Trix Twin Railway Model History in Pictures 1946 to 1955
with catalogue numbers
© Copyright 2005 - 2011 Garry Lefevre all rights reserved
Typical Square red box in which train sets were sold in this period
1946 to 1955
In this period
· TTR American Outline locomotives and rolling stock at first only for Export
· Change to BR Livery for all rolling stock and locomotives
· Flying Scotsman with new Trix mechanism
· “Designed for Action” - Operating Conveyor and dump wagons
· Trix Meteor 3 car set with whistle
· New Trix Trains DC motors introduced
· Plus many more items
1946 - The war was over. Materials were in short supply and the emphasis was on exports to earn much needed foreign currency. Supplies to the shops were rationed. I remember even in 1949 ordering a Trix locomotive and having to wait 3 months or so to get delivery. Second hand items were the common stock of the shops. Thus my first set was a pre-war set. Trix started up at first with the same models as made before the war but with a much reduced range.
In this immediate period after the war, as production started up again, some unusual models were produced for show purposes, such as the green “Basle” coaches, the green 0-4-0 with Trix Twin on the tender. These were never put into major production for sale to the public and have there for been left out of this history.
Some early changes were to the design of the couplings and the controllers and switches.
1937 on loco tenders,
but in 1938 on some US freight wagons
General in use for UK models
& in 1946/7
From 1948 to
Pre-war on left - post war on right
The common locomotive put back into production was the faithful 0-4-0 with or without tender in LMS, LNER and Southern livery
Catalogue 2/520 2/525 2/515
Catalogue 4/520 4/525 4/515
Catalogue 5/525 5/520 5/510
0-4-0 Goods tank loco with typical box
The coaches and goods wagons to accompany these were in general the same as before the war but with the new style couplings. However there were no Southern coaches made at this time.
(please see the earlier chapter for photos)
1948 - 9
With the emphasis on exports demanded by the Government not surprisingly the first new models were the American 0-4-0s. At first these were only exported but in 1951 they started to become available on the UK market. Although a few had slipped the net earlier and were sold under the table !!
US Switcher catalogue 9/525 and Passenger catalogue9/520 locos
To accompany these locos the pre-war range of US freight cars were remade and three passenger coaches were introduced. These were finished in both matt and gloss versions
The 1948 export catalogue shows these locos sold in sets only so it was probably a year or so latter before they became available as separate items.
Catalogue 9/321 Catalogue 9/331
Early set box on left and latter one on right
The same 1948 catalogue showed three German locos,
20/52 Continental Passenger, 20/54 Goods and 20/55 Electric locos
The loco body was made in Germany, the motor in England, they were repacked into boxes with the label “made in England”. Once such example was the standard Trix Express 0-4-0, these had English TTR tenders instead of the German ones :-
The box had a photo on the lid. This clearly shows the TE 20/52 loco but with a TTR tender. On the far right photo one can see “Made in England”
An example exported to Australia, about 1948
The 1949 Export Catalogue.
American models in the export catalogue: note the reference to South African models. These were made as prototypes only. As steel was rationed TTR had to apply for a permit for an extra quota which was refused, so the South African models were never put into production. What happened to the prototypes ?
For British enthusiasts the first new goods wagon was an oddity produced for a very short time. A timber wagon with load was made, similar to the bogie wagon but shorter and with 4 wheels, yet longer than the pre-war 4 wheel model. This rare item appeared in the 1949 catalogue only.
A re-introduction was the scale length Pullman
Seen here with a grey roof which soon changed to white ( catalogue 599) with the new red boxes which replaced the pre-war buff coloured box.
Aside from the 0-4-0s mentioned above, the 4-4-0 LNER Pytchley and 4-4-0 LMS Compounds were made again starting in late 1947 and continuing until 1950. But supplies were short as materials were scarce. At first all went for export and only gradually they became available on the home market.
