Trix Twin Railway  :    TTR Buildings History in Pictures

 

© Copyright 2009-12  Garry Lefevre all rights reserved

 

Buildings

Stations, line side structures and conveyor

 

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Group.jpg

 

In this section :-

 

·       1935 - First wooden station buildings introduced in Leipzig for Trix Express

 

·       1936 - Henry Greenly designs a new building range for Trix Twin Railways

 

·       1937 Ernest Twinning experiments with designs leading to Manyways buildings

 

·       Trix Twin Footbridges, signal boxes, carriage and Engine sheds

 

·       1953 Siegfried Kahn invents Operating Conveyor

 

 

The beginning ....

 

On Sunday 3rd March 1935 the world of 00 gauge model railways began.  The name chosen was Trix Express.  A year later this became “TRIX TWIN” in the UK.   This new scale system was first presented at the  Leipzig Trade Fair by the Vereinigte Spielwaren-Fabriken, (the United Toy Factory).  More about the history of its development and the range of models introduced can be read on the link -  History 1935 -1937.  This section describes the buildings ; stations, engine sheds and similar items made by Trix for the UK market up to 1960.

 

 

Ad Aug 35.jpg

The above advertisement appeared in August 1935.  It shows the station, a passenger train and the controller.  Note the method of connecting the electric wires is different from that used in the production models.

 

Pictures of the very first layout at the trade fair can be seen on the link – 1935 Exhibition layouts.

 

 

The first Trix Express buildings were made of wood.  There were four; a through station (21/270), an island platform, (21/271), an engine shed (21/272), and a goods shed (21/273).

 

Diorama 1935 1.jpg

 

The station and island platform shown below was designed by Henry Greenly in 0 gauge for Bassett Lowke.  Throughout the development stages the creators of Trix, Stephan Bing and Siegfried Kahn, were in constant contact with Bassett Lowke with whom they had supplied 0 gauge  and larger items for years.  It was no surprise that they copied a typical English style station, since the UK was a major export market for trains.

 

5 B Trixstadt.jpg

Catalogue nr. 20/270

 

 

To design the station Henry Greenly worked with the senior architect of London Underground it was based on a typical London suburban station found on those parts of the train line above ground.  The 0 gauge model for Bassett Lowke, shown below, is in their 1932 catalogue and in subsequent years – also shown below is an island platform - both are the original models.

 

Bassett Lowke Ashfield new1.jpg

 

 

 

Bassett Lowke Ashfield new 2.jpg

The round “underground” sign was changed to a clock on the Trix model: even the blue line under the roof was copied !!

Note: the sign board on the original station platform fence fits the “underground” sign. It was retained by Trix but the name shield “TRIXSTADT” does not fit.  One wonders why they didn’t’ change this ?

 

 

5 C  Island platform.jpg

Above the Trix Express 1935 island platform

Catalogue nr. 20/271

 

 

 

 

Two other buildings were also introduced : an engine shed and a goods shed, it is not known who designed these.  It could have been Henry Greenly as he was a general independent designer working for Bassett Lowke and other model companies.

Small e shed 1.jpg

Catalogue nr. 20/272

Small G shed 1.jpg

Catalogue nr. 20/273

 

 

 

 

The Trix Express 00 ones were made only in Germany in 1935 but from early 1936 they were also made in England by the Winteringham factory in Northampton, a company that produced many items for Bassett Lowke and later for Trix Twin.  There were small differences for example the English made station had a square clock face whilst the Germany ones have round faces.

 

 

 

Changes occurred quite quickly to the engine shed. It was designed to enable the steam loco to pass through the doors.  But the introduction of the electric loco meant the doors had to be raised for the pantographs and with the higher roof the shed was also lengthened to keep it in proportion.  Thus the first engine shed was only made for a very short time possibly 4 months.  This is an extremely rare model.  Since the electric 0-4-0 was not imported to England, until later, it is possible that the smaller engine shed was the one sold here in 1935.  It is the one photographed in the catalogue.

