The series started production in 1984 by Allcroft’s production company, The Britt Allcroft Company; Clearwater Features Ltd. (Mitton and Cardona’s company); and the ITV company Central Independent Television. The series was originally shot and produced with live action models at the Clearwater in house studio in Battersea, a suburb of London, for Series 1. It later relocated to Shepperton Studios, Middlesex, southwest of London for subsequent series. The use of moving models was seen at the time of the series’ conception as an effective method of animating the stories. Locomotives and other vehicles were operated by radio controls, while humans and animals were static figures. Stop-motion was occasionally employed for instances in which a human or animal character would move. Hand-drawn animation was used in Series 3 to create bees (as seen in the episode “Buzz Buzz”).