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New for ’62, Tri-ang’s pivotal year.

Tri-ang on the rise.

The year of 1962 marked 10 years since the founding of, model railway manufacturer, Tri-ang. Consequently, lots of new products appeared. Most importantly, Super 4 track and scale length coaches.

Other new products included colour light signals and some new “Action Stations” items. This range consisted of some blood thirsty military style wagons. I am not sure about the bomb transporter with exploding bomb!

The transcontinental “export” range continued with an old style Wild West locomotive “Davy Crockett” with or without smoke. There was also a matching coach. The transcontinental models were discontinued in the early 70’s.

Super 4 track

By the early 1960’s the course code 150 rail and odd sleeper spacing of series 3 track was beginning to look outmoded.

As a result a more scale appearance track was developed. This still used code 150 rail but had a more realistic sleeper spacing and geometry.

The 13.5 ” radius “corners” of series 3 track had gone, replaced with a more reasonable 14 5/8″ radius. However the 2nd radius curve stayed the same, at 17 1/2″. Super 4 track was only produced for eight years until system 6 track came along in 1970. This used a more scale rail profile, of code 100 height.

Scale length coaches

Another innovation in ’62 was scale length coaches with ready fitted interiors. They also had closer fitting windows. At 10 5/16″ long, they were much closer to scale length than the current 8 15/16″ coaches. The body mouldings stayed in use for many years. Additionally they had pinpoint axles and later, metal wheels.

New Colour light signal and automatic train control

To add to the excitement working colour light signals were issued. Also an automatic shuttle service set.

The light signals used 16v filament bulbs and a two way yellow lever switch. There was a generous amount of wire provided with the standard connectors.

Automatic train control takes a hand

The automatic train control set used two isolated track sections and a relay to stop a train at the layout’s station. Two trains ran on the same oval. The oval was fitted with two trip switches, one just past the end of the station platform and another on the other side of the oval. When a train passed over the station contact the relay cut power to the isolated section stopping the train.

Meanwhile the second train kept moving until it passed over the other isolated section and contact. Consequently the relay toggled and power was restored to the first train causing it to move off. Finally, the second train reached the platform switch, stopped, and the cycle repeated.

This was a clever use of simple technology, with two trains on the same track, long before DCC.

The only other way of running two trains on the same track was with the old Trix 3 rail system. In fact this was a major selling point of the Trix 3 rail system

New wagons

New wagons were fairly sparse in ’62 with a bogie tanker wagon. The main issue of note was a rescue crane truck and bolster wagon. The bolster wagon was redesigned as a crane match truck.

The crane has a working chain driven hook and jib . Although they were prone to breakage. The chassis was metal with a plastic jib. The model had a long life being in the range until 1979.

New in Transcontinental

The final new item was an old time US locomotive and coach.

These were quite plasticky with an odd wheel spacing.