S.S. Vienna is a famous ocean cruise liner who is white and gold in colour. Whenever she arrived in Bigg City Port, the Star Tugs and Z-Stacks had the contract to give her supplies and load and unload cargo from her. Hercules usually had to bring her in. When it was winter and Bigg City Port was out of action, the tugs had to supply her out in the open sea. Hercules had to bring her as far out as Lillie Lightship.
S.S. Vienna is based on early 20th century ocean cruise liners and closely resembles many famous luxury liners, such as Cunard Line's RMS Lusitania and Mauretania, White Star Line's RMS Olympic, Titanic and Britannic, the SS Kaiser Wilhelm II, and the Kronprinzessin Cecilie.
After TUGS production ended, S.S. Vienna and her model were carried over to the set of Thomas & Friends, the sister show of TUGS. She made her first appearance in a 3rd season episode called "Thomas, Percy and the Dragon." She retained her original livery in the early episodes of the 3rd season. In the late episodes of that season, her funnels were repainted red.
After the 3rd season, S.S. Vienna was renamed to S.S. Roxstar and her hull was painted black and her funnels were painted black-and-white. She made her first appearance in this form in a 4th season episode called "Henry and the Elephant."
When the show was converted into CGI animation in 2009, S.S. Roxstar’s model was generated continued to make appearances, the only difference being that her name is no longer painted on her.
After model production ceased in 2008, the model went into permanent storage. It would be ten years later until the model would see the light of day again, when it was brought out by HiT Entertainment/Mattel Creations to be loaned to the Star Tugs Exhibition at the Midland Railway in Butterley, Derbyshire, UK for display alongside other character models and props used in TUGS. Despite it being used as various ocean liner characters in the show, it remains in its 'S.S Roxstar' guise from Thomas & Friends.
Books and Annuals
- Ten Cents' Busy Day (cameo)
- The original model for the SS Vienna (still in its Thomas The Tank Engine guise) is on loan to the Star Tugs Trust until 2019.
- According to an interview on SIF, S.S. Vienna’s model was described as very light as it was made from Plywood, being around 4 feet long. A model maker from Germany built her and brought the model over by vehicle. This may be incorrect as when S.S. Vienna is seen alongside Hercules in "Bigg Freeze," she appears to be almost 3-4 times Hercules' length. This would make her around 12 feet long.
- According to Jeremy King, S.S. Vienna is named after the song, Goodnight Vienna on the Ringo Starr (who narrated the first to second seasons of Thomas & Friends) album released in 1984.
- S.S. Vienna, Princess Alice, and the Duchess all share the same model. After the TUGS’ production was cancelled, the model (in the form of S.S. Vienna) was used on Thomas & Friends, the sister show of TUGS.
- Also, the three ocean liners also share the same horn sound.