- “You're lazy and slack! You're lazy and slack!”
- ―Orange Coaches, Tenders and Turntables, first season
There are two types of Branch Line Coaches on the North Western Railway.
There were a number of orange four-wheeled coaches used on local trains. They are usually pulled by Edward, Henry, James and Percy. As of the third season, Annie and Clarabel seem to be the only type of these coaches left. In the Railway Series, these coaches were depicted as bogie coaches. James once bumped the coaches so hard, that Jeremiah Jobling's bootlace had to be obtained to mend the brake pipe.
In the television series, the red coaches are usually pulled by Duck and Oliver on their branch line, by Edward on his branch line, by Percy on Ffarquhar Branch Line and occasionally by Ryan on the Harwick Branch Line, but are also used by Henry and James on the Main Line. They were also pulled by Stepney on his branch line. Thomas also pulls these when Annie and Clarabel are being repaired.
In the The Railway Series brown coaches were used on local trains.
In the Railway Series these coaches are based on the Midland Railway Suburban Coaches and LMS Suburban Caoches. In the television series branch line coaches are based on LB&SCR Stroudley four-wheel coaches. Annie and Clarabel are also members of this basis. Examples of this type of coach survive in preservation on the Bluebell Railway.
- Kōzō Shioya (Japan; James and the Coaches)
- Shinobu Satouchi (Japan; James and the Coaches)
- Toshio Kobayashi (Japan; Tenders and Turntables)
- The branch line coaches in the first twelve seasons were made using Tenmille Gauge One LB&SCR Stroudley coach kits.
- In the annual story, Pantomime Pranks, one of the orange branch line coaches was painted green. In the magazine story, Rain or Shine, one of the orange branch line coaches was painted yellow.
- In Hero of the Rails and the thirteenth season episode The Lion of Sodor, one of the red branch line coaches is painted brown. Coaches painted blue, green, yellow, orange, black and white were featured in the game "Lift, Load and Haul" on the Official Website.
- In The Adventure Begins, red branch coaches replaced the use of the express coaches in the original first season episodes Thomas' Train and The Sad Story of Henry.
- The orange branch line guard compartments did not have the duckets that feature on the red or LB&SC Railway examples. Instead a piece of card or plastic covers over this area.
- The duckets on the red branch line coaches are beaded. This makes them similar to the Stroudley coaches that received modification work from 1911 onwards, as they were originally flush and fashioned from three sections of iron sheet.
- The red branch coaches also differ from the Stroudley coaches with their oil lamp pots, as they have a round base instead of the square base ones that were used on the LB&SC Railway.
- In Really Useful Around the World, Thomas is accompanied by a green variation of the red branch line coaches.
- Annie and Clarabel, The Play Coach, Victoria, Annie and Clarabel's Old Friend and the orange coaches are the only known branch line coaches to have faces.
- In the first season, Annie and Clarabel were often used to represent the orange coaches during a speaking role.
- Another version of these coaches appeared in a different country during Season 22. They were painted yellow on the front and back, green on the sides with yellow patches, yellow bufferbeams and buffers, and white roofs. They also appeared with some Express Coaches in similar colors.