Saturday, 10 October 2015

Facsinating Pics of Railways by Trix (1)

fbb in Nostalgic Mood Again.
It was sometime in the latter half of the 50s that Grammar School pupil fbb-to-be was invited to chum Alan's house to make toffee apples and see his model railway. It was truly a wonder to behold.

And it was Trix Twin.

Der Trix-Metallbaukasten begründete den Erfolg der Marke Trix der von Stephan Bing übernommenen Vereinigten Spielwaren-Fabriken Nürnberg. Über 66 Jahre war er neben den Modelleisenbahnen das zweite Standbein für das Unternehmen und weltweit bekannt. Schon im August 1931, also rund vier Jahre vor der Messepräsentation der Trix Express-Modelleisenbahn auf der Leipziger Frühjahrsmesse 1935, ging der Trix-Metallbaukasten serienmäßig in Deutschland in den Verkauf.

Or, to put it another way, Trix began with metal construction sets like Meccano.
Also like Meccano, the really big sets and huge models built therefrom were only dreams in the watery eyes of young lads.
There is an on-line rumour that the name comes from the arrangement of holes in TRI-angular "X" shapes. As the German word for "triangle" is "dreieck"  (three corners) that would make the name "Dreix" (pronounced Dry-x) so unlikely.
Production finally ended in 1998 ...
... by which time the excitement of trunion plates and crown wheels with pinions had long passed into the mists of history. Blame computers and pop music!

Also revealed in 1935 were Trix-Twin trains.
These rather crude models ran on 16 volts AC rather than the later 12 volts DC. They had to have a special lever on the control box (bottom left) ...
... which you had to "flick" to make the loco reverse direction. On young Alan's layout this process seemed very haphazard resulting in a number of embarrassing altercations between train and coaching stock!

The other very clever and much covetted joy of Trix was the "Twin" thing. 
One loco would pick up its power from the left hand outer rail, the other from the right. Electrical return was though the centre rail. In practice, having two locos under independent control was a recipe for even more "smashing" fun.

For the record, Hornby Dublo took power from the centre rail and return was via the rest of the track.

In the UK the trains early sets were marketed by Bassett-Lowke, a giant of pre-WW2 models and based in Kingswell Street, Northampton. Some very spectacular models were produced in those early days, originally by painting German models in British railway company coulours ...
... and later by making home grown models.

fbb remembers looking with admiration at the "high speed" diesel model in the catalogue ...
... and being well impressed with the wonderful (but ludicrously expensive) "Manyways" station sets.
With production largely suspended during the war, the system developed rapidly from 1945. One notable development was from continental-style couplings ...
... to something similar to Peco and Hornby.
But ...

Model railway times, they were a-changing! So tomorrow we see how Trix UK responded to plastic, two rail and greater detail.

And we see what Trix is up to today.

 Next Trix blog : Sunday 11th October 

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