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Series 3, Super 4, System 6....

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....what happened to 1, 2 and 5?

Edited by Lantavian
removed superfluous empty quote box

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1 was Rovex, 2 was Tri-ang standard grey track and 5 was a mistery.

 

Why were Hornby Dublo super detailed wagons called SD6 and not SD?

 

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12 minutes ago, Robin Brasher said:

1 was Rovex, 2 was Tri-ang standard grey track

 

 

The difference being that the Rovex track was handed so had to be connected a certain way

 

http://www.tri-ang.co.uk/OONew/TrackU.htm

 

The Triang S2 track was not, so allowed greater flexibility when building layouts.

 

http://www.tri-ang.co.uk/OONew/TrackS.htm

 

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I have read 'somewhere' in the dim and distant past that Triang-Hornby as it then was had intended to introduce their own code 100 rail track system to succeed 'Super 4' which would have been 'T-H blah 5'; but this was abandoned, because the way cheaper option of using a Roco design of code 100 track (by then obsolescent for the HO market!) was adopted as 'System 6'.

 

A quick look at what is available in set track systems for HO will reveal the poverty of what remains 'standard UK set track' some 50 years later. HO set track systems already had double slips by 1960, my continental cousins' layouts were so much more funky than mine could ever be.

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Series 5 was actually an attempt in the sixties by a young man recently hired by Tri-ang to increase the track gauge to 18.2 mm in order to achieve greater realism for true modellers.  It was to be the precursor of a new super-detail range to be marketed as 'the only true to scale table top railway'!

However, the small, but very influential S4 group got wind of this, and thanks to a mole within Lines Brothers, were able to point out that 18.2, or EM, was no more correct than 16.5mm, so, with the figures before the accountants, an obvious  much cheaper copy of Hornby Dublo 2-rail track as System 6 won the day!

Not a lot of people know this,

(Sir) M. Caine

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26 minutes ago, 45568 said:

Series 5 was actually an attempt in the sixties by a young man recently hired by Tri-ang to increase the track gauge to 18.2 mm in order to achieve greater realism for true modellers.  It was to be the precursor of a new super-detail range to be marketed as 'the only true to scale table top railway'!

However, the small, but very influential S4 group got wind of this, and thanks to a mole within Lines Brothers, were able to point out that 18.2, or EM, was no more correct than 16.5mm, so, with the figures before the accountants, an obvious  much cheaper copy of Hornby Dublo 2-rail track as System 6 won the day!

Not a lot of people know this,

(Sir) M. Caine

 

Wonder if there was a converter track?

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I am not sure if anyone tried to increase Tri-ang' s gauge to 18.2mm as that would have upset a lot of existing customers.

 

According to pages 356 and 375 of Pat Hammond's book on Tri-ang Railways Tri-ang investigated producing some Series 5 fine scale track in 1968 and the factory census included R500 straight, R505 double curve small radius and R524 power connecting clip. Tri-ang never made this track.

 

The following year the name was changed to System 6 and the new track was in the shops by February 1970.

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3 hours ago, RedgateModels said:

 

The difference being that the Rovex track was handed so had to be connected a certain way

 

http://www.tri-ang.co.uk/OONew/TrackU.htm

 

The Triang S2 track was not, so allowed greater flexibility when building layouts.

 

http://www.tri-ang.co.uk/OONew/TrackS.htm

 

That S2 track looks not unlike Kato track, although I dare say the Kato is rather better.

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The standard S2 track had moulded ballast which disappeared with series 3 track. As track without ballast was cheaper to produce other manufacturers followed.

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7 hours ago, 34theletterbetweenB&D said:

I have read 'somewhere' in the dim and distant past that Triang-Hornby as it then was had intended to introduce their own code 100 rail track system to succeed 'Super 4' which would have been 'T-H blah 5'; but this was abandoned, because the way cheaper option of using a Roco design of code 100 track (by then obsolescent for the HO market!) was adopted as 'System 6'.

