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The Triang R157/8, DMU Class 101. Retro Review

The Class 101 DMU was in the Triang -Hornby range for a long time. It first appeared in 1958 and continued in various guises into the 1970’s. The main problem with the model is the inaccurate length. It should be a scale 57′, which is 228 mm, the actual length is 207 mm, the same as the Triang coaches of the time. The prototype was built to diagram B.R. 630 by Metro Cammel. The real vehicle was also long lived.

The prototype

The Class 101 units were built between 1956 and 1959 and were the longest serving of the first generation DMU’s. The last not being withdrawn until 2003. The original livery was green with yellow lining. The yellow warning panel was not added until the 1960’s. They were seen over much of the network, including the North West and Lake District.

Class 101 at Keswick in 1967.
A preserved class 101 on the Worth Valley Railway

The model

The Class 101 as seen in the 1961 Triang catalogue

The overall shape is correct with the correct door and window positions, although the body is truncated. The headlights are painted on. A prominent screw holds the roof in place. The early models had axles that protrude through the bogie sides causing a lot of friction, pinpoint axles came later.

The roof vents are crudely represented. The bogies and wheels are plastic except for the driving bogie.

The destination window is also painted on, buffers are plastic. The glazing is acetate mounted on the inside so that the framing is very deep. Door handles are moulded and not painted. There is no interior seating in this early model. The over-scale code 150 rail on Triang standard track can be seen here.

The power unit.

The power unit is the ubiquitous X 3122, as used for the dock shunter and many other models. This unit has a 3 pole motor and is fairly noisy in operation. It uses wire pickups and has knurled wheels. There are felt pads at the ends of the armature that are usually dry as a bone. Running is improved with a spot of oil, on these.

When reassembling it is easy to get the wheels on backwards causing a short circuit. Test with a meter that the insulated side goes to the pickups. The other side is connected to chassis. You can see the plastic insulator in the centre of the wheels at the top, below.

For all its period crudities this is a pleasing model to watch running and can be had for £25-£40. The deep wheel flanges will not run over modern points. I use an oval of “standard” track for testing Triang loco’s and wagons.

Coming soon a review of the original Rovex train set coaches from 1950.