Trix Twin Railway : History in Pictures 1938 to 1939
© Copyright 2005-2011 Garry Lefevre all rights reserved
Typical long red box in which train sets were sold
1938 to 1939
In this period
· TTR model photos with catalogue numbers from 1938 to 1939
· New designs for lineside buildings
· The first scale HO steam locomotives – The Princess, Flying Scotsman & Coronation Scot sets
· The first American models
· Scenic backgrounds and much more
During 1937 Trix had started to replace the lithographs on the sides of goods wagons to a new more realistic dark brown wooden colour for LMS and a reddish brown or grey for the LNER series. These had small letters instead of the large letters used on the earlier models with much more detail in the printing. Unfortunately Trix kept the same catalogue numbers which can cause confusion to collectors
Catalogue Numbers 612, 2/660, 2/621, 627, 2/650
2/601, 609, 2/603, 2/603,2/603,2/603
The full new L.M.S. range is shown opposite.
Note the container wagon ( top right). The catalogue shows this with a different design which was never produced. As far as research can tell only the Carter Paterson model was made as shown here.
Catalogue numbers were often the same for different models
The full new L.N.E.R. range is shown opposite.
Some models were in reddish brown others in dark grey.
Catalogue Numbers : 4/603 ; all items in this row had the same number
675 609, 4/601,/ 660, 4/650
Catalogue Numbers 643, 640, 645
Three tank wagons were made. Note the shell cap on latter models was in red without a step platform at the top. The UD wagon for milk, ( United Dairies), was shown in the catalogue with the full name printed on the side and other details. Yet only the model shown above was sold to the public.
Catalogue Numbers 662, 607 and 607 ( not a misprint the same number was used)
Two new private wagons were introduced “ Charringtons” and “Hinchliffes”. These were made with and without a coal load. The 4 wheel timber truck was modelled on the German Trix Express wagon but without the cross supports.
Catalogue Numbers 671, 673
A bogie timber wagon was introduced with and without a load, these complimented the bogie brick and high capacity wagons shown above with the LNER and LMS groups.
New Buildings added to the layout realism.
In 1937 TTR had introduced the Manyways series of buildings in a grey colour to imitate concrete and replacing the yellow colour of the earlier wooden stations. Continuing this theme in 1938 Trix now introduced additional buildings, made of wood, to new designs but painted in grey ( colours did vary from dark grey to greenish light grey).
The angular footbridge - Catalogue Number 863
The straight footbridge - Catalogue Number 862
The overhang signal box –
Catalogue Number 65
The gantry signal box - Catalogue Number 67
The country signal box –
Catalogue Number 62
The goods shed –
Catalogue Number 847
A water tower - Catalogue Number 69
But not all the items announced were produced, for example the end screen for the Manyways station shown below, whilst in the 1938 catalogue was never made.
In just two years, from 1935, Trix Twin had captured the imagination of model railway enthusiasts in the UK with their Table Top Railway. Although Märklin and Bing also sold HO in the Britain it was TTR which hit Hornby sales hard, who only had “O” Gauge. At the end of 1938 Hornby struck back by introducing Hornby Dublo. Their first model was to be a 4-6-2 in scale detail. Trix did not wait and in anticipation, in the spring of 1938, at the British Industries Fair, Trix announced a range of new models. To quote from the announcement :-
“ Among the 1938 additions to the wonderful range of T.T.R manufactures, the outstanding models are of locomotives and carriages which are world renowned examples of British Railway Engineering.
Of the two Scale Models of famous locomotives the first is the well known engine “The Flying Scotsman” Pacific type designed by Sir Nigel Gresley for the East Coast Services of the London and North Eastern Railway Company.
The other Scale Model is of the London Midland and Scottish Railway’s Express Pacific locomotive “Princess Elizabeth”.
Both engines have the latest T.T.R. electric mechanism and in addition are fitted with the new Auto-Uncoupler, a device embodied in the tender and actuated by remote control with standard equipment.
The new coaches which accompany these locomotives are of correct scale length, due to the ample radius adopted in the T.T.R. permanent way formation.”
Although the press announcement introduced two locomotives only one was produced in 1938 the other – the Flying Scotsman – had to wait until 1939.
The first set was of the Princess Elizabeth locomotive with three matching scale length coaches in a fine wooden presentation box.
The Princess Elizabeth 4-6-2 catalogue 2/540
The prototype in 1936 had broken the record for a train from London to Scotland travelling at an average speed of 70 m.p.h ( 110 Km/h) for the 400 miles. Trix reduced the gearing to copy a scale speed. Collectors today sometimes feel their models are going too slow in comparison to a typical Trix 0-4-0, and worry if there is a fault, yet if the speed is measured and converted it will often be found to be at a realistic speed, there being no fault with the model loco as it is travelling at the speed Trix intended !!
The locomotive was sold in a set with three coaches and also as a single item
The set was presented in a superb wooden, flannelette lined box, covered with blue rexine leather style cloth. On the inside of the lid a large Bassett-Lowke label was stuck. Although some early cases had no label. Latter boxes had green or brown buttons on the outside near the catch to reflect the contents as either the green LNER or maroon LMS set.
Both chassis mechanism and uncoupling device for the locomotives was based on the German Trix Express 20/59. Only after the war Trix produced chassis in England for the post war 4-6-2 locomotives.
The coaches were fitted with lights. Three different models were produced
Catalogue Number. 2/587 LMS Restaurant Car
Catalogue Number 2/567 LMS 1st Class Corridor Coach
Catalogue Number 2/577 LMS Brake Third Coach
Another new comer to add to the model railway’s realism was the remote controlled signal. Two types were produced.
