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"Dynamite's exciting stuff - makes lovely big bangs! Fairly harmless if you know how to handle it, like I do."
Billy Shoepack, "Trapped"

Billy Shoepack is an alligator tug who is a member of the Salvage Fleet and resigns up river. He speaks with a strong West Country accent.


Billy Shoepack is described to be just as dangerous as a real alligator due to his bizarre personality and common occupation of transporting dynamite. 

When Zug and almost all of the Star Tugs got trapped up river by a tramper blocking the river, Billy Shoepack blew it up. During winter, he helped Sunshine out of a burning logjam by blowing up the logs in the way to make a path. Unfortunately, the blast caused the logs to be washed downstream, out of control, towards Uptown.

His whistle has two middle-to-low pitches with a distinct whooping noise.
Billy Shoepack Hooter 1

Behind the Scenes

Interestingly, Billy's wheelhouse did not move in Trapped, nor did his facial expression change unlike any of the other characters. This was due to his model being unfinishd at the time of the production of Trapped, as well as him only having one face mask. In Up River, however, his wheelhouse does move and he has various different faces, like the other tugs.

Billy was created by Chris Tulloch during the production of "Trapped" after he saw a scruffy little Tug called "Hardy" from Ontario, Canada in one of the many reference books used for the show. Hardy, combined with some aspects of another tug named "John Bull" became the basis of Billy. His surname was sourced from another alligator tug named "Shoepack".

Billy's face masks were sculpted by model maker, Jeremy King, who formerly worked on TUGS' sister series, Thomas & Friends.

Top Speed- 20 knots



Voice Actors



  • After Tugs' production ended, Billy Shoepack's model was purchased by The Star Tugs Company, an organization which aimed to restore and preserve the models.
    • At first, he was bought without a face mask, but he was then reunited with his face masks (minus his happy face mask) in 2014 when the owner came to one of the events with his face masks by complete surprise. This was also the case with Big Mac and the Fire Tug. Replicas of the missing face have been made using the original molding.
  • His face masks include one never used, a face with a worried expression.
The Salvage Fleet
Billy ShoepackSunshine (formerly) • Billy's Barges
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