Definitely untrue as the original (and true) System 6 track had the same half-sleeper and full clip-fit under each sleeper space that Super 4 had - I know because I got some within the first year of introduction. Later track by Roco to the same geometry but without those features was imported, but the 'real deal' did exist for a while.

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1 hour ago, BernardTPM said:

Definitely untrue as the original (and true) System 6 track had the same half-sleeper and full clip-fit under each sleeper space that Super 4 had - I know because I got some within the first year of introduction. Later track by Roco to the same geometry but without those features was imported, but the 'real deal' did exist for a while.

Absolutely right. System 6 was a code 100 version of Super 4. Pat Hammond gives the story of the change to Roco track in part 3 of his story of Rovex. My own view is that the change of name from System 6 to Hornby track would have coincided with the change to the Roco supplied track as it lacked the clip-fit feature and split sleeper that System 6 inherited from Super 4.

 

What was interesting was the change in the "handedness" of the rail joiner/fishplate. My guess is that it was done so as to use the same R476 converter track that was used to connect HD 2 rail track to Super 4. A converter track was necessary, so why not use the same one as before to save money.

 

What happened to "5"? To me it's obvious - Marketing. "System 6" rolls off the tongue sp much better than "Series 5" or "System 5".

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Tri-ang Railways called their first (Rovex type 2) track system "Universal", to distinguish it from the proceeding Rovex (type 1) track, which also did not use fishplates, or rail joiners, relying on the plastic base tongues to both connect and align the track.

 

When Series 3 track was introduced in 1958, the grey track with ballast was renamed as "Standard" track.-

 

It was still made alongside Series 3 for some time, Tri-ang Railways shewing in layout designs in catalogues, etc. That it made more realistic elevated track, as there was no daylight between the sleepers. It looks especially good when fitted with the sidewalls.

 

No dedicated Series 3 incline piers, or sidewalls were made. It was intended for layout builders to use Standard Track.

Series 3 track doesn't fit the R.79 type piers very well!

 

In 1962, Tri-ang Railways introduced "Super 4" track.

This used a different geometry from the proceeding systems, although the same rail section was used, and Super 4 track could still connect to the previous Standard and Series 3 track sections.

 

Again, the manufacturing of the previous track system was not totally stopped overnight. There was a need to keep some continuity for those who were building a layout, so that they could still expand by buying from Tri-ang Railways!

 

The basic geometry of Super 4 track is that now used by the code 100 track systems.

 

With the "amalgamation" of Hornby Dublo and Tri-ang Railways to firm Tri-ang Hornby, a converter track, a straight track section with tapered rails to link Super 4 track to Hornby Dublo 2-rail track was introduced.

 

Series 5 was indeed going to be a new code 100 track system.

 

It seems that there was some leaking of information, and the coming of a fifth track system was leaked.

 

Partly to obscure the development of the new track system, advertising was released extolling the 5 important points of Super 4 track.

 

This was when the new 3rd Radius Super 4 curves were released.

 

The hope was that customers would link the 5 points with the fifth track system, and continue buying the existing track, and not wait for the new track system.

 

And so Series 5 became System 6.

 

Again, Super 4 track was still made for some time.

 

The original converter track was retooled to have the same half sleeper at the code 100 end, as used on the original System 6 track. Thus System 6 and Super 4 track could be connected.

 

The name System 6 was quietly dropped at sometime, but I personally don't think that it was due to the use of Roco to make track for Hornby Railways.

I was pretty sure that it was still all System 6 at that time. In fact both Margate and Roco, made in Austria, track was available at the same time, as some instructions pointed out the differences, in clip fit locations, and the end sleepers.

 

Roco wanted to supply their standard track range, but Hornby Railways were insistent on keeping some Clip Fit slots, originally wanting the same arrangement as on the Margate made track.

 

The compromise of only having pairs of slots has been maintained with today's China made Hornby Track.

 

 

A similar list I made earlier!

 

Rovex, Tri-ang Railways and Tri-ang Hornby Track Systems.

