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Bear (originally known by his number, Diesel 7101) is a green mixed-traffic diesel engine who works on the Main Line. His name comes from the growling noises his engine makes, which makes him sound like a bear.


The Railway Series

Bear was originally known as Diesel 7101 and came to Sodor on loan with another diesel numbered D199. His companion was blatantly arrogant and bad-mouthed the steam engines. Vulgar noises greeted this until Duck and 7101 managed to shut up 199.

The next day, 7101's vacuum brake ejector failed while pulling the Limited. Henry, who was already towing 199 and his train of fuel and oil tankers, came to help; 7101 was still able to move by himself with some help from Henry. To the passengers' delight, Flying Scotsman took their train, while Henry helped 7101 home. Along the way, Henry told the diesel about his failed regulator. 7101's opinion of steam engines was greatly changed after the incident.

The engines persuaded the Fat Controller to let 7101 stay on the North Western Railway, and renamed him "Bear." Bear liked this name, saying it meant he "really belonged". Even James, who was the last to accept diesels, could not help but like him. It later was revealed that Bear pulls the Express when Gordon, Henry, and James are busy. Bear also did Henry's duties while Henry was at Crovan's Gate Works.


Bear is one of the more polite, charming, respectful, useful diesels. He is a loyal, friendly, and sympathetic sort, but he is extremely noisy and obstreperous, as he often makes unusual growling noises much to the disturbance of the other engines; thus earning the name "Bear". The Fat Controller was impressed with BoCo and Bear; he called them "versatile" because they could pull both coaches and trucks. BoCo and Bear usually defend the steam engines when a visiting diesel boasts about how superior they are, and vice versa, as the steam engines often use BoCo and Bear as examples of diesels that are not rude and nasty.


Bear is based on a British Rail (BR) Class 35 "Hymek" Bo-Bo. one-hundred and one members of this class were built from 1961 to 1964. They were known as "Hymeks" because of their Mekydro-design hydraulic transmission units. They were withdrawn between 1971 and 1975, a short life caused by British Railways designating diesel-hydraulic engines non-standard following the withdrawal of steam. Four "Hymeks" have been preserved by heritage railways, such as the East Lancashire Railway in North West England.

Bear's original number, 7101, is an in-joke: the Class 35s was only numbered up to 7100. As Beyer, Peacock and Company was the only company to build the Class 35, all were built in numerical order. Therefore it is safe to say Bear was built after D7100, who entered service on 5 February, 1964.


When he first arrived on Sodor, Bear was painted in the BR Rail Blue with yellow window surrounds livery. He also had yellow warning panels on his front and back end.

When he became part of the North Western Railway, Bear was painted in the BR Brunswick green with a narrow band of lime along the bottom of his sides and cream window surrounds livery. His yellow warning panels on his front and back end became smaller. His rooftop is painted grey. His number was painted on the sides of his cab in white (D7101) on his original livery and (D3) on his current livery.


  • Bear is the only mainline engine created by the Rev. W. Awdry not to be introduced into the Television Series.
  • Awdry had a Hornby Railways Class 35 model that was used as illustrators' reference. The model was unmodified, painted in BR Blue, and had the number D7063 as purchased. Unlike the BoCo model, which was also unmodified, this was not specifically identified by Awdry as Bear with writing on the box. The model is currently in the Awdry Study at the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum in Tywyn, Wales.
  • In the Japanese translation of The Railway Series, Bear is named "くま" (Kuma), the Japanese word for "bear".