 

5 G engine sheds compared.jpg

Engine sheds 1935 2.jpg

 

 

 

Another change was to the colours.  All the buildings at first were painted with pale green coloured walls. The engine and goods shed were changed to pale yellow walls in late 1935 coinciding with the change in dimensions.  The station and island platform continued for longer in Germany but in 1936 were changed to pale yellow walls for the English market.

 

The autumn introduction of Trix in the English market was an enormous success and stocks sold out well before Xmas. The decision was taken to make English outline models in England including the buildings.  Once again Henry Greenly was asked to design these.  Already in 1932 the German company had set up a company in England – Trix Limited - to promote other toys and the Trix construction sets.  For the previous few years these construction sets had been manufactured in England by Winteringham.  As they already made the 0 gauge station for Bassett Lowke it was obvious that they would be chosen to make both the trains and the wooden buildings for Trix.

 

Work started on the prototypes in the last few months of 1935 to be launched at the British Industries Fair in February 1936.

 

  1936

 

All the new buildings introduced in 1936 were made of wood, pinned and glued.

 

The basic design of the station and island platform were retained with minor changes. The clock face was now square, the name shield edges were more square and there was no flag.   The floor in the booking hall was now fixed, on the German model it is loose so a light could be put inside, but the English ones did not have lights. 

 

But the main change was to the colours.  A pale yellow was chosen to give the appearance of concrete.  The blue line under the roof was changed to yellow. 

The name on the station was “Twin City” – based on a preferred name by Bassett Lowke, ( read more about this battle over names on the link : -  History 1935 -1937 )

 

station36B.jpg

Catalogue nr: 804

 

station36A.jpg

station36C.jpg

 

 

 

Island plat36.jpg

The island platform was sold with and without seats.

Catalogue nr: 807

 

 

 

Turning to the goods shed and engine shed new designs were chosen

 

 

Goods shed 36.jpg

Catalogue nr: 847

 

 

 

 

The goods shed now had a flat roof and the platform extended.  No door or round window is provided.

 

 

 

The engine shed was considerably different. It was longer with no doors.  It came with either one or two chimneys

engine shed D.jpg

Catalogue nr: 844

Note some have one chimney some two

 

Four new structures were introduced : a carriage shed, a signal box and two footbridges.

 

 

The carriage shed originally had a red plinth which stuck out at the end from the wall. But it was found that two sheds could not be put together to make a longer shed, so it was taken off leaving a low structure which coaches could only just pass through the opening but a loco could not.

 

carriage shed 36B.jpg

Catalogue nr: 848

 

signal box 36.jpg

Catalogue nr: 847

 

 

Another new item was a rather crude signal box

 

 

 

A new terminal station was introduced.

 

terminal 805 B.jpg

Cat 805

This was in production for a very short time, probably less than a year, it was only in the 1936 catalogue

 

 

 

 

The footbridges are shown below. 

Both were designed to allow a steam engine to pass underneath but not a loco with pantographs.

 

Foot bridge str 36A.jpg

Catalogue nr: 862

Foot bridge angl 36B.jpg

Catalogue nr: 863

 

The footbridges stayed in production for some years but the other buildings were faded out in 1937 to make way for the new Many-ways range of buildings including new engine and carriage sheds, new signal boxes and a new much smaller goods shed.

 

In the summer of 1936, Mr Bassett Lowke asked his friend Ernest Twinning to build an ultra modern terminal station for Trix.   A prototype was made and shown on an exhibition layout at 112 High Holborn London.  Pictures of this layout can be seen at – Exhibition layouts 1935 to 1939.  

 

 

Terminal station 36.jpg

The middle band is glazed, the bands either side are red brick with the overall building cream colour.  Lettering was in blue.

The trains enter at the 1st floor level with the ground floor either as a car park or goods area.

 

The plans below show the detail and measurements

Central station B.jpg

The width was 1 foot 1 inch ( 330 mm)

Central station C.jpg

 

Terminal station 36 A.jpg

Overall length was 3 feet or 920 mm,

The height was 18 inches or 460 mm to the top of the tower plus the flag pole on top.