 

ROVEX Non-Universal Track. Silver base. Can only be connected one way around, to make a circuit.

 

Tri-ang Railways "Universal" Track. Silver Base. Based on ROVEX design, but can be connected either way around, so not limited to circuits. (Later made with a Grey Base.)

 

Tri-ang Railways "Standard" Track. Grey Base. Based on ROVEX design, but can be connected either way around, so not limited to circuits. (The same as "Universal" but re-named on the introduction of Series 3 Track)

 

Tri-ang Railways Series 3 Track. No Base. Black sleepers to the same spacing, etc. as "Standard" Track. No "Tongues" as with the earlier Track Systems. Instead a small “catch” or “lug” on each end sleeper serves to “lock” the sections together.

 

Tri-ang Railways Super 4 Track. No Base. Brown sleepers to a more “scale” spacing. A new Geometry from the earlier Track Systems, with a shallower “Turnout” on the points,  and a larger 1st Radius Curve. Small notches in each end “half sleeper” are intended to “lock” the track sections together (and it works pretty well too!).

All Tri-ang Track Systems to date are compatible. The ROVEX track could be joined to Tri-ang Universal with the Converter Tracks made at the time!

 

Tri-ang Hornby….Uses Super 4 Track. A Converter track was made to connect Hornby Dublo 2-Rail track to Super 4 Track.

 

Tri-ang Hornby Series 5 Track. This system was not actually released as such. The 3rd Radius Super 4 Curves were marketed with the number “5” to make it seem that this was the rumoured NEW track system. The R. numbers for Series 5 would have been R.5XX…. and made with Code 100 size rails.

 

 

Tri-ang Hornby System 6 Track. Made with Code 100 size rails. Black Sleepers. Originally the notches and Half-Sleeper arrangement from Super 4 was used with System 6 Track as well.

The Converter track was re-tooled (With System 6 type sleepers at the code 100 end) to connect System 6 track to Super 4 Track.

Later track was made by ROCO in Austria.  (etc.) This is when things started to go downhill, as the “Clip Fit” slots were not now in between every sleeper, as they were from Universal and Standard Track. The half sleeper went as well…and the track looked a lot like most other Code 100 Set Track!

The Converter track was re-tooled again, with the new type System 6 type sleepers at the code 100 end to connect the New Hornby Track System (6) track to Super 4 Track.

 

Now made in China…..and not System 6 anymore, Just Hornby Track! ;)

 

 

Edited by Sarahagain
corrections clip fit slots etc...
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1 hour ago, Sarahagain said:

The original converter track was retooled to have the same half sleeper at the code 100 end, as used on the original System 6 track. Thus System 6 and Super 4 track could be connected.

 

The name System 6 was quietly dropped at sometime, but I don't think that it had anything to do with the use of Roco to make track for Hornby Railways.

I'm pretty sure that it was still all System 6 at that time. In fact both Margate and Roco, made in Austria, track was available at the same time, as some instructions pointed out the differences, in clip fit locations, and the end sleepers.

 

Roco wanted to supply their standard track range, but Hornby Railways were insistent on keeping some Clip Fit slots, originally wanting the same arrangement as on the Margate made track.

 

The compromise of only having pairs of slots has been maintained with today's China made Hornby Track.

 

I have quite a collection of the track elements all the way back to Rovex. There are some interesting variations such as the Triang Standard track but made in silver plastic and to the longer lengths as per the Rovex handed track (the straights were shortened by Triang). I have Rovex to Triang male and female converter tracks too.

There are 3 types of R476 Super 4 converter track. The first type has brown sleepers and was designed to match with Hornby Dublo 2 rail track. The 2nd type had black sleepers and the code 100 end was half sleepered to match with the first version of System 6. The 3rd and final type went back to full sleeper in black to match with the Roco-made System 6.

