|This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the brake van or the magazine story.|
- “Right you horrible lot - I'm in charge now! So no bumping and none of your cheek!"
"Ah! But we like bumping!"
"Not on my watch, matey! This is now a bump-free zone! Oh dear, how sad, never mind. When you're ready, Thomas.”
- ―Bradford and the Troublesome Trucks
Bradford the Brake Van is the fifth episode of the twentieth series.
One day, Thomas is having trouble with the troublesome trucks. When Samson arrives and sees him, he brags that his trucks are not a problem. Leaving the yard, he leaves his brake van: Bradford. Bradford is ashamed of the trucks and offers to be Thomas' brake van. Thomas happily agrees.
Once in position, Bradford barks at the trucks to be quiet. As Thomas passes the other engines, they wish they had a brake van like Bradford but at the Blue Mountain Quarry, Bradford makes Thomas stop; the stones in his trucks are nine millimetres above the allowed height. Thomas is surprised that Bradford is enforcing such a minor rule, even more when Bradford demands him to unload some stone, making him become very late.
At the docks, Whiff asks Thomas to borrow Bradford. Thomas agrees, happy to get away from him. Whiff soon runs into a problem with him; Bradford claims Whiff's trucks are too dirty. When Henry comes to pull the Flying Kipper, Bradford orders Henry to get a new lamp after seeing a tiny crack. Henry comes back very late, and all the engines complain about Bradford.
When Thomas collects his trucks later that day, the only brake van left is Bradford, but Thomas does not want to travel with him. He decides to sneak away, and when Bradford calls Thomas out, he pretends he cannot hear him. Then there is trouble; Thomas' trucks are filled with too many stones, and without a brake van, the trucks push Thomas down Gordon's Hill and into the back of Percy's train, derailing his brake van and rear truck.
Later, Harvey arrives to help Percy, and Sir Topham Hatt arrives as well. He asks Thomas why he left without taking Bradford, to which Thomas answers he didn't want to be late again. Sir Topham Hatt tells Thomas that safety comes first before being on time, and Thomas realizes that Bradford was right all along.
Thomas apologises to Bradford, but Bradford says that he is leaving. As Samson pulls him away, the engines all whistle for him, but Bradford orders to not whistle while stationary, but then makes an exception this time. After what the engines and the trucks went through, they are all quite happy that Bradford is leaving Sodor.
- Troublesome Trucks
- Sir Topham Hatt
- Owen (does not speak)
- Harvey (cameo)
- Winston (cameo)
- Rheneas (cameo)
- Sir Handel (cameo)
- Peter Sam (cameo)
- Cranky (cameo)
- Big Mickey (faceless, cameo)
- Annie and Clarabel (mentioned)
- Knapford Yards
- Blue Mountain Quarry
- Brendam Docks
- Sodor Shipping Company
- Tidmouth Sheds
- Gordon's Hill
- The Works
- Sodor Steamworks (mentioned)
- Whiff's Waste Dump (mentioned)
- The Washdown (mentioned)
- The Mainland (mentioned)
- John Hasler as Thomas
- Keith Wickham as Edward, Henry, Gordon, James, Whiff and the Fat Controller
- Nigel Pilkington as Percy
- Teresa Gallagher as Emily
- Robert Wilfort as Samson
- Rob Rackstraw as Bradford
- Christopher Ragland as the Troublesome Trucks
- Joseph May as Thomas
- William Hope as Edward and Whiff
- Kerry Shale as Henry and Gordon
- Rob Rackstraw as James and Bradford
- Christopher Ragland as Percy and the Troublesome Trucks
- Jules de Jongh as Emily
- Robert Wilfort as Samson
- Keith Wickham as Sir Topham Hatt
- This episode is distinct as it was never aired on television or released on DVD in the US. It can only be watched on Season 20 (Digital Download).
- Bradford's theme is based on the theme from the 1963 film The Great Escape.
- This episode marks the first time the vans have been seen with faces since the seventh series episode Something Fishy.
- This episode marks Bradford's only appearance in the twentieth series as well as his only speaking role and appearance in an episode until the twenty-second series episode, Samson and the Fireworks.
- This episode marks the only time Owen is acknowledged by name in the twentieth series and the last time until the twenty-third series episode Diesel Glows Away.
- Bradford's line "Oh dear, how sad, never mind" is a reference to a catchphrase used by the character of Battery Sergeant Major Williams from the British sitcom It Ain't Half Hot Mum.
- A rock is floating in one of the trucks when they are at the top of Gordon's Hill.
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