Trix Twin Railway  :  History in Pictures 1938 to 1939

© Copyright 2005-2011 Garry Lefevre all rights reserved



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   Box label prewar 2

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



Continuing the story: -



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



LMS goods all 1938 4

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.


LNER goods all 1938 2

Catalogue  Numbers : 4/603 ; all items in this row had the same number

675    609,  4/601,/ 660, 4/650





tank wagons 2

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.


hincliffes etc 1938 1

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.


timber boggies1

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).

Angular footbridge 1

The angular footbridge - Catalogue  Number 863


footbrdige straight 1

The straight footbridge - Catalogue  Number 862


Gantry 1

The overhang signal box –

Catalogue  Number 65


gantry two

The gantry signal box - Catalogue  Number 67


Country Signal box1

The country signal box –

Catalogue  Number 62


Goods shed 1

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.

Catalogue 1938 page



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.

Princess set 1

Catalogue  Number2/344


Princess 3

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 !!


Princess set 2

The locomotive was sold in a set with three coaches and also as a  single item




Pre war Scotsman set 3

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


LMS coach dinner

Catalogue  Number. 2/587 LMS Restaurant Car


LMS coach 1

Catalogue  Number 2/567 LMS 1st Class Corridor Coach


LMS coach 3rd

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.

signals 1

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. 

Uncoupling lealfet


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.

US freight 2

Catalogue  Numbers. 690,  685,  684,   687


US freight 3

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

Catalogue 1938



 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 :-

US freight 4

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.


Pre war Scotsman set 2

Catalogue  Number 4/344

Sold in the same style wooden presentation box as the Princess”set


Pre war Scotsman set 6

Catalogue  Number 4/540


Scotsman set 2

The set usually had a 1st class and two brake 3rd coaches, some sets had the dinning car instead of one break 3rd s.


LNER coach dinner

Catalogue  Number 4/587 LNER Restaurant Car


LNER coach 1

 Catalogue  Number 4/567 LNER 1st Class Corridor Coach


LNER coach 3rd

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 :-

Coronation set 1

Catalogue  Number 2/347


Coronation set 6

Catalogue  Number 2/542


Coronation set 3


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.


coronation coach 1st

Catalogue  Number 2/568 LNER 1st Class Corridor Coach


coronation coach 3rd

Catalogue  Number 2/578 LNER Brake Third Coach


Included in every set was a booklet about this famous train :-

Coronation Scot booklet

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.


LMS 440 red

Maroon version of the 4-4-0

Catalogue  Number 2/536

LMS 440 black

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

LNER 440

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.


pulman prewar 1

Scale model Pullman Saloon with lights :  Catalogue  Number 598


Some interesting accessories were also introduced :-


A derelict coach hut

Derelict coach hut 1

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.



Crane truck

A Crane truck set


The crane mounted on a base for use with the Manyways station units


Crane on base

seats 1

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).

Catalogue 1939 cover



Before we leave this period of Trix history here is a brief summary of the books TTR produced.


Instruction book


The basic instruction book sold with every set explains how to set a up and service a Trix train set.

Permanent way manual

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.

Manyways station book



Three great scale model trains by TTR in 1939 !

Coronation set 4

Scotsman set 3

Princess set 3




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