In the television series, the old coaches were used on local passenger trains due to their age. They only appeared in the first series and were first seen in Edward and Gordon. The coaches were often seen being pulled by Edward. It is unknown what happened to these coaches after the first series, as they were replaced with the red express coaches, but it is likely that they could have been scrapped.
The old coaches appear to be freelances though do bare a resemblance with some pre-group company builds such as those on the Great Northern and Great North of Scotland railways.
The old coaches are painted emerald green with cream window surrounds. In the first series episode "Edward and Gordon", three coaches in the goods shed behind Edward show the teak livery applied before the filming of the Unaired Pilot.
In a postcard, two coaches are painted brown with tan window surrounds.
- Series 1 - Edward and Gordon, Thomas and the Guard, Tenders and Turntables, Trouble in the Shed, Coal, Dirty Objects and Down the Mine
- In advance of the Unaired Pilot the old coaches were repainted green on one side only, likely for financial/time restriction reasons. In the episode Coal, as Henry rounds a bend, the teak livery can briefly be seen. This would also account for the teak coaches appearing in a deleted scene from Edward and Gordon, as well as the guard coach being backwards in numerous shots.
- The coach with the yellow strip present was repainted on the opposite side to the other two coaches and this is why the steps leading to the roof are out of sync. It is also unique in that it had a grab handle on the roof.
- The plain green and guard coaches had a number of scruff marks on them in the episodes they were filmed in; this might suggest no varnish layer was applied after the green paint was applied.
- The guard and luggage area of the brake coach went through modification before being repainted green on the one side. The teak side of the guard coach also developed a broken foot board.
- The Works Unit coach originally paired with the breakdown cranes appears to share certain aspects with the old coaches.
- The first series episode Edward and Gordon depicts these coaches as being sentient, despite not having visible faces.
- The old coaches bear a slight resemblance to Emily's Coaches.
- In the magazine story, Clarabel's New Friend, a sentient coach painted green with cream windows resembling the Old Coaches appears nicknamed The New Coach.
- Their ERTL toys are both brake coaches and are recycled from Annie and Clarabel's.