Tri-ang Hornby track type history

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After acquiring a lot of different track types I thought seeing I have done a bit of research I would share it here.

In 1938, Hornby Dublo (‘00’) was launched. This was approximately half the size of the ‘0’ gauge system.  The new locomotives had cast metal bodies rather than pressed metal, and the buildings were made of wood, the track was a printed tinplate base with three rails, the centre being the live rail and the two outside ones were the common rail.

By the late 1950s, it was clear that Hornby Dublo was losing ground to its competitors and changed from a three-rail system to the established two-rail track system in 1959.

Hornby, part of Meccano Ltd was taken over by Lines Bros (the parent company of Rovex Scale Models Ltd, manufactures of Tri-ang Railways), in 1965 and became Tri-ang Hornby.

Triang already had their own two rail track system and became known as Standard track and was produced from 1952 to 1962 and has a grey solid plastic base.

Both of these are now really obsolete or kept by collectors.

In 1958 Triang introduced the series 3 track and for the first time the solid base had gone.

Series 3 can be recognised by the spacing in the sleepers.

Triang Series 3 Track was produced between 1958 and 1965 for the UK market although its life was extended overseas where it has a strong collector following.

Triang Hornby Super 4 Track was produced between 1962 and 1973 and is still used by many, this is one I prefer and intend using for my layout, this was designed as a heavy gauge track and able to be used on carpets without causing to many derailments.
It was similar to series 3 but the sleepers were much closer together.

Series 6 followed in about 1973 and I remember this coming out, Triang Hornby even produced a converter rail allowing super 4 users to buy new track without replacing their existing stock.

Series 6 was finer and a more realistic scaling, the only downside is some of the older Triang and converted 3 rail Hornby don’t run well on this later track as the wheels flanges are to deep for the finer rail depth.

I have found two types of this later track and although they will work together the sleeper spacing is inconsistent at the joints.

hornbytrack7

The one on the left, which I gather is later, has a full sleeper at the end the one on the right has a half sleeper so easy to tell apart, the one on the right was made in England while the one on the left is made in China, the Hornby numbers are the same on both so if your buying track from somewhere like Ebay and want all one type, one of the questions you should be asking the seller is to look at the back and answer where it was made.

To this day, this remains the same track Hornby still produce.


12 Comments »

  1. Charles Bennett says:

    Just to add to the above, I have some R607 track that is the same profile as the Chinese one, but made in Austria.

    • Peter says:

      That is correct Charles, I also found some Austrian made track of the same profile, but never got around to updating this page, thankyou for your input :)

  2. Tony Bradley says:

    I have some old track from the 1960′s and recognise that it is Series 3. I bought some more track from a model shop in the 1980′s. How do I check the difference between Series 4 and Series 6?

    • Peter says:

      If you have both super 4 and series 6, super 4 has a bigger rail profile and bigger sleepers, the numbers on the back will start with a R6 if series 6, super 4 numbers start with R4

  3. bill says:

    Question can Triang Series 3 Track connect directly onto Triang Hornby Super 4 Track?

    Thanks

  4. john gould says:

    Hi, can 00 Hornby Dublo 2 rail cast & tinplate rolling stock be used on S3 or S4 Triang track/points etc? Many thanks.
    Cheers, John.

    • Peter says:

      Hi John, yes your Hornby Dublo stock will run on Triang S3 and S4 track.

    • Peter says:

      The older rolling stock had more drag on the axles than the pin point axles of later years but once lubricated they usually run pretty smoothly

  5. James says:

    I seem to recall it was originally called ‘System 6′ track?

  6. Philip Smeeton says:

    Thank you, you have answered a lot of questions for me. My first train set was the 1955 Princess R.1X and it has given me a lifelong love for Steam railways and model railways in general. I have a modest collection of all nationalities and gauges. I am currently recreating my first Christmas present train set. I got the mail coach set the year after. Good health to you.

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