Here we look at the 1st edition Tri-ang catalogue from 1955. Even at the beginning the range was comprehensive. Notably, a lot of work and research had gone into making it a viable system. Most images are from tri-ang.co.uk
Since the first set was made for Marks & Spencer in 1951, the track had been modified, although it still tended to warp and the tabs broke off fairly easily. The solid track was probably the most troublesome part of any layout and was soon replaced with series 3 track.
Page 2 of the 1955 catalogue featured three train sets. RS1 contained the Queen Elizabeth locomotive and two short coaches. This was the first locomotive made by Rovex, originally with plunger pickups.
The RS1 set
The RS 1 set featured a Princess Elizabeth in black and two coaches. The early coaches used “warpomatic” acetate which tended to “banana” over time.
The battery controller was basically an on/off switch with no speed control. Additionally, the set came with an oval of standard track. These sets also had a version with a speed controller that needed an external transformer. Probably the ubiquitous power unit no. 1.
The RO set
The Ro set featured another Princess loco with two LMS coaches. These sets had the early coupling.
The crude nature of the moulding can be seen below as can the solid wheels and overscale valve gear.
The R2 branch passenger set
Finally on page 2 we have the R2 branch passenger set. This features an R52 Jinty locomotive and two LMS coaches. This set is far harder to find on auction sites than the other two sets.
In the next article we look at page three of the 1955 catalogue. This included a couple of clockwork sets.