I'm glad you've made the point that Roco Austrian made System 6 was specifically tooled by Roco for Hornby - it is not Roco track!. As you say the two types were available side by side as Hornby supplemented the Margate half sleepered track with Austrian supplies. The reduction in slots is because the Margate made track had the rails pushed onto the sleeper base, secured by crimped tags on the fishplates, whilst the Roco made track had the sleeper base moulded directly on to the rails. This made for a more sturdy and rigid piece but could not be engineered with slots under each sleeper. 

The first Austrian-Roco Super 4 had very bright tinplated steel rail - this was in the era when Hornby wanted bright shiny train set parts to appeal to Granny buying Junior's presents. Around 1980, a duller finish came to be used. The underside of the rail type changed in the mid-1980s, and in 1993 the rails changed to nickel silver with the retirement of the very last 'Magnadhesion' models (which only worked on steel track). Production moved to China in 1998, and the Roco tools were sent to China; however, all the track tools were subsequently remade. I'd love to know what commercial arrangements were made but these days Bachmann track is made using the old Hornby ex-Roco tooling!

The System 6 points are a story in their own right - the early points had very neat jointed blades but apparently these could not be mass produced successfully and there were too many rejects, so diecast switch rails were substituted. The blades and latching mechanisms were re-engineered around 1979 with new rather flimsy point blades - this design survived into the nickel-silver era but in the Chinese era the points were all completely redesigned on very similar lines to Peco points.

Although Nickel Silver System 6 didn't appear as the norm until 1993, the very first releases of System 6 in 1970 included the option of Nickel Silver for the L/H and R/H points and Diamond Crossings, and the R621 flexible track. In 35 years I have managed to track down 1 point and 1 crossing in this finish, it is very hard to find......

Edited by andyman7
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14 hours ago, Robin Brasher said:

1 was Rovex, 2 was Tri-ang standard grey track and 5 was a mistery.

 

 

 

Thank you. That's been bugging me for decades/

 

 

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It's interesting to note that the idea to drop Magnahesion traction magnets came after some of the newer Locomotives had been designed.

 

Look closely at the first Duchess of Sutherland models, and you will find a "hole" in the plastic base plate and chassis block when assembled that is just the right size and position for a traction magnet.

Also, the chassis and baseplate have signs that the loco was originally designed for the X.03 motor in the loco.

It was released with a Ringfield motor tender drive.

 

The same applies to a few locos released around this time.

 

The original  Nickel Silver System 6 track was described as "Silver Seal", and was aimed at the more "serious" modellers.

 

It was also a good way of testing the demand for nickel silver track...

 

So, Bachmann track has the pairs of Clip Fit slots?

 

Interesting.

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18 hours ago, No Decorum said:

That S2 track looks not unlike Kato track, although I dare say the Kato is rather better.

Standard track was made between 60 and 70 years ago, and was intended as a toy train track, not as true to scale. It's appearance was a significant improvement over the HD metal 3 rail and Trix Twin bakelite and tinplate "3 rail", both of which had a similar raised base. Given its age, and the far greater importance attached nowadays to a more realistic and true to scale appearance it's not surprising that today's Kato track looks better.

 

Going a bit off-topic, but still with track in mind, Trix were the first to do away with the raised base, followed rapidly by Triang with Series 3, both in the late 1950s. HD followed with their 2 rail system, and Triang responded with Super 4, which was a vast improvement over Series 3. Trix went over fully to 2 rail track by dropping the centre rail, and the word "Twin" from their brand name.

 

Unlike HD, you could always use Trix 3 rail for 2 rail as the running rails were insulated from each other, and the centre rail was the common return to each of the running rails. That's why it was called Twin - 2 trains under independent control on one track. Trix 3 rail track also worked with HD 3 rail locos, but you lost the ability to control a second train independently because of the uninsulated Dublo wheelsets.

 

Trix Twin locos, would also run on true 2 rail track, I have several of their EM1/Class 76 locos that I run on Super 4. You just reconfigure the pickup shoes to collect from the running rails. For a time their wheel flanges were too wide to run through points on Triang or HD track. They truly deserved the epithet of "Steamroller wheels". Fortunately Trix changed to finer wheelsets with a removesble coarse scale collar - remove the collar and the locos run happily on Super 4 and code 100 track.

