The Diseasel
No. of season: 2
No. of epsiode: 21
No. of series: 47
Director: David Mitton
Producer: David Mitton
Robert D. Cardona
Writer: Reverend W. Awdry (original)
Britt Allcroft
David Mitton (adapted)
Narrator: Ringo Starr (UK)
George Carlin (US)
Original air date: 24th October 1986 (UK)
16th May 1988 (AUS)
27th August 1991 (JPN)
23rd December 1991 (US)
27th April 1998 (GER)
24th January 2008 (HUN)
Previous: Percy's Predicament
Next: Wrong Road

The Diseasel is the twenty-first episode of the second season. In the US it first aired on the Shining Time Station episode, Double Trouble in 1991.


Bill and Ben are tank engine twins who work at a china clay quarry. Their jobs are to take the china clay in trucks along the main line for engines and ships.

One day, Bill and Ben arrange some trucks and leave to pick up more, but return to find them gone. Their drivers find a patch of oil on the ground and realise a diesel is responsible for taking the trucks. Mishearing this as "diseasel", the twins argue who is responsible stating that "coughs and sneezles spread diseasels". The drivers stop the twins from arguing and make a plan to get the trucks back which involves removing the twins identifying plates and making them identical.

The twins find the trucks in a yard, with a large green diesel at the front. Ben hides behind, with Bill going forward to demand the trucks back. The diesel claims the trucks are his and tries to shoo Bill away, but when Bill disappears Ben rides forward surprising the diesel (thinking it's the same engine). This continues for a while, causing the diesel to get dizzy; the twins then reveal themselves to him.

Edward arrives at the scene and asks what Bill and Ben are doing there. They explain that the "dieseasel" stole their trucks, but Edward scolds them for their rudeness. The twins apologise and the diesel forgives them. He introduces himself as BoCo and explains that he got his trucks mixed up with Bill and Ben's. Edward then sends the twins to pick up BoCo's trucks. After the two leave, Edward tells BoCo that Bill and Ben don't mean any harm but can be maddening at times. BoCo laughs and replies that "maddening is the word", ending the episode.



Fun FactsEdit


  • This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Main Line Engines.
  • As Bill and Ben puff into the shed near BoCo's train, to the left of the shed, there is a soup can in the foreground.
  • One barge has "Steve" written on it and a boat is labelled "Terrey". This could be a reference to crew members Stephen Asquith and Terence Permane.
  • This is the second episode where all characters who appear speak, the first being Down the Mine.


  • One of Bill and Ben's drivers says "We'll take away your names and numbers", but the twins were not given numbers in the television series. This is likely due to the script for the episode being nearly identical word-for-word to the original story.
  • In the restored version, two hands can be seen pulling them backwards with string. Also, the end of the set can be seen in a still from the episode.
  • Bill and Ben are said to puff into the shed behind BoCo when they actually are in the shed next to him.
  • The narrator says that Ben (on BoCo's right) went forward, but he goes to the left in the next shot.
  • When Ben comes up next to BoCo, BoCo looks to his right, but when Bill comes up BoCo does not look to his left.
  • When the narrator says "Bill took his place", the track where Ben was previously bounces up.
  • When Edward arrives, his bogie is derailed.
  • When the twins apologise to BoCo, Edward disappears, indicating that the footage from where Bill was accusing BoCo of being a bully was used at that point.
  • During the scene where the twins are puffing backwards and forwards to trick BoCo, they both have the same whistle sound despite usually having different whistles.


In Other LanguagesEdit

Language Name Meaning
Croatian Dizel Dolesti Diesel Disease
Japanese ふたごのビルとベン Bill and Ben the Twins
Spanish Problemas De Mellizos Twin Problems
Polish Chorobowóz Disease-Diesel
Norwegian Disyselen The Diseasel
German Dieselitis Dieselitis
Italian Solo Un Equivoco Only A Misunderstanding
Hungarian A dízelmozdony The Diesel Locomotive
Finnish Tautinen The Diseasel
Chinese 生病了 Sick
Korean 빌 과 벤 Bill and Ben
Slovenian Dizelska lokomotiva Diesel Locomotive
Russian Простудизель Prostudizel
Ukrainian Дизентиризиль Dyzentyryzel
Czech Diesel Diesel
Romanian Dieselul The Diesel
Slovak Diesel Diesel
Swedish Disyselen Diseasel
Dutch De Viesel The Diesel
Danish Bill og Ben og vogntyven Bill, Ben and the Car Thief
Thai หัวรถจักรแฝดใหม่คู่ที่สอง Engine Detached Two New Pairs
Brazilian Portuguese O Diesel The Diesel