 

A prototype of the station was built by Twinning Models Ltd but never put into production.

 

Twinning designed a number of other buildings including a large goods shed where the trains entered to be unloaded.  It was 2 foot 8 inches ( 800mm) long with 4 tracks entering a covered span area.

This would be a striking model, what a pity it was not put into production.

 

 

 

1937

 

The development of the Many Ways stations

 

Ernest Twinning’s enthusiasm and ideas led to Trix Ltd asking him to design a system of units which could be put together by children in different combinations to make a variety of different stations.

These units were given the name “Many Ways”.

 

Twinning’s first designs were very elaborate.  He was enthused with Art Deco styles so popular in the 1920’s and 30’s. He also wished to give them the appearance of all concrete structures, in a pale dove grey colour.

Starting with the all important platform and track areas his covered span was for 4 tracks.

Twinings through station 3.jpg

Only half the span is shown in the above drawing which would have given the span a total width of 16 inches ( 400mm).

To keep it in proportion the height would have been nearly 10 inches ( 250mm).

 

 

This too would have resulted in a taller building – 6 inches (150mm),

As can be seen below this would have needed a second row of windows to simulate two floors.

Twinings through station 2.jpg

The clock tower was far taller and more elaborate than the final version with a height of 15 inches, (380 mm), plus the flag pole on top.

A prototype was built but no photographs have been found.

 

 

 

 

The Trix management thought this would be too large and too expensive.

The first step was to reduce the height of the span, thus to keep it in proportion only 3 tracks were allowed for.  The alternative for a flat roof was proposed, (drawings exist), but rejected.

However this did mean a lower smaller building and clock tower could be made. 

 

The first design was much more similar to the final design we know today but still very elaborate.

 

early manyways tower.jpg

Notice the steps and awning over the entrance are almost exactly like the final design.

Taking out the pillars in the left picture and slightly changing the width of the windows and you have the final building.

The corners of the building were rounded on this prototype - see below.

early manyways corner.jpg

Although the rounded corner was rejected it was partly used in the quadrant building with 3 windows inserted.

 

From all of this came the final simple design below

 

Manyways Terminal station 1.JPG

 

Another important change was the materials used.  The buildings and most of the platform components, were metal but pre-war some of the platforms were wood with metal fences except for the span which was all metal.  The clock tower was die cast.  The roofs of the station and the annex building were also wood.  Post war they were all metal with no wood used except for the roofs of the buildings which were a synthetic material.

 

 

 

Other views of Many Ways stations

Manyways Terminal station 2.JPG

The terminal station showing the typical platform arrangement

 

 

Manyways through station.jpg

A through station showing the quadrant with the ¼ round front.

 

The British Patents show some other units were planned but not built :-

-          A platform with a subway entrance

-           A covered end to the span

-          Spacing strips to keep the track the right distance from the platform

And latter in 1939 shop fronts for the building were made for an exhibition but not put into production

 

 

Grand terminal station.jpg

As usual with Trix the new designs were introduced to the public at the Spring BIF, these in 1937

 

One of the disadvantages for collectors is that the colours varied significantly over the years. From dark grey through a range of greys to almost white.   Immediately after the war they were almost khaki green.

 

 

Manyways components B.jpg

Catalogue nr: are those above

Manyways components A.jpg

Catalogue nr: are those above

 

From the beginning lights could be placed in the buildings as this night time picture shows :-

 

Mnysthrough night.jpg

 

Although it is clear from all the drawings Ernest Twinning designed the Many-ways buildings and components, yet the patent records Siegfried Kahn as the inventor of the system.  Records at the Bassett Lowke Society show that Twinning was angry about this and other similar instances.  It led to a rift between him and Bassett Lowke as Twinning believed he was not getting the credit for his designs.

