The brake van took an instant dislike to Douglas and purposely delayed his trains, with Douglas subsequently being the one indirectly blamed. Donald, angry for how his brother was being treated by the van, bumped the brake van violently to teach him a lesson. The van would then behave better for several days.
However, the van's attitude adjustment was short-lived after Donald ran into the Tidmouth signal box. He continued his old tricks when he was saddled with James. Douglas, as a result, had to help James up Gordon's Hill. James was short of steam and the brake van was soon squeezed between both the troublesome trucks and Douglas. By Douglas' force, he subsequently crushed the brake van into pieces. He was never rebuilt after that and was scrapped.
Ever since then, the troublesome trucks have not forgotten the brake van incident and they don't dare play tricks on neither Donald nor Douglas. It had been an accident really, but no one told the trucks that and the trucks thought that Douglas smashed him on purpose. Because of this, Donald and Douglas have transferred goods traffic on the Main Line quite easily.
Like the Troublesome Trucks and as his name implies, the Spiteful Brake Van was spiteful, very rude, disrespectful and incredibly impolite to the engines, especially Donald and Douglas.
The Spiteful Brake Van was based on an NER 20 Ton Brake Van in the Railway Series. In the television series, he was based on a BR 20 Ton Brake Van. The Toad D van was derived from the earlier Toad B van.
In the Railway Series, the Spiteful Brake Van was painted grey with the letters NW, 13 and 20T painted on his sides in white. In the television series, he was painted in a livery mixture of grey and brown.
- In the magazine story Donald and Douglas, the Spiteful Brake Van is depicted as a standard van.
- The Spiteful Brake Van sustains a black eye due to being crushed by Douglas. This marks the first time an engine, rolling stock, or vehicle suffers physical injury to their face.
- One of the Spiteful Brake Van's face masks would later be used on a Troublesome Truck in the second series episode, Percy's Predicament.
- The Spiteful Brake Van has only been named NW Brake Van in the Wooden Railway line.
- Along with Annie and Clarabel, the Spiteful Brake Van is one of the many rolling stock characters whose basis is different in the Railway Series and television series.
- The Spiteful Brake Van's Ertl description card incorrectly refers to him as an engine and incorrectly says that "He does, however, work very hard with Donald & Douglas to keep the trucks in order", even though in the second series episode, Break Van, he was causing trouble for the twins and was actually encouraging the trucks to cause trouble which resulted in him getting crushed to pieces by Douglas.
- “Ye're a muckle nuisance", said Donald one day". It's tae leave ye behind I'd be wantin'".
- "You can't", said the van, "I'm essential".
- "Och are ye?" Donald burst out. "Ye're naethin' but a screechin' an' a noise when a's said an' done. Spite Douggie wad ye? Take that".
- "Oh! Oh! Oh!" cried the van.
- "Hauld yer wheesht", said Donald severely. "There's mair comin' should ye misbehave again.”
- ―A conversation between Donald and the Spiteful Brake Van, Break Van