Catalogue 4/536 – very few were made, probably less than 400
Goods version Catalogue 2/536
Passenger version Catalogue 2/536
Catalogue 4/536 – only a few of these were made
The Manyways stations also went back on sale at about this time. Probably some were in stock from before the war. Newer ones were in a darker almost khaki colour. This colour changed over the years, through grey to an almost pale white colour.
Extract from a USA catalogue in 1949. Local American catalogues appeared, this one was from a shop in Washington DC
The catalogue showed the many parts that could be put together to make a up a station.
In 1948 the railways in Britain had been nationalised and by 1950 standard colour schemes for locos were introduced. Trix had always offered their models in the latest design of the day and thus the first of the TTR British Railways stock appeared in the autumn of 1950.
Catalogue 1/520 Passenger. The vast majority of these had double white lines on the tender, but a few had a single line, possibly a mistake at the factory.
Catalogue 1/525 Goods
Catalogue. 1/510 Passenger
Catalogue. 1/515 Goods
In the same year Trix represented their only “scale” models of the Pytchley and the Compound also in the new BR colour of black with the lion symbol on the tender.
Catalogue 4/536 : very few of these black ones were made
Catalogue 2/536, At first there was a single line on the tender latter changed to the double lining seen here
A range of new goods wagons and coaches were introduced to match the BR changes to a uniform livery for the whole country. Some of these were not available until early the following year - 1951
Catalogue : 606,627,600,621,661
Catalogue :627,627,609, 603,612
Catalogue : 607,607,601,606, 603
Top row shows the earlier post war LMS wagons & a Southern van
Middle & bottom row shows BR wagons, note the 3 different types of cattle truck
Catalogue : 640,641,640
Catalogue : 643,643,644
Tank wagons and tarpaulins : note the different colours on the tank caps.
Top row Catalogue 650
Catalogue 5/650, 653
In the winter, just in time for Christmas, Trix re-launched their Gazette – a free magazine to anybody who sent in a form given away with every instruction book. The magazine gave information about new models, had competitions and details of show layouts. In all 15 were published between 1950 and 1955.
1950 was an interesting year with so many new introductions to the UK market but even better was to come…..
Not even a year later BR changed the colours of their locos thus Trix changed the pale blue loco for a dark blue version in the Spring of 1951 introduced at the British Industries Fair.
This loco lasted just one year before being replaced with a dark green version.
1951 was an important year for Trix enthusiasts with the return of the 4-6-2 Scotsman with automatic uncoupling in the tender. Although the engine was made entirely in Germany the design incorporated a new uncoupling mechanism in the tender based on the push/pull principle used in the English point mechanisms. This was the most complicated TTR locomotive sold and was very expensive introduced at £10 each, ( in today’s money probably about £400).
Catalogue 1/540 : This colour lasted just one year.
To accompany this wonderful locomotive scale coaches were re-introduced in the new BR colours of red and cream.
From the top 1st, 3rd, & Restaurant
Catalogue 1/568, 1/578, 1/588
The Scale length coaches had lights, which together with the yard lamps, and station lights it was possible to light a complete layout to give very realistic night scenes.
In addition the range of goods wagons continued to expand.
In the same year TTR started importing two models from Trix Express in Germany, the Diesel Flier and the 2-4-2 Super tank with automatic uncoupling at both ends. As these are strictly not TTR I have not shown them here.
The new green colour in 1952 became the standard for express locomotives on British Railways and in subsequent years. So it was that Trix changed the colour of their faithful 0-4-0 passenger loco and the 4-6-2 Scotsman.
Catalogue 1/520 Passenger loco
Catalogue 1/540, this one has single lining on the tender, latter versions had double lines
Another modification was made to the 0-4-0 goods loco with tender, by painting a red line round the boiler.
Catalogue 1/525, this only lasted a short time before reverting to a plain matt black finish
By this time the range of buildings TTR made included the pre-war engine shed, carriage shed, water tower, country signal box, overhang signal box, and gantry signal box seen below :-
There were slight changes from the pre-war models. For example the gantry above (cat 67), had no windows on the ends, the pre-war one had. Engine and carriage sheds had non transparent white windows without any lines on them.
