There are many types of express coaches used for fast trains on the Main Line.
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" - 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. D261 was supposed to pull the express in Bowled Out, but he broke down.
In the Railway Series, the coaches were primarily painted yellow-orange until circa 1984, when they were repainted maroon with a yellow stripe.
In the television series, the coaches are painted either green or red with custard-yellow or white window surrounds. The green versions have appeared since the first season and are primarily used for the express, while the red versions did not appear until the second season and are generally used for other fast trains, but occasionally used for the express.
Between the thirteenth and sixteenth seasons, the green express coaches seemed to be exclusive to Gordon as he was the only engine ever seen pulling them. However, since the seventeenth season, other engines have been seen pulling them again.
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.
The express coaches are based on SR Maunsell Stock, LNER Gresley and GWR suburban with added corridor sections onto the ends of the coaches and the larger windows of corridors stock on the far sides. Occasionally, British Railways Mark 1 and 2 coaches could be seen as well.
- In the magazine story, Airship, Gordon's express carriages are once referred to as "Pullman Coaches".
- In the first and second seasons, the express coaches had the ability to talk, despite not having visible faces. This is also featured in the Railway Series.
- In the second and third seasons, the green express coaches were slightly longer.
- One of the express coaches models are currently on display; three red and two green at Drayton Manor and two red at the Hara Model Railway Museum in Japan.
- Since the CGI series, the coaches have been much taller and thinner. They also feature bay windows on both sides.
- The red express coaches were absent since the twelfth season, but returned in The Great Race.
- Some toy train coaches resembling the green express coaches appear in the "Bob the Builder" special "Scrambler to the Rescue". They are pulled by a blue engine resembling Thomas.
The coaches are not available in their brown Railway Series livery.
The Green Coaches are available in:
- Motor Road and Rail (with Gordon; discontinued outside Asia)
- Departing Now (discontinued)
- My First Thomas
- Wind-up Trains
- Pocket Fantasy (discontinued)
- Boss (with Edward; discontinued)
The Red Coaches are available in:
- Wooden Railway (discontinued)
- Motor Road and Rail (Asia only)
- Thomas Engine Collection Series (with sound effects; discontinued)
- Departing Now
- Capsule Plarail
- Pocket Fantasy (Discontinued)
- De Agostini (discontinued)
- Bachmann (discontinued)
- Nakayoshi (discontinued)
- Boss (with James; discontinued)
- Choro-Q (with James)
- LEGO (discontinued)
The Blue Coaches are available in:
- Motor Road and Rail (with Talking James)
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. In both the Railway Series and the television series, it was made up of blood and custard express coaches.
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 annual 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 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. Henry once bumped this coach, making its contents fly everywhere. In the magazines, the Buffet Car is painted yellow-orange and has yellow stripes.