- "Those are my coaches! Give them back!"
- — Thomas, Emily's New Coaches, seventh season
Annie and Clarabel are Thomas' faithful coaches, whom he loves very much.
Annie and Clarabel started life on the North Western Railway, as James's coaches. After 1923, they were given to Thomas when he started working his own branch line. They have had several adventures, such as losing their guard and becoming runaways. Clarabel once derailed on a set of trap points when Thomas slipped on some oily rails, and had to be helped by Diesel.
In The Adventure Begins, before Thomas got his branch line, he met Annie and Clarabel for the first time when he thought they were the express coaches. He apologised and introduced himself, leaving Annie and Clarabel impressed. They were often pulled by James. Edward at one point was also briefly seen with them. When Thomas received his branch line after rescuing James, the two coaches were given to him to use. When Thomas is away, Percy, Toby, Duck, Stanley, Rosie (unseen) and Ryan take his place to pull them. Emily and Neville have both taken them not knowing they were Thomas' coaches, and Caitlin has once taken them without realising they were coupled to her own coaches and Hiro saved them. Gordon also pulled them once, when Samson took his Express Coaches by mistake. Ashima, Daisy and Diesel have also taken them.
Annie and Clarabel are respectful to all of the engines, but most of all Gordon and Thomas, and Daisy least of all for insulting them and Henrietta. They show a kind and caring side to everyone in the whole railway. However, despite their kindness and sweetness, when needed they can be stern, especially Annie, like when they scolded Thomas for teasing Gordon. Annie and Clarabel are best friends, but like all friends, sometimes they fall out.
The coach that was to be the basis for Annie was first built by a teenage Wilbert Awdry as part of a model railway layout. Many years later, after a long hiatus from modelling, a brake coach was built to match so that the Reverend's Thomas model would have a complete train.
In the Railway Series, they are a pair of bogie coaches (i.e. each coach is supported on a pair of four-wheeled bogies or "trucks"). As currently illustrated, they appear similar to non-corridor suburban coaches operated by the LMS.
In the television series, Annie and Clarabel are LB&SCR Stroudley four-wheeled coaches. Several coaches of this type are preserved on the Bluebell Railway.
In the Railway Series, Annie and Clarabel were originally painted orange-brown and were later painted brown with a yellow stripe.
In the television series, they were painted in a tan livery with their names painted on their sides in white, from the first season, to mid-way through the fifth season. Since then, they are repainted in an orange-brown livery, again, with their names painted on their sides in white. In the CGI series they appear to have reverted to their original livery.
In Thomas' imagination where he gets streamlined in The Great Race, Annie and Clarabel are repainted in NWR blue with a white stripe near the bottom and a thicker white stripe with red borders near the top.
In the magazine story, Thomas, Terence and the Snow, Annie and Clarabel were coloured greenish grey.