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Annie and Clarabel
Thomas & Friends character
First appearance Thomas the Tank Engine (1946)
Created by Rev. W. Awdry
Voiced by Teresa Gallagher
Shelley-Elizabeth Skinner (Thomas and the Magic Railroad)
Gender Females
Nationality British English

Annie and Clarabel are 2 anthropomorphic passenger coaches from The Railway Series children's books by the Rev. W. Awdry and its television adaptation, Thomas & Friends. In the stories, they are Thomas the Tank Engine's passenger coaches.

Description and appearances

Annie and Clarabel both have seating accommodation for carrying passengers; Clarabel also has a brake compartment for luggage and a guard. They have been described by the Rev. Awdry as being old and in need of new paint; however, Thomas loves them dearly and would never dream of being separated from them. The two coaches are nearly always seen coupled together, with Annie usually facing Thomas and Clarabel facing backwards. They are the first official female characters to appear in the series.

In The Adventure Begins, when Thomas met Annie and Clarabel for the first time (before he got his branch line) he thought they were the express coaches. He apologised and introduced himself, leaving them both impressed. They were often pulled by James.

Not only do they carry passengers for Thomas, but they also act as advisors and confidantes. On several occasions they have warned him about potential hazards, and Thomas invariably runs into trouble when he ignores their warnings. Annie and Clarabel are occasionally pulled by other engines when Thomas is busy (usually by Percy, Toby, Duck, Caitlin, Stanley, and Emily), but Thomas always worries for their safety and can sometimes be jealous.

The Railway Series

The coaches first appeared in the 1946 book Thomas the Tank Engine, in which they were awarded to Thomas along with his branch line. In this first, brief appearance, they were not named. In Tank Engine Thomas Again (1949), they were given names and their characters were greatly expanded upon.

In The Railway Series, they are depicted as bogie coaches (i.e. each coach is supported on a pair of four-wheeled bogies or "trucks"). In the television series they are depicted as four-wheeled coaches – they are built on a rigid chassis, with fixed axles. In both series they appear in a plain orangey-brown colour, and in the television series they also have their names painted on their body sides. The color scheme is based on that of the former British LNER railway, which formed the basis for a number of Awdry's early characters; that railway's carriages were not painted in the normal manner of other railways, but had a teak-wood finish on the outside, which was plain varnished over, the resulting livery being known as "varnished teak". When steel carriages were introduced later, a paint scheme was devised by the LNER which closely resembled this colour scheme.

Thomas & Friends

They first appeared in the first season of the television program Thomas & Friends and have been in every season since. They had no speaking role from Season 10 until Season 17. And since then, they again have speaking roles.