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5 hours ago, Sarahagain said:

It's interesting to note that the idea to drop Magnahesion traction magnets came after some of the newer Locomotives had been designed.

 

Look closely at the first Duchess of Sutherland models, and you will find a "hole" in the plastic base plate and chassis block when assembled that is just the right size and position for a traction magnet.

Also, the chassis and baseplate have signs that the loco was originally designed for the X.03 motor in the loco.

It was released with a Ringfield motor tender drive.

 

The same applies to a few locos released around this time.

 

The original  Nickel Silver System 6 track was described as "Silver Seal", and was aimed at the more "serious" modellers.

 

It was also a good way of testing the demand for nickel silver track...

 

So, Bachmann track has the pairs of Clip Fit slots?

 

Interesting.

There’s a bit of talk nowadays of attracting new blood into the hobby. I don’t think it was ever very easy starting. It took me some time to realise that the traction magnet on my Jinty pulled the wheels against the chassis, and caused jerky running. A problem solved by punching the magnet out of its nest. Another early problem I faced in my ignorance was using a track cleaning rubber on steel track. The rubber removed the tin plating, resulting in rusting. Rust is even worse than traction tyres at preventing the passage of electricity.

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20 hours ago, Sarahagain said:

Tri-ang Railways called their first (Rovex type 2) track system "Universal", to distinguish it from the proceeding Rovex (type 1) track, which also did not use fishplates, or rail joiners, relying on the plastic base tongues to both connect and align the track.

 

When Series 3 track was introduced in 1958, the grey track with ballast was renamed as "Standard" track.-

 

It was still made alongside Series 3 for some time, Tri-ang Railways shewing in layout designs in catalogues, etc. That it made more realistic elevated track, as there was no daylight between the sleepers. It looks especially good when fitted with the sidewalls.

 

No dedicated Series 3 incline piers, or sidewalls were made. It was intended for layout builders to use Standard Track.

Series 3 track doesn't fit the R.79 type piers very well!

 

In 1962, Tri-ang Railways introduced "Super 4" track.

This used a different geometry from the proceeding systems, although the same rail section was used, and Super 4 track could still connect to the previous Standard and Series 3 track sections.

 

Again, the manufacturing of the previous track system was not totally stopped overnight. There was a need to keep some continuity for those who were building a layout, so that they could still expand by buying from Tri-ang Railways!

 

The basic geometry of Super 4 track is that now used by the code 100 track systems.

 

With the "amalgamation" of Hornby Dublo and Tri-ang Railways to firm Tri-ang Hornby, a converter track, a straight track section with tapered rails to link Super 4 track to Hornby Dublo 2-rail track was introduced.

 

Series 5 was indeed going to be a new code 100 track system.

 

It seems that there was some leaking of information, and the coming of a fifth track system was leaked.

 

Partly to obscure the development of the new track system, advertising was released extolling the 5 important points of Super 4 track.

 

This was when the new 3rd Radius Super 4 curves were released.

 

The hope was that customers would link the 5 points with the fifth track system, and continue buying the existing track, and not wait for the new track system.

 

And so Series 5 became System 6.

 

Again, Super 4 track was still made for some time.

 

The original converter track was retooled to have the same half sleeper at the code 100 end, as used on the original System 6 track. Thus System 6 and Super 4 track could be connected.

 

The name System 6 was quietly dropped at sometime, but I don't think that it had anything to do with the use of Roco to make track for Hornby Railways.

I'm pretty sure that it was still all System 6 at that time. In fact both Margate and Roco, made in Austria, track was available at the same time, as some instructions pointed out the differences, in clip fit locations, and the end sleepers.

 

Roco wanted to supply their standard track range, but Hornby Railways were insistent on keeping some Clip Fit slots, originally wanting the same arrangement as on the Margate made track.

 

The compromise of only having pairs of slots has been maintained with today's China made Hornby Track.

 

 

A similar list I made earlier!

