The Lines Brothers and Rovex.
The history of Rovex and Triang Railways goes back to Victorian times.
The lines brothers began making wooden toys in the Victorian era, by the 1950’s their descendants were looking to expand into model railways.
Rovex plastics LTD had been formed just after WW II. They made injection moulded plastic toys for Marks and Spencer. The injection moulding process was relatively new at the time. Previously, toys were made out of tin plate.
For Christmas 1950, Marks and Spencer were looking for a supplier who could develop a model railway set. They asked Rovex to provide a system of simple easy to assemble track and robust trains. Hence the origin of the Rovex “universal” track. this was unique in having no rail joiners.
The original Rovex “Universal” track. 1950 -55.
The “Universal” track used a couple of sprung contacts that slid under each rail. When pushed together, a clip held each piece in place. The track had an injection moulded plastic base. The lugs were prone to breaking off. Later track used two lugs on each end.
The early sets used the box design shown below. In 1951, the Lines Brothers bough Rovex and re branded the train sets as Triang. In the early 1950’s The Rovex track was improved and became know as “Standard track”. A few more years of development followed. Locomotives and rolling stock were designed and the first Triang catalogue appeared in 1955.