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"I heard tell about an engine and some tar wagons."
"Shut up! It's not funny.
— Douglas and James

Break Van, retitled Donald and Douglas in American releases, is the sixteenth episode of the second season. It aired in the US on the Shining Time Station episode, Sweet and Sour in 1991.


Donald and Douglas are twin engines from Scotland who arrive on the Island of Sodor to help out, however the Fat Controller had only sent for one engine. While the twins mean well, their identical appearance causes confusion and the Fat Controller has numbers painted on them; Donald is 9, while Douglas is 10. However, the Fat Controller still intends to send one of the engines back home.

In the yard, a Spiteful Brakevan takes a dislike to Douglas and does his best to make things go wrong whenever Douglas takes it out. As a result, Douglas' trains are late causing him to get a bad reputation. Donald is angry at his twin's unfair treatment and bumps the brakevan hard before threatening it. The brakevan starts behaving better after that.

However things start to go wrong when Donald travels along some slippery rails and crashes his tender into a signalbox. The Fat Controller is very angry at Donald and informs him that he had decided to keep him and send Douglas back before this incident. Now Donald needs to have his tender mended and James will have to do his work, which the Fat Controller knows James won't like.

The Fat Controller is right and James is very grumpy about the extra work. Douglas jokes about James' incident with the tar wagons, making him angrier. He takes a train of trucks which includes the spiteful brakevan, who decides to make life difficult for James and has the trucks hold back, quickly tiring James out.

Meeting Douglas at Wellsworth, James asks for help climbing Gordon's Hill and the Scottish engine agrees. Douglas and James work as hard as they can to climb the hill, however Douglas pushes too hard and accidentally destroys the spiteful brakevan.

The Fat Controller arrives with Edward and is angry that Douglas has caused even more trouble. Edward stands up for Douglas, having heard what happened and tells the Fat Controller of all the hard work Douglas did. The Fat Controller feels that Douglas went too far, but understands Douglas had good intentions and was only trying to help. The Fat Controller is left unsure about what to do with Donald and Douglas, but that's another story.




  • This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, The Twin Engines.
  • A LEGO brick can be seen beside the tracks when James and Douglas leave the station.
  • The rag used to wipe down Douglas' tender is blu-tack.
  • A reference to the first season episode, Dirty Objects is made in this episode as well as a foreshadow to The Deputation.
  • When originally broadcasted, compiled with Better Late Than Never, the end credits mentioned Christopher Awdry's episode. Though later separate versions (most notably on VHS and Cartoon Network), still had the episode listed in the end credits.
  • In the Japanese version, James gains an extra line as he does Donald's work.


  • At the beginning, blu-tack is used to hold Donald's face.
  • In the widescreen version of the first clip, Douglas' number has been painted on.
  • When Donald says "It's to leave you behind I'd be wanting", the flatbed beside him has been replaced by a platform.
  • When Donald hits the signal box, the alarm bell and its walls are bumped. But when The Fat Controller arrives, the walls and the alarm bell are undamaged.
  • When Donald bumps the Spiteful Brakevan, the sound of him bumping him is late by a second.
  • The "M" is partly rubbed off on the sign on the signalbox that Donald crashes into.
  • When James leaves the yard, the van coupled to him tips.
  • When Donald approaches the spiteful brakevan, his lamp iron disappears.
  • When James leaves the yard, Gordon's eyes are wonky.
  • The spiteful brakevan turns brown after Douglas crushes him.
  • When Douglas crushes the brakevan, his wheels are bluish-grey. This is due to the fluid in the model that generates the smoke effects. An extended shot shown in a postcard shows that not only are his tender axleboxes in the same bluish-grey, but his driver's head is also backwards.
  • In a deleted photograph, Douglas' face is falling off when he is coupled behind the brakevan.
  • Douglas is smiling when he breaks the Spiteful Brakevan and when the Fat Controller speaks angrily to him.
  • When the Fat Controller says "I don't know..." Douglas' face mask moves.
  • When the Fat Controller says "I might have known it would be Douglas", Douglas' face is clean and his nameplate is fine, but when Edward says "I heard him from my yard", his face becomes dirty and his nameplate is crooked and crushed.
  • Douglas mistakenly has his nameplate during the last part of the episode (after Douglas starts helping James up the hill). In the shot where Douglas crushes the break van, the original version of this episode had the nameplate covered with a black censor bar with other shots zoomed in to keep it out-of-frame, however these were missing from the restored episode and the nameplate can be seen clearly.


In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Brazilian Portuguese Os Gêmeos Escoceses The Scottish Twins
Finnish Jarruvaunu Brake Van
German Der Bremswagen The Brakevan
Croatian Slomljeni Teretnih Vagona Broken Freight Wagons
Norwegian Den Trassige Godsvogna The Challenging Truck
Spanish Donald y Douglas Donald and Douglas
Italian Le Locomotive Gemelle The Twin Engines
French Les Jumeaux Ecossais The Scottish Twins
Dutch De Remwagen The Caboose
Japanese ふたごのきかんしゃ The Twin Engines
Hungarian A Fékezőkocsi The Caboose
Catalan Els Bessons Escocés The Scottish Twins
Danish Donald og Douglas Donald and Douglas
Chinese 破烂的手车 Tattered Handcart
Korean 쌍둥이 기관차 Twin Engine
Russian Вагончик с тормозом The Trailer Brake
Ukrainian Гальмівний вагон Brake Wagon
Slovenian Vagon z Zavoro Wagon with Brakes
Romanian Vagonul cu Frână Brake Wagon
Slovak Spojovací Vagón Coupling Wagon
Czech Spojovací Vagón Joining Wagon
Swedish Den Trassiga Godsvagnen The Broken Wagon
Polish Wagon Służbowy Guard's Van
Serbian Polomljeni vagon Broken Wagon
Thai หัวรถจักรฝาแฝดคู่ใหม่ New Twin Engines

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