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There are many types of express coaches used for express trains on the Main Line of the North Western Railway and other railways.

Railway Series-only Coaches

Express coaches form the fast and important passenger trains and are normally pulled by Gordon, James or Henry. Several of these coaches form the express, known as the "Wild Nor' Wester" that runs between Tidmouth to Barrow-in-Furness, and onwards to London, via Crovan's Gate. Usually pulled by Gordon, although Henry, James and Bear take the train when Gordon is busy. Other coaches form the "Limited", which was pulled by Bear in Enterprising Engines.

Class 40 was supposed to pull the express in Bowled Out, but he broke down, so Duck and Stepney pulled it instead. In the late 1950s, Gordon would stop at Barrow-in-Furness with the express and an engine from the Other Railway would take the train on to London. From 2011 onwards, Pip and Emma now run the service.

Some blue express coaches belong to British Railways.


The orange coaches appear to be based on the LMS Period 1 corridor coaches, LMS Stanier corridor coaches and BR MK1 non-corridor suburban coaches, whilst the blue coaches were based on BR MK1 coaches and the brown coaches appear similar to the Midland Railway suburban coaches.


The coaches were primarily painted yellow-orange until around 1984, when they were repainted brown with a yellow stripe. There were also some blue and white coaches. In John T. Kenney's illustrations, the coaches are painted red and custard.



Orange Coaches
Blue / Brown Coaches
  • Motor Road and Rail (blue coach with OT-03, brown coach with OT-05; Asia only)
  • Capsule Plarail
  • Tomica

Thomas' Special Coach

After arriving at Tidmouth at 3:30pm with the express, engines have to shunt a coach from the train into the bay platform for passengers wanting to travel to destinations on Thomas' Branch Line. Thomas, Annie and Clarabel then come from Knapford Junction to collect it.

One time, Douglas accidentally forgot to shunt this coach for Thomas. Instead he shunted the coach with the others into the carriage siding.


In the Railway Series, Thomas' Special Coach is based off of BR MK1 Coach. In the Television Series, it was going to be based off of Southern Railway Maunsell non-corridor coaches.


In the Railway Series, Thomas' special coach is painted burgundy red with cream coloured window surrounds. In the Television Series, it was going to be identical to the green express coaches.


The Railway Series

Thomas & Friends

My Thomas Story Library

The Royal Train

The Royal Train was the train that transported Queen Elizabeth II in Paint Pots and Queens. Henry was supposed to pull it, but after an accident with some paint cans, Gordon was given the job instead. In both The Railway Series and the television series, it was made up of blood and custard express coaches with whitewall wheels and white buffers.

Another Royal Carriage appeared in the magazine story, The Royal Carriage. This carriage is painted brown with red flags and a crown on its roof. Inside it has some comfortable chairs and a royal blue carpet. It is on display at the Sodor Museum.


  • The coach in the magazine somewhat has Henrietta's shape.

The Dining Coach

The Dining Coach, also known as The Buffet Car, is often added to the express so that people can have something to eat and drink on their journey. It has a bar, serving area, pantry and tables.


In the television series, the coach is painted green with custard-yellow window surrounds and it looks identical to the green express coaches externally. In the model series, it had "Buffet" written on its sides in white, while in the CGI series, the writing had disappeared. Henry once shunted this coach hard enough to make its contents fly everywhere. In the magazines, the Buffet Car is painted yellow-orange and has yellow stripes.

Gordon's Special Coaches

For breaking his speed-record again, Gordon was rewarded with a new set of special coaches. Emily was to collect them and deliver them to the ceremony, but Diesel stole the coaches and hid them in a siding. Diesel gave them back after he told Emily that he too had set a record.


Gordon's special coaches are based on Southern Railway Maunsell standard non-corridor carriages.


Gordon's special coaches are painted in a dark blue coat of paint, with a gold-brown stripe of paint underneath the windows.


Gordon's special coaches only appeared in the tenth series episode, Emily and the Special Coaches.

The German Express Coach

A German express coach with a face appeared in the Great Race Friends Near and Far online video series.

It appeared at the last station in Germany that Frieda and Ivan arrived to after competing in the Great Railway Show.



The Chinese Coaches

The Chinese express coaches were used for carrying and transporting passengers, and special visitors across China.


These coaches were based upon the SR Maunsell coaches.


They are painted red with yellow stripes on the side and yellow lining around the windows.



The Indian Coaches

The Indian express coaches are used for various trains in India.

Several different engines can be seen pulling the coaches regularly, Noor Jehan also has her own set of coaches which she uses for her Tiger Safari trains, though they are occasionally used by other engines. 


These coaches are based on Pullman luxury coaches, Aubrey, Aiden, Spencer's, Connor's and Caitlin's coaches all share the same design.


The coaches are painted in two different liveries, some are yellow with dark green stripes bordering the windows. They have yellow buffer beams and black buffers.

There are also ones painted cream with red, purple, lavender and sky blue patterns along their sides with purple roofs, similarly to Noor Jehan, who uses a rake for her tiger safaris.

A third version of the coaches was seen in a magazine, they are painted blue with a yellow stripe, similarly to the Branch Line Coaches seen in Tiger Trouble.


Thomas & Friends


  • The livery of yellow and green coaches is based upon the livery used for coaches produced for Senegal by the Rail Coach Factory in India, while the livery of the cream coaches is based upon that of the Palace On Wheels, a luxury train in India.

Other Coaches

Four grey coaches with an orange stripe appeared in Thomas and the Big, Big Bridge.

A white express coach with orange lining was seen in the 2006 magazine story, Splendid Sight.


  • In the magazine story, Airship, Gordon's express carriages are once referred to as "Pullman Coaches".
  • Some of the express coaches' television series models are currently on display; three red ones and two green ones at Drayton Manor Theme Park and two red ones at the Hara Model Railway Museum in Japan. One green express coach model (made in the sixth series) is owned by Twitter user TomsProps.
  • The wind-up toys are repainted from those representing Japanese National Railways coaches.
  • In the CGI series the Dining Coach is the only express coach with an aisle.

* RWS only | ** T&F only | --- Dropped

* RWS only | ** T&F only
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