Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia
The Railway Series

This article is about the coaches. You may be looking for the 1997 magazine story, the 1999 magazine story or the Story Library book.

Annie and Clarabel are a pair of orange-brown push-pull coaches who work on the North Western Railway. The pair usually work on the Ffarquhar Branch Line with Thomas, who loves them dearly.


While Annie and Clarabel's exact origins are unknown, it is possible that they were lengthened and converted from six-wheelers to bogie coaches after they arrived on Sodor, and in this case it is likely that they began life with oil-lamps to light their compartments. Sir Topham Hatt saw to it that this system would be changed to electricity, but even though they're old, Annie and Clarabel are still capable of a good day's work.

Annie and Clarabel have probably been on Sodor as long as Thomas, but they did not meet each other until they were given to Thomas along with his branch like in 1925. It is very likely that they were bought second-hand from one of the railways on the Mainland many years ago.

They operate as a push-pull set. They have had several adventures, such as losing their guard, becoming runaways and travelled with Percy through bad weather. Clarabel once derailed on a set of trap points when Thomas slipped on some oily rails and had to be helped by Diesel.


Annie and Clarabel are respectful to all of the engines, but most of all Gordon and Thomas. The only exception to this is Daisy, who they respect least of all for insulting them and Henrietta. They show a kind and caring side to everyone on the railway. Despite their kindness and sweetness, they can be stern when needed; for instance, when Down the Mine|they scolded Thomas for teasing Gordon after his accident.

Annie and Clarabel are very faithful to Thomas and the three have a close bond. The three will often sing songs to each other when Thomas starts from a station. Annie and Clarabel also know that whenever Thomas is cross, he is not cross with them; he is cross with the engines on the Main Line making him late.[1]

Technical Details


Annie and Clarabel are a pair of bogie coaches; as currently illustrated, they appear similar to LMS Suburban Coaches. In the 1987 annual, Christopher Awdry implies the pair were likely built in the early twentieth century on the Mainland and that they were possibly six-wheeled designs. Sometime after being brought to Sodor, their bodies were lengthened, placed on bogie frames and upgraded with electric lighting.


Annie and Clarabel have orange-brown bodies with black wheels, valences and bufferbeams and light grey roofs.

During Clive Spong's tenure as illustrator, Annie and Clarabel's roofs were changed to black and they were given a yellow stripe along each side of their bodies.

Wilbert Awdry's models of Annie and Clarabel feature the letters "NW" painted on their sides in yellow. Additionally, Annie has a yellow number "1" painted on some of her doors, indicating first-class compartments.


The Railway Series

Companion Volumes


  • Annie and Clarabel are the first of a few things:
    • The first official female characters created by the Rev. W. Awdry and as such, are the first female characters of the entire series.
    • The first named rolling stock to appear in the series.
  • The intro to the 2009 Thomas & Friends special Hero of the Rails Annie and Clarabel with bogie wheels as seen in The Railway Series.


“Oh come along, we're rather late! Oh come along, we're rather late!"
"We're coming along! We're coming along!”
―Thomas, Annie and Clarabel singing, Thomas and the Guard
“He's dreadfully rude, I feel quite ashamed. I feel quite ashamed, he's dreadfully rude. You mustn't be rude, you make us ashamed!”
―Annie and Clarabel telling Thomas off for teasing Gordon, Down the Mine

See also