Thursday, June 08, 2017

Tinplate tube train

Vintage tube train model

£20 well spent?

Spotted on a stall at the recent G1 event, I couldn't resist this interesting 3-rail tube train. My first thoughts were that it is scratchbuilt but I couldn't be sure. There are no identifying marks and despite being a similar vintage to the famous Ever-Ready model, it's not that one.  

Assuming I'm right about this being scratchbuilt, the modeller  was very skilled at producing a press to stamp holes in tinplate as the work is very neat. I like the window-top vents too, made in acetate. 


Power comes from a very professional looking bogie.


Trailing bogies are a bit cruder but perfectly serviceable. The wheel profiles are fairly fine and if I were to convert it from 3-rail, would probably work on Code 100 track. Mind you, that conversion would be a challenge if I didn't want to replace the wheels as they are of course, uninsulated. 

Vital statistics:
Length: 203mm
Height from rail: 43mm
Width: 36mm

Casting around for more information, I sent some photos to DOGA's Colin Snowdon, always a font of all knowledge on ancient things made by people.

 I've had a close look at your photographs: The motor bogie is a rebuilt Romford. The end screws and nuts give this away (there are three ball bearings in each end cup. Take my word for this don't look as it's murder to get the shaft centred in them again).

The wheels in the bogies look to be Nucro or Acro

The model is based on 1927 standard tube stock. spot the cranked frame over the power bogie and the above frame equipment compartment.However the clerestory has been left off

It is most likely scratch and not bad considering there were no drawings available at the time and modelling the tube was as unlikely as Wallace & Gromit's moon rocket.

I'd date it around 1953

Pat Hammond doesn't recognise it as a RTR model so that seems to agree with Colin's opinion.

Can anyone tell me more about this model?

1 comment:

Paul B. said...

£20 well spent? I'd say so. Someone has obviously put a lot of time and effort into it, so it would be a shame to see it sat unloved in the bottom of a dealers box. It could be argued that its a piece of history, showing the hobby as it was back in the 50s (assuming it was made then).
Converting it to 2 rail might be a challenge though. A lathe would help with those wheels!