Kids may remember Bertie the Bus as Thomas the Tank Engine's worthy opponent in a race where the two become good pals. At least that's how this 3.5-inch-long, bright red, fresh-faced bus appears in one of W. Awdry's preschooler books "Thomas and Bertie". Now kids can include Bertie in their Thomas Wooden Railway System, a creative assemblage of sturdy vehicles, tracks, and scenery all based on the popular Thomas the Tank Engine book, television, and video series. As a bus, Bertie travels separately from most of the system's train-car characters. But he's always greeted as a welcome friend at railway crossings or station parking lots.