 

Rovex, Tri-ang Railways and Tri-ang Hornby Track Systems.

 

ROVEX Non-Universal Track. Silver base. Can only be connected one way around, to make a circuit.

 

Tri-ang Railways "Universal" Track. Silver Base. Based on ROVEX design, but can be connected either way around, so not limited to circuits. (Later made with a Grey Base.)

 

Tri-ang Railways "Standard" Track. Grey Base. Based on ROVEX design, but can be connected either way around, so not limited to circuits. (The same as "Universal" but re-named on the introduction of Series 3 Track)

 

Tri-ang Railways Series 3 Track. No Base. Black sleepers to the same spacing, etc. as "Standard" Track. No "Tongues" as with the earlier Track Systems. Instead a small “catch” or “lug” on each end sleeper serves to “lock” the sections together.

 

Tri-ang Railways Super 4 Track. No Base. Brown sleepers to a more “scale” spacing. A new Geometry from the earlier Track Systems, with a shallower “Turnout” on the points,  and a larger 1st Radius Curve. Small notches in each end “half sleeper” are intended to “lock” the track sections together (and it works pretty well too!).

All Tri-ang Track Systems to date are compatible. The ROVEX track could be joined to Tri-ang Universal with the Converter Tracks made at the time!

 

Tri-ang Hornby….Uses Super 4 Track. A Converter track was made to connect Hornby Dublo 2-Rail track to Super 4 Track.

 

Tri-ang Hornby Series 5 Track. This system was not actually released as such. The 3rd Radius Super 4 Curves were marketed with the number “5” to make it seem that this was the rumoured NEW track system. The R. numbers for Series 5 would have been R.5XX…. and made with Code 100 size rails.

 

 

Tri-ang Hornby System 6 Track. Made with Code 100 size rails. Black Sleepers. Originally the notches and Half-Sleeper arrangement from Super 4 was used with System 6 Track as well.

The Converter track was re-tooled (With System 6 type sleepers at the code 100 end) to connect System 6 track to Super 4 Track.

Later track was made by ROCO in Austria.  (etc.) This is when things started to go downhill, as the “Clip Fit” slots were not now in between every sleeper, as they were from Series 3 Track. The half sleeper went as well…and the track looked a lot like most other Code 100 Set Track!

The Converter track was re-tooled again, with the new type System 6 type sleepers at the code 100 end to connect New System 6 track to Super 4 Track.

 

Now made in China…..and not System 6 anymore, Just Hornby Track! ;)

 

 

I'm grateful to Sarah for that summary, but would beg to differ on a couple of minor details.

 

Firstly clip-fit slots were introduced on Standard track, not Series 3, otherwise how would the elevated track sidewalls, the single and double track level crossings, the loading gauge, and the catenary mast bases have been fitted to Standard Track.  Triang only started  drawing attention to it by putting the words "Clip Fit in bold text in the 1966 catalogue.

 

The name "System 6" was prominently used with its own logo from its introduction in 1970 right up to and including 1975 in all the catalogues, and all the System 6 track has the half sleeper and full length clip-fit arrangement inherited from Super 4.

 

The 1976 catalogue shows the 1/4 straight, and the double curves in 2nd and 3rd radius without the half sleeper, the Roco (supplied) track presumably. There is no prominent display of the name or logo "System 6" as there had been in all catalogues since its introduction. Instead there is a note on page 47 of the '76 catalogue saying: "Due to increased demand and to ensure ready availablility of Hornby track, it has been necessary to produce System 6 in a slightly different form. The new track is similar to pre-1976 production except that clip fit slots are now to be found only in specified locations on each piece of track, and not between almost every sleeper. However, Hornby would like to assure their many customers that both new and old types couple together perfectly well and that no problems should be encountered when combining the two on any layout.

 

The 1977 catalogue prominently uses the name "Hornby Track system" on page 34. All track pieces, apart from the converter track, and possibly the isolating track which looks like neither type, are shown with the twinned-end (Roco-made style) sleepers not the Super 4/System 6 half sleeper arrangement. The only reference to System 6 is the converter track itself, which is shown with the half sleeper arrangement at both ends.