 

 

 

 

 

At the same time new engine and carriage sheds were introduced, also in dove grey :

 

Engine shed.jpg

Carriage shed.jpg

Engine shed cat 73

Carriage shed   cat 71

 

The two footbridges were taken out of the catalogue

 

A small goods building added :

 

Goods shed 1.jpg

Cat 32

 

It is not known who designed the three buildings above.  Probably it was Henry Greenly as the style is much more his than Ernest Twinning.  They were made by Winteringham in Northampton

 

Although not shown in the catalogue the other early wooden buildings were still available for the next 2 years until stocks ran out.

 

1938

 

In 1938 further additions were made to the range of buildings with three new signal boxes and a water tower

 

Country Signal box1.jpg

gantry two.JPG

Overhang signal box 1.jpg

Country Signal Box cat 62

Gantry Signal Box  cat 67

Overhang Signal Box cat 65

 

 

watertower.JPG

 Water tower cat 69

 

 

 

 

 

 

1939

 

The footbridges reappeared, but not illustrated only shown on the list of prices now painted in grey

 

footbrdige straight 1.jpg

Footbridge 1.jpg

Straight cat 862

This was also shown in the French catalogue

25/295

Angular cat 863

 

The footbridges were never made after the war.

 

1940 – 1944

 

During the war production of metal toys ceased in England. The Trix Company turned to war time work for the Government. But some development work of new products continued and a small number of items were produced including a few wooden components for the Manyways stations.  In particular a wooden clock tower was produced in two parts and a wooden main building.  These were produced in very small numbers.  Some of the metal components for the Manyways were still in stock and these were sold through shops in the normal way until stocks ran out.  During the war some were even exported to Switzerland and sold by Franz Carl Weber in Zurich with Trix Express items made in Germany !

Immediately after the war, the shortage of metal meant TTR continued to make a small number of these in wood together with a span, until full metal production was resumed for the Manyways in 1949.

 

 

wooden clock twr.jpg

 

Wooden clock tower. Two small clips behind the door opening held this piece to the building

A_manyways_001.jpg

 

A_manyways_002.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The wooden span on the left was produced just after the end of the war until metal production resumed in 1949.

 

The platform part of the span was made of metal.

 

 

 

1945 – 1955

 

Very few developments occurred with the Trix range of buildings after the war, with one big exception.

 

In the period to 1949 the wooden engine and carriage sheds, the signal boxes and the water tower were made but with  plain frosted windows.

 

engine shed 47.jpg

Catalogue nr. 73

carriage shed 47A.jpg

Catalogue nr. 71

gantry 47A.jpg

Catalogue nr. 67

 

 

As explained above the Many-ways buildings continued with no design changes, but post war they were all made of metal except for the roofs of the buildings which were made of a synthetic material.  The colours varied in shading ending in the late 1950’s with a grey so pale it was almost white.

 

The goods shed is often regarded as part of the Many- ways family.  This continued to be made of wood. Two changes; occurred in the late 1940’s the window on the end was eliminated and then in the late 1950’s a small number were made with rounded edges to the window and door.

(See below )

Good shed 50s.jpg

Catalogue nr. 9/162

 

 

 

1954

 

The major post war development occurred in 1954 with the introduction of the Operating Elevator Conveyor.

 

elevator B.jpg

Cat 788

 

 

On one side, ( right above), a dump wagon, positioned over a special rail with an electric magnet, would tip coal into a large hopper.  From which a sloped ridged belt would lift the coal to a the long flat conveyor, the end of which would tip the coal into a waiting wagon ( left above).  The total distance is precisely the diameter of the standard TTR bakelite curved track.  This was a great success.  It still is at exhibitions where ever it is shown even in 2010 children of all ages are fascinated by this simple operation.

 

Despite enthusiasm from collectors and the Trix customers, the price was high and not as many were sold as hoped, less than 5,000 over the period it was in the catalogue from 1954 to 1959 - 5 years.

 

elevator A.jpg

 

elevator E.jpg

 

 

The conveyor was designed by Siegfried Kahn and the dump wagon by Werner Alton.

 

 

The Conveyor was the last TTR building made.

 

 

 

 

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