Home Media ReleasesEdit


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v - e - d Thomas and Friends episodes
Series 1 Thomas and Gordon · Edward and Gordon · The Sad Story of Henry · Edward, Gordon and Henry · Thomas' Train · Thomas and the Trucks · Thomas and the Breakdown Train · James and the Coaches · Troublesome Trucks · James and the Express · Thomas and the Guard · Thomas Goes Fishing · Thomas, Terence and the Snow · Thomas and Bertie · Tenders and Turntables · Trouble in the Shed · Percy Runs Away · Coal · The Flying Kipper · Whistles and Sneezes · Toby and the Stout Gentleman · Thomas in Trouble · Dirty Objects · Off the Rails · Down the Mine · Thomas' Christmas Party
Series 2 Thomas, Percy and the Coal · Cows · Bertie's Chase · Saved from Scrap · Old Iron · Thomas and Trevor · Percy and the Signal · Duck Takes Charge · Percy and Harold · The Runaway · Percy Takes the Plunge · Pop Goes the Diesel · Dirty Work · A Close Shave · Better Late Than Never · Break Van · The Deputation · Thomas Comes to Breakfast · Daisy · Percy's Predicament · The Diseasel · Wrong Road · Edward's Exploit · Ghost Train · Woolly Bear · Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree
Series 3 A Scarf for Percy · Percy's Promise · Time for Trouble · Gordon and the Famous Visitor · Donald's Duck · Thomas Gets Bumped · Thomas, Percy and the Dragon · Diesel Does It Again · Henry's Forest · The Trouble with Mud · No Joke for James · Thomas, Percy and the Post Train · Trust Thomas · Mavis · Toby's Tightrope · Edward, Trevor and the Really Useful Party · Buzz, Buzz · All at Sea · One Good Turn · Tender Engines · Escape · Oliver Owns Up · Bulgy · Heroes · Percy, James and the Fruitful Day · Thomas and Percy's Christmas Adventure
Series 4 Granpuff · Sleeping Beauty · Bulldog · You Can't Win · Four Little Engines · A Bad Day for Sir Handel · Peter Sam and the Refreshment Lady · Trucks! · Home at Last · Rock 'n' Roll · Special Funnel · Steam Roller · Passengers and Polish · Gallant Old Engine · Rusty to the Rescue · Thomas and Stepney · Train Stops Play · Bowled Out · Henry and the Elephant · Toad Stands By · Bulls Eyes · Thomas and the Special Letter · Paint Pots and Queens · Fish · Special Attraction · Mind That Bike
Series 5 Cranky Bugs · Horrid Lorry · A Better View for Gordon · Lady Hatt's Birthday Party · James and the Trouble with Trees · Gordon and the Gremlin · Bye George! · Baa! · Put Upon Percy · Toby and the Flood · Haunted Henry · Double Teething Troubles · Stepney Gets Lost · Toby's Discovery · Something in the Air · Thomas, Percy and Old Slow Coach · Thomas and the Rumours · Oliver's Find · Happy Ever After · Sir Topham Hatt's Holiday · A Surprise for Percy · Make Someone Happy · Busy Going Backwards · Duncan Gets Spooked · Rusty and the Boulder · Snow
Series 6 Salty's Secret · Harvey to the Rescue · No Sleep for Cranky · A Bad Day for Harold the Helicopter · Elizabeth the Vintage Lorry · The Fogman · Jack Jumps In · A Friend in Need · It's Only Snow · Twin Trouble · The World's Strongest Engine · Scaredy Engines · Percy and the Haunted Mine · Middle Engine · James and the Red Balloon · Jack Frost · Gordon Takes a Tumble · Percy's Chocolate Crunch · Buffer Bother · Toby Had a Little Lamb · Thomas, Percy and the Squeak · Thomas the Jet Engine · Edward the Very Useful Engine · Dunkin' Duncan · Rusty Saves the Day · Faulty Whistles
Series 7 Emily's New Coaches · Percy Gets It Right · Bill, Ben and Fergus · The Old Bridge · Edward's Brass Band · What's the Matter with Henry? · James and the Queen of Sodor · The Refreshment Lady's Tea Shop · · The Spotless Record · Toby's Windmill · Bad Day at Castle Loch · Rheneas and the Roller Coaster · Salty's Stormy Tale · Snow Engine · Something Fishy · The Runaway Elephant · Peace and Quiet · Fergus Breaks the Rules · · Bulgy Rides Again · Harold and the Flying Horse · The Grand Opening · Best Dressed Engine · Gordon and Spencer · Not So Hasty Puddings · Trusty Rusty · Three Cheers for Thomas
Series 8 Thomas and the Tuba · Percy's New Whistle · Thomas to the Rescue · Henry and the Wishing Tree · James Gets a New Coat · Thomas Saves the Day · Percy's Big Mistake · Thomas, Emily and the Snowplough · Don't Tell Thomas · Emily's New Route · Thomas and the Firework Display · Gordon Takes Charge · Spic and Span · Edward the Great · Squeak, Rattle and Roll · Thomas and the Circus · Thomas Gets It Right · As Good as Gordon · Fish · Emily's Adventure · Halloween · You Can Do It, Toby! · James Goes Too Far · Chickens to School · Too Hot for Thomas · Percy and the Magic Carpet
Series 9 Percy and the Oil Painting · Thomas and the Rainbow · Molly's Special, Special · Thomas' Milkshake Muddle · Mighty Mac · Thomas and the Toy Shop · Respect for Gordon · Thomas and the Birthday Picnic · Tuneful Toots · Rheneas and the Dinosaur · Thomas and the New Engine · Toby Feels Left Out · Thomas Tries His Best · The Magic Lamp · Thomas and the Statue · Henry and the Flagpole · Emily Knows Best · Thomas' Day Off · Thomas' New Trucks Duncan and the Old Mine · Bold and Brave · Skarloey the Brave · Saving Edward · Thomas and the Golden Eagle · Keeping Up with James · Flour Power