|This article is about the magazine story. You may be looking for the brake van or the episode.|
One day, a new brakevan called Bradford is visiting the island. Thomas is taking some trucks to collect stone from the quarry and Bradford offers to help.
At the quarry, Bradford bosses the trucks around and they are filled with stone in no time at all. In fact, the trucks are behaving so well that Thomas is glad to have the strong brakevan's help. Then there is trouble, as Thomas is about to pull away, Bradford refuses to move. He tells Thomas that the trucks are overfilled and that it violates the railway regulations. Thomas has to wait until Bradford is satisfied that the trucks have been filled correctly. Then, Bradford spots a leaf on the line and makes Thomas chuff slowly all the way to the docks.
Bradford's rules and regulations make Thomas very late and the Fat Controller is not happy. Neither is Thomas so, the next day, he slips off to the quarry without a brakevan.
At the quarry, Thomas fills his trucks with stone and races towards the docks. He spots Percy on the track up ahead and applies his brakes, but with too many rocks and no brakevan to help him slow down, Thomas can't stop. He crashes into Percy and spills rocks all over the tracks.
When the Fat Controller arrives, he asks why Thomas went off without a brakevan. Thomas is very sorry and explains that he didn't want to be late again. The Fat Controller tells Thomas that being safe and following the rules is far more important than being on time. Thomas regrets not listening to Bradford and goes to say sorry to him.
Thomas tells Bradford that he is very sorry for being silly and going off without him. Bradford kindly tells Thomas that it's alright. When it's time for Bradford to go back to the Mainland, Thomas is happy to have made a really useful new friend.