Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia

The Spiteful Brake Van was a troublesome brake van, who was subsequently crushed into pieces by Douglas, on the back of James' goods train.


The Railway Series

The brake van took an instant dislike to Douglas and purposely delayed his trains, with Douglas subsequently being the one directly and unfairly blamed. Donald, angry for how his brother was being treated by the brake van, bumped him violently to teach him a lesson. The brake van would then behave better for several days. [1]

However, the brake van's attitude adjustment was short-lived after Donald ran into the signal box at Knapford. With Donald indisposed, the brake van no longer took his threats seriously and 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. The brake van never got rebuilt after that and was scrapped. [1]

Ever since then, the Troublesome Trucks have never forgotten the brake van incident and they do not 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 transformed goods traffic on the Main Line quite easily. [1]

Thomas & Friends

The Spiteful Brake Van reprises his role from The Railway Series. [2]


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.

Technical Details


In The Railway Series, the Spiteful Brake Van was based on an NER Diagram V4 10 ton brake van. In the television series, he was based on a BR 20 ton one. The Toad D van was derived from the earlier Toad B van.


In The Railway Series, the Spiteful Brake Van was painted grey with his railway's initials (N W), his number (13) and his weight (20T) painted on his sides in white. In the television series, he was painted in a livery paint mixture of grey and brown.

His Bachmann models portray him in his BR 20 ton brake van form, but retain his Railway Series livery.


Thomas & Friends

The Spiteful Brake Van's angry face, that was never featured on his model on-screen, was reused on a 3-plank truck in the second series episode, Percy's Predicament. His model (faceless) made various appearances throughout the second series.

Official Description

From Official Media:[1]

NW Brakevan: The NW Brakevan is a spiteful nuisance with ill will towards Douglas. He is known for encouraging the other trucks to play tricks on the engines, but is taught a lesson when one of his schemes goes wrong and he gets caught between James and Douglas.


  • In the magazine story Donald and Douglas, the Spiteful Brake Van is portrayed 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 a physical injury to their face. [2]
  • One of the Spiteful Brake Van's face masks would later be used on a Troublesome Truck. [3]
  • 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 a "guards engine" and incorrectly says that "He does, however, work very hard with Donald and Douglas to keep the trucks in order", even though 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. [2]
  • The Spiteful Brake Van's Wooden Railway toy depicts him in his Railway Series livery, with a face and shape based more on his Railway Series counterpart that his Television Series counterpart.
  • Several trucks in the annual stories Galloping Sausage, Rusty Red Scrap Iron, Old Square Wheels and Donald and the Breakaways have Spiteful Brake Van-esqe faces due to being based on a Series 2 reference photo of a truck with the van's angry face.


“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.
"There's mair comin' should ye misbehave!.”
―A conversation between Donald and the Spiteful Brake Van, Break Van



* RWS only | ** T&F only | --- Dropped