, but the passengers do not like to bounce around and the Fat Controller warns Thomas about running at dangerous speeds. Although it does not seem likely the two will ever race again, they secretly hope to have another someday.