British Railway Modelling (BRM)


- Garry Hall

This is a Tri-ang TT portable layout built about four years ago to a design by Mike Bryant in 1957. His was done using Gem/Wrenn track but mine uses Tri-ang type A, which was the first TT track made by Tri-ang from inception in 1957 until it changed to Type B around 1959. It consists of an upper-level terminus and goods yard going down to an oval with station and small yard/sidings along with a reversing loop for return to the terminus. The loop at the rear allows for a small fiddle yard, which increases the stock on display. This layout was made as my main one using Peco track, and it is not portable.

Tri-ang only made eight different TT gauge BR locomotive­s and were the only RTR models available until 2021. In the last five years, Lincoln Locos has been producing 3D-printed bodies for steam, diesel/electric and DMUs, which allows modellers to scratch-build a chassis – there are over 60 models available. I like using the Tri-ang chassis, which are basic, but usually very reliable and easy to maintain, so a lot of the bodies are on Tri-ang chassis. Lincoln Locos make a 'Duke', 'Clan' and J52 to fit a Tri-ang chassis, but most of the others I have modified to match body to chassis.

The 3MT tank was the first steam locomotive body produced and I have fitted it with a Jinty chassis with Prairie pony trucks and my own etched valve gear. Transfers are actually 4mm:1ft from Fox Transfers.

The Fowler tank utilises the 'Castle' chassis, 'Prairie' pony truck, 'Britannia' bogie, and my own valve gear.

The B12 was a little harder to create and needed some material removal from inside to allow the motor to fit.

There are also some DMUs and I have a Cravens two-car and Metro-Cammell two-car set, both fitted directly onto the Tri-ang DMU chassis.

A rebuilt SR West Country is also available and, with a little work, a Tri-ang Merchant Navy chassis can be fitted – this has had the centre drivers fitted with a Tri-ang crank pin for the valve gear.

Not only has Lincoln Locos done steam-outline, but diesels too. I have a variety of these, including ex-LMS 10000, EM2 'Electra' and SR 10201, all painted in lined BR green.

There is also a 'Deltic', Class 40 and 'Peak', although mine here are older resin bodies before Lincoln Locos started 3D-printing. Practicall­y all my diesels use the Tri-ang A1A motor bogies and often these are twin-powered. Some of the bogies have had whitemetal sides fitted to the original, which had been filed down.

Obviously, using Tri-ang power sources, these are not scale models but give a new dimension to any Tri-ang TT-based layout.

Howard Smith replies: Great to see such innovation and repurposin­g of components to create new models, Garry – inspiratio­nal for all TT modellers.

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