Stepney the "Bluebell" Engine
Author Wilbert Awdry
Illustrator Peter and Gunvor Edwards
Publication date 1963-Present
Published by Edmund Ward
Egmont Publishing
Publication Order
Preceded by
Gallant Old Engine
Followed by
Mountain Engines
Stepney the "Bluebell" Engine is the eighteenth book of the Railway Series.


Dear Friends,

Percy is a kind-hearted little engine. He feels sad because many fine steam engines are cut up on the Other Railway(B.R.).

Percy's ideas, however, though natural for a little engine, are a little muddled. British Railways Officials are not cruel. They are sad to lose faithful steam friends, and glad to help engines go to places like the Bluebell Railway at Sheffield Park in Sussex, where they can be cared for, and useful and safe.


Bluebells of EnglandEdit

At the place where Thomas, Percy and Toby saw Jinty and Pug once in 1957, Percy was singing the "Bluebells of England", but Douglas interrupts him saying the song is daft and he calls it the "Campbells of Scotland". Percy was cross with the Scottish engine and tells about the Bluebell Railway in Sussex where engines are cared for and being safe. When the signal went down and Percy was wrong about that, Stepney arrived with a chorus of cheers from Sodor's population and whistles from both Percy and Douglas. Both England and Sodor start their relations to each other since 1958 when City of Truro visited Sodor and met an old friend on the island.

Stepney's SpecialEdit

Edward and Stepney talked about the respect of both the Bluebell Railway and the North Western Railway. Stepney also named some other engines including Adams, Cromford, Captain Baxter, Bluebell and Primrose. After this, Duck and Stepney worked at Tidmouth shunting coaches or Troublesome Trucks. Thomas with Annie and Clarabel were ready with their last train when an emergency causes trouble for him but following this early next morning, Stepney was actually getting a Very Important Person to see Sir Topham Hatt. Thomas agreed with last night's emergency event involving the Bluebell Railway's socialist claims.

Train Stops PlayEdit

Percy takes pity on Stepney for missing the Troublesome Trucks back home. So, Stepney takes some empty ones and sees the cricket field. Well, the man batting hits the cricket ball for a six and lands in one of Stepney's trucks with the signal down and Stepney puffed off. The cricketers shouted to stop the train and drove in Caroline for a rescue attempt. The driver of Stepney didn't realise this although he thinks that the jokers wanted a race. After the chase, they found the cricket ball nestled under a pile of straw and takes a flatbed with Caroline on it and the game of cricket was played to an exciting finish.

Bowled OutEdit

Stepney's Sodor tour is coming to an end, but B.R. sends a Diesel to distract the visit and the NWR explodes in fury when that locomotive starts insulting the engines. A meeting was made but no ideas were made about getting rid of him. The Diesel was told to take the special train to Barrow where it can go on back to London. An inspector's hat disputed his air-intake and he was very undignified to pull it. Stepney and Duck take him back, but the inspector attempts to stop the train because of his hat.

The Fat Controller was unhappy with the inspector saying "BOTHER YOUR HAT!" and the train was led by Stepney and Duck before seeing Gordon at Crovans Gate. The Diesel left without a word and Stepney gets to go home after his commerative visit had finished with Stepney's controller thanking The Fat Controller for the four day visit. This visit was truly remarkable to the Bluebell Railway and the British Prime Minister himself.



  • The second illustration of "Bluebells of England" (the scrapyard scene) is based on Peter Edwards' illustration for the Graham Greene novel, "A Gun For Sale".
  • This was the first book illustrated by Peter and Gunvor Edwards.
  • The coaches Stepney brings to Sodor is the well known Metropolitan coaches from the Bluebell Railway.
  • The Reverend acknowledged the help given by members of the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society in the preparation of this book.