 

This also applies to the 1978 catalogue.

 

Thus, for me at any rate, the change from made-in-house to bought-in (Roco-made) track marks the end of true System 6 track, and the start of "Hornby track" both in name and in nature. And I think that there was a tacit acknowledgement of that fact by Rovex in stopping using the System 6 name and logo when the changeover began.  The twinned-end sleeper was a retrograde step as the half sleeper arrangement made it almost impossible to see where the pieces of track joined, whereas the twinned-ends are much more prominent.

 

Sarah knows much more about Rovex/Triang/Triang Hornby/Hornby in the 1970s than I, university and then work and leaving home took me away from my layout, but I would question whether the converter track was retooled again so the half sleeper arrangement was only at the Super 4 end. If System 6 and Hornby track connected together without problems as stated in the catalogue, would they really have gone to the expense of reworking the converter track to lose the half sleeper at the System 6 end, a period when money was tight?  Or was it a very simple and cheap change to reverse whatever alteration they had made in 1970 to the 1965 Dublo 2 Rail to Super 4 version?

 

Incidentally, one feature of Standard Track lives on virtually unchanged in today's track geometry, believe it or not. That is the radius of 2nd radius curves in both Standard and Series 3 track at 435mm or 17 1/8 inches in old money. Super 4 increased that very marginally to 438mm or 17 1/4 inches, but what's 3mm between friends!  Back in the day, my double track layout used Super 4 1st radius curves and Series 3 2nd radius curves next to each other. Even though Super 4 curves were 22 1/2 degrees and Series 3 were 30 degrees, Series 3 also had 15 degree half curves, which combined with an ordinary curve gave 45 degrees, teh same as a Super 4 double curve. So provided I stuck to 45 or 90 degree bends there was no problem in mixing the two side by side, apart from the different appearance and spacing of the sleepers, which meant putting the mixed formations in the less visible parts of the layout.

Edited by GoingUnderground
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Yes, of course the clip fit slots were on Universal/ Standard track!

 

How could I have missed that!  :blush:

 

That list was one typed from my failing memory, as is the whole post, and a lot of my other posts!

 

The 1970s onwards isn't my main interest.

 

1950 to 1970 is more my area.

 

I can see what you mean about the System 6 name being played down.

 

I've never really noticed that.

 

I'm pretty sure that I have at least one Hornby branded converter track with Roco style sleepers on one end.

 

A job for another day, digging out the box of converter tracks!

 

Incidentally, the rails on the converter tracks are tapered cast metal, not the normal rail.

 

I seem to remember that even the rail castings are of at least two types, with the fixing lugs to go in the sleepers in different positions...

 

Edited by Sarahagain
housekeeping, spelling, etc...
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On 29/02/2020 at 07:30, Sarahagain said:

So, Bachmann track has the pairs of Clip Fit slots?

 

Interesting.

Indeed it does, and their power clip attaches in the same way as an R602 although the terminal is of a slightly different shape.

On 29/02/2020 at 17:26, GoingUnderground said:

Sarah knows much more about Rovex/Triang/Triang Hornby/Hornby in the 1970s than I, university and then work and leaving home took me away from my layout, but I would question whether the converter track was retooled again so the half sleeper arrangement was only at the Super 4 end. If System 6 and Hornby track connected together without problems as stated in the catalogue, would they really have gone to the expense of reworking the converter track to lose the half sleeper at the System 6 end, a period when money was tight?  Or was it a very simple and cheap change to reverse whatever alteration they had made in 1970 to the 1965 Dublo 2 Rail to Super 4 version?

