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Break Van, retitled Donald and Douglas in American releases, is the sixteenth episode of the second series. It is based on the story of the same name from the Railway Series book The Twin Engines.


Two black twin engines from Scotland named Donald and Douglas have arrived 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 and Douglas is 10. However, the Fat Controller still intends to send one of the engines back home.

In the yard, a Spiteful Brake Van takes a dislike to Douglas and always causes things to go wrong whenever Douglas takes it out. As a result, Douglas' trains are late and he is subsequently blamed, making him worry. Donald is angry at his twin's unfair treatment and bumps the brake van violently, threatening that there will be more if it continues to misbehave. The Spiteful Brake Van starts behaving better afterwards.

One day, however, Donald reverses onto some slippery rails, but he is unable to stop, and accidentally crashes into a signal box, tender first. The Fat Controller is furious with Donald for his clumsiness and tells 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 he will not like.

The Fat Controller is proven right; James is very angry about the extra work and grumbles dreadfully. Douglas mentions James' incident with the tar wagons, worsening his bad mood. He takes a train of trucks which includes the Spiteful Brake Van, who decides to make work difficult for James and has the trucks hold back, quickly tiring James out.

Meeting Douglas at Wellsworth, James asks for his assistance in climbing up Gordon's Hill and Douglas agrees. The two engines work as hard as they can, halfway up the hill, however, James starts losing steam and Douglas accidentally crushes the Spiteful Brake Van while pushing from behind. The Fat Controller arrives on Edward, who comes with the Breakdown Train to help clear the mess and is cross that Douglas has also caused 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 is another story.


  • Donald and Douglas
  • James
  • Edward
  • The Fat Controller
  • Spiteful Break Van


  • The first appearance is Donald and Douglas