Caaloguet 176, 551
The derelict coach hut was reintroduced in 1952, this time in LNER colours as well as the LMS
version from before the war. The above also shows the station signs sold with a variety of stick on names. Track side notices were also made (Cat 178)
Towards the end of the year TTR reintroduced the 4-4-0 Pytchley in Brunswick Green. This became a very popular model as production was now not limited by shortage of materials.
One of the fun aspects of collecting Trix is the large number of variances which still some times turn up unexpectedly . Not all these minor variances have been shown here. For example in 1953 one batch of 4-4-0 Compounds was produced in green. Was this an error at the factory ? It does not appear in any Trix catalogue.
Another change occurred on the lining on the 0-4-0 tender
Latter version with single lining on tender and black cylinders
Weltrol wagons in grey or black were diecast with a variety of loads. Lettering was usually white but some were in orange.
Some of the range of accessories available by this time can be seen below.
Whistling signal box, manual signals, telegraph pole, yard lamp, and block signalling set with lighted signals.
The block signal set above enabled automatic train control. If the indicator check switch was linked to a point switch a train coming in the wrong direction would stop and once the point was changed in its favour restart without touching the controls. The signals would change too from red to green.
As part of their “designed for action” marketing programme, early in 1954 Trix announced the elevator conveyor. This enabled a wagon loaded with coal to automatically dump coal into the bin ( on right) from where a vertical conveyor and a horizontal conveyor would transfer the coal to the other side where it could be dropped into a waiting wagon. The length was the exact width of a circle of track.
The set to accompany the conveyor had an 0-4-0 tank loco, 2 dump wagons, a guards van with lights, bag of coal, shovel switch and magnetic rail. Some sets had 3 wagons and no guards van. These items were also available separately.
The conveyor was also available as a portable set, in a wooden box, with the mineral train set, controller & track, ( Cat 388).
In the autumn of 1954 Trix introduced a wired table top, fitted with fold away legs. This was complete with wires in place under the board on to which various track plans could be set up, with simple connections through the top. At the other end of the wires, blocks of switches and controllers could be plugged in. This speeded up setting up a layout. A large fold out sheet showed the various plans in detail from a simple plan to a complex one with elevator conveyor.
At the 1955 Brighton Toy Fair Trix introduced the last new item in their range of AC locomotives. This was the 3 coach unit “ Meteor”. The unit was articulated and had a working whistle incorporated that could be made to operate any where on the track by remote control. It was a freelance design, loosely based on N. American styles. The built in whistle tended to squawk rather than have the expected shrill sound. However I have heard one that almost sounds like a whistle.
To operate it a special controller was needed as the whistle worked when the current was interrupted a new reversing mechanism had to be devised based on a sudden DC pulse.
Following the change to DC a blue and cream version was introduced – see latter.
Another modification was to the 4-4-0 Pytchley
The last of the 4-4-0 Pytchleys, note the wire link between the tender and the loco.
This was only on the last production model before a DC version was introduced. Similarly the last of the compounds had the same wire link replacing the coupling to connect the current from the outside collector shoe to the engine.
One of the last AC models was a plastic 0-4-0 tank loco introduced in the autumn of 1955.
Catalogue 1/510 a good version without lining was also made.
The basic goods wagon was up dated with detailed underframes to simulate brakes and rivets on the sides.
Example of the underframe
This ended the TTR AC era which had started 20 years earlier with a green 0-4-0 locomotive with disc wheels and had seen 4-4-0s, 4-6-2’s in a variety of body designs from tank locos to the Coronation Scot and the Meteor three coach unit. To this day the mechanisms remain incredibly reliable. Providing the metal is not fatigued often just a drop of oil and a 70 year old loco will spring to life.
A couple of years earlier competitive pressure had already led Trix Express to introduce DC models and more realistic track in the form of a fibre base. The directors of TTR are said to have resisted this development but finally had to give in.
The changeover to DC was now underway.