The R476 Converter Track exists in 3 distinct versions (I have them all) and the late 1970s retool is not a reversion to the pre 1970s one. Indeed it may have come about as the tool needed repair - remember that in the 70s production quantities were in the tens of thousands. Margate and Roco-made System 6/Hornby Track System does couple together, it's just the appearance that is a bit odd. Certain parts such as the Isolating Track were never made by Roco and careful examination of later (pre-China) versions reveals that the old System 6 tools are used but with the sleeper ends retooled. More interesting for me back in the early 1990s was when I bought by infant son a Hornby 00 clockwork Thomas and the track (R605) was clearly UK made from the old System 6 tools, but again with the sleeper ends modified. I kept a piece for my 'archive' when the set was finally done with......

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7 hours ago, andyman7 said:

Indeed it does, and their power clip attaches in the same way as an R602 although the terminal is of a slightly different shape.

The R476 Converter Track exists in 3 distinct versions (I have them all) and the late 1970s retool is not a reversion to the pre 1970s one. Indeed it may have come about as the tool needed repair - remember that in the 70s production quantities were in the tens of thousands. Margate and Roco-made System 6/Hornby Track System does couple together, it's just the appearance that is a bit odd. Certain parts such as the Isolating Track were never made by Roco and careful examination of later (pre-China) versions reveals that the old System 6 tools are used but with the sleeper ends retooled. More interesting for me back in the early 1990s was when I bought by infant son a Hornby 00 clockwork Thomas and the track (R605) was clearly UK made from the old System 6 tools, but again with the sleeper ends modified. I kept a piece for my 'archive' when the set was finally done with......

That explanation answers my reservations about Margate spending money they didn't need to.

 

It was the introduction of System 6, that also took me away from my layout and the hobby in the early '70s. I'd been through the Series 3 to Super 4 change, and didn't want to go through another one. I can't remember if I fully appreciated at the time that every loco and piece of rolling stock that I had would need to be re-wheeled to run on System 6 to stop the wheel flanges bumping along on the sleepers or the locos getting stuck on the point check rails or frogs.

 

It is entirely understandable why Rovex didn't make a "song and dance" about replacing System 6 with Roco-made Hornby named track, and slipped it in "under the radar". The geometry hadn't changed, the effective loss of clip-fit mattered less as the catenary system had been discontinued, and they joined together without a converter track. The last thing that they wanted was to reinforce the impression that they kept changing the track every few years. The changes were made for good commercial reasons, but that doesn't stop the perception of repeated change.

 

The dates below refer to the period when the track was introduced to its replacement by the next generation. Obviously there was some overlap as production of the outgoing track continued for a year or so after the introduction of the new track. The exception was the change from System 6 to Roco-made track as the latter substituted for the former.

 

Rovex original: 1950 - 1951 

Universal/Standard: 1952 - 1957

Series 3: 1958 - 1961

Super 4: 1962 -  1969

System 6: 1970 - 1975

Hornby (Roco-made / "7"): 1976 - 1995

Hornby (Chinese-made using duplicate tooling (Hammond: Rovex 3, page 401): 1996 - date

 

There are exceptions to these dates outside the UK, where the superseded track was sometimes retained for longer, presumably to use up local stocks and to help ensure there was sufficient of the new track to meet UK demand.

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The Roco made track was simply a retooling, a bit like Peco have retooled their points, my 1980s Rocket ran through Peco points then, it will not run through todays. As noted above Roco did not tool up the entire System 6 range and conversely the turntable remained to Super 4 until it was replaced by the toy one.

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2 hours ago, Butler Henderson said:

The Roco made track was simply a retooling, a bit like Peco have retooled their points, my 1980s Rocket ran through Peco points then, it will not run through todays. As noted above Roco did not tool up the entire System 6 range and conversely the turntable remained to Super 4 until it was replaced by the toy one.

 

Yes that's right. The turntable was supplied up to 1974 as R408U  , the U standing for universal .  The deck was super 4 track  but 4  R476 converter tracks were supplied with the turntable .   I had one from 1973 but it got replaced in 1978 by one of these horrid spinning disc things because it had more outlet tracks . Later versions of this turntable had even more .    Eventually through Tri-ang man I was able to find another R408U which I have reinstated in my MPD . Much more authentic and reliable than the current Hornby turntable .

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