Brendam is a town located on the coast of Brendam Bay with a population of 5,000 and is home to Brendam Docks. It is the top station for Edward's Branch Line and an important harbour. Bill and Ben bring china clay here from the nearby China Clay Workings, which is then shipped to the Mainland.
History and Operations
Before 1949 Brendam was a quiet fishing village where apparently nothing much ever happened.
In the early 1900s the Wellsworth and Suddery Railway extended to Brendam and built jetties there intending to use it as a port, but after a few years they abandoned the project and transferred to Tidmouth. The fishermen were glad of the jetties and the railway, but carried on as before.
The village had grown up around the mouth of a small river. St. Brendan’s Church, though small, has a conspicuous 15th century tower standing slightly apart from the main building. It was erected as a landmark to guide boats along the only safe channel by which to enter the harbour.
Now the pattern of life has changed. Fishing has declined and the majority of the 4,500 inhabitants are employed in one way or another by the Sodor China Clay Company.
The clay beds were discovered in 1948 and a company was formed to work them. A new harbour, capable of accommodating ocean-going vessels, was built some one and a half miles south of the old one and a private railway laid down to link the workings with the harbour and the North Western Railway. This line is worked on by the Clay Company’s own locomotives, Bill and Ben.
There has naturally been considerable housing development, not only around the harbour area, but also on the hillside above the old village. Great care has been taken to ensure that the new buildings harmonise with the old. The Clay Company and their architects have succeeded admirably in this. Much more difficult has been the establishment of a harmonious relationship between the two communities – “the Villagers and the Clayboys”, the old inhabitants and the new; but now after nearly fifty years there are welcome signs that the two communities are at last fusing into one.
In the television series, Brendam Docks is one of the busiest dockyards on the Island of Sodor. Cranky is stationed here and he always loads and unloads cargo to and from the dock. Salty, who loves to work at the Docks and tell tales of the sea, was bought by Sir Topham Hatt to also work here. Later, Porter arrived to accompany Salty with the workloads.
A coastal branch line runs from the port and is mainly used for fish traffic. It also appears that the Express stops here on its way to Vicarstown, to collect passengers from the many ocean liners that come in here. In the fifth and sixth seasons, there was a large goods shed nearby Cranky, but after he accidentally knocked it over, it has not been rebuilt or seen since. The mail barge also docks here. The Docks here are large and extensive, with many warehouses, cranes, rail yards and canals.
In Main Line Engines and the second season, it is stated that the track and bridges on Edward's Branch Line do not support the heavier weight of the Main Line engines such as Gordon or Henry. However, in Wrong Road, Gordon and the Express were switched onto the Branch Line and ended up at Brendam Docks, though this was done by mistake. Ever since the fifth season, engines like Gordon, Henry, Murdoch, Spencer and Hiro have appeared travelling regularly at Brendam Docks, despite Edward's Branch Line not being able to hold their weight regularly. In the CGI Series, Brendam Docks has been portrayed as a main line station and Gordon, pulling the Express, is seen regularly delivering passengers to the Docks.
- The Sodor Shipping Company has at least one large warehouse located here.
- Brendam is often misspelt "Brendham", particularly in merchandise and in the subtitles of DVDs.
- Since the fifth season, Brendam Docks has been portrayed as a main line station and also since the same season, Big Mickey and S.S. Vienna's models from TUGS can be seen here.
- In Baa!, Percy says that the docks are his favourite station, albeit while "too tired to think properly."
- Brendam has had numerous modifications throughout the years:
- Season 13:
- There are no longer ballast under the rails.
- Brendam had a siding beside the warehouse which did not connect to any other line, making it inaccessible.
- King of the Railway:
- There are points near Cranky so the engines can switch tracks.
- The Great Race:
- A ferry dock was added.
- The inaccessible siding was made accessible again.
- Season 13:
- In Really Useful Around the World, a siding with buffers is placed by Cranky, and the Sodor Shipping Company is moved slightly to another track.
- Wooden Railway
- Take Along (discontinued)
- Collectible Railway
- Motor Road and Rail
- Bachmann (warehouse only)
- Mega Bloks
- Motorized Railway