Catalogue Numbers731, 735
A distant and home signal with a light
A remote uncoupler rail was introduced. This was a fascinating simple development put to good effect on the exhibition layout to show “fly” shunting. Goods wagons were pushed to the top of a gradient, uncoupled and free wheeled down to be switched into different sidings.
Before we leave 1938 one of the most interesting developments was the start of a planned series of American models. The first of these were a number of freight cars.
Catalogue Numbers. 690, 685, 684, 687
Catalogue Numbers 689, 688, 681, 682, also 683 (as 682 but with load)
This was probably a joint planned initiative with Trix Express in Germany, since T.T.R did not produced an American locomotive. Whilst TE produced the now very rare and much sort after American 4-6-2 based on the German 20/59 with automatic uncoupling in the tender. Earlier TE had produced an 0-4-0 with a red cowcatcher on the front for the American market. This was just a German loco with the cowcatcher added. British fans had to wait until the late 1940’s before a TTR American loco was produced.
All of the other items could be seen in the 1938 catalogue
Latter in 1938 but possibly early in 1939 one additional freight car was added, but not shown in the catalogue until late 1939, i.e. the refrigerator car :-
Catalogue Number 686
so to :
Sometime in 1939 the long awaited “Flying Scot” was introduced. Announced in the Spring of 1938 it is not certain when it first appeared. The 1938 catalogue showed the loco only, whilst the 1939 catalogue showed the complete set.
Catalogue Number 4/344
Sold in the same style wooden presentation box as the “ Princess”set
Catalogue Number 4/540
The set usually had a 1st class and two brake 3rd coaches, some sets had the dinning car instead of one break 3rd s.
Catalogue Number 4/587 LNER Restaurant Car
Catalogue Number 4/567 LNER 1st Class Corridor Coach
Catalogue Number 4/577 LNER Brake Third Coach
The Flying Scot locomotive holds the World record for the longest non-stop scheduled run for a steam train. In 1939 it regularly covered the 393 miles from London to Edinburgh in seven hours or an average speed of 56.1 miles per hour.
Once again in the Spring Trix announced the new models planned to be introduced latter that year. Sad to say due to events in September in Europe of that year, some of these were never produced other than a prototype for the Spring B.F.I. Yet some wonderful models were produced :-
The Coronation Scot – probably the most sort after of all TTR models :-
Catalogue Number 2/347
Catalogue Number 2/542
Only two coaches were produced for this set, there being no dinning car. However it is possible a club car was planned with a streamlined end as in the prototype. Reproductions of this have been made by Trix enthusiasts.
Catalogue Number 2/568 LNER 1st Class Corridor Coach
Catalogue Number 2/578 LNER Brake Third Coach
Included in every set was a booklet about this famous train :-
The booklet describes the tour of 3,100 miles the train took across America at the time of the 1939 World fair in New York as part of a promotion of British industry achievements. For US reasons the loco had to be fitted with a bell and searchlight, explaining these additions not normally seen on British locos. The loco was built in Crewe in 1937 and had a maximum speed of 114 miles per hour. For long distances without stops the tender could pick up water without stopping through a scoop to a water trench between the tracks. It was the very forefront of engineering and luxury travel.
The above booklet was in a buff coloured envelope with extra instructions for coach lighting, automatic uncoupling, plus the standard instruction book but with an insert especially for servicing the 4-6-2’s with auto uncoupling and the standard slip signed by the person packing the set.
The two L.M.S. compounds were introduced. The passenger loco is on the left and the goods train version on the right.
Maroon version of the 4-4-0
Catalogue Number 2/536
Black version of the 4-4-0
Catalogue Number 2/536
One of the rarest locos was also introduced. Rare because few were produced before all production ceased with the war effort taking precedence.
A 4-4-0 L.N.E.R Pytchley
Catalogue Number 4/536
Yet another announcement was of the luxurious Pullman coach.
The American Pullman Company had made a big impact in both America and Britain to provide luxurious travel by train. Their coaches were leased to many train companies including the LMS, LNER and Southern railways where they were added to trains often providing the restaurant facilities in the same was as the Wagon Lits company did on European railways.
Scale model Pullman Saloon with lights : Catalogue Number 598
Some interesting accessories were also introduced :-
A derelict coach hut
This was based on the 4 wheel LMS coach and models the railway practice of using old rolling stock as workmans’ huts by the side of the railway line. An L.N.E.R. model was also planned but had to wait until the 1950’s to appear.
A Crane truck set
The crane mounted on a base for use with the Manyways station units
Three types of seats for use on stations. The top one has a sign board above it for the Station name
Scenic backgrounds in sets of 3 - Catalogue Number 150
Each one was 36’’ long (910 mm) and 9 ½’’ ( 240mm) high
These backgrounds were produced by Bassett-Lowke for Trix. The same backgrounds were also marketed by BL but with 4 in a set as two other designs were made for Bassett Lowke..
Miniature posters to stick on the sides of buildings etc.
These were of well known posters seen on stations advertising trips to the sea or famous cities etc. Latter a special series was introduced during the war, which can be seen on the bottom right to boost the war effort.
The 1939/40 catalogue showed all these models. It is interesting to note there is more than one version of this catalogue with different items inside, some showed the Trix construction sets, (similar to Meccano).
Before we leave this period of Trix history here is a brief summary of the books TTR produced.
The basic instruction book sold with every set explains how to set a up and service a Trix train set.
The book on the left is the very popular book of 98 pages by Henry Greenly describing how TTR can be used to recreate railway practice.
On the right the book shows in 47 pages some of the many ways the station sets can be put together.
Three great scale model trains by TTR in 1939 !