Swiss Chris Railways

 EARLY DAYS


The 2-4-2 with super automatic uncoupling, when the loco reversed direction, an actuator moved the coupling so than when the train was pushed back and the loco stopped, the train would roll enough to clear the coupling and the loco could drive off un-emcumbered anywhere on the circuit.

My first train set was made by Trix and had 3 rails. Unlike Hornby and Märklin, the wheels were insulated from each other so 2 trains could be run on the same piece of track under independant control. While I no longer have either of my original 2 locos (including one of those on the left) I still have most of the rolling stock including 3 American style Pullman coaches, and a few trucks.

The track itself was bakelite until the mid fities, when they started manufacturing a fibre base. I had some of this when I got my Meteor set and my first layout, a double oval connected by 2 points on a 3 X 4' board. The bakelite track was consigned to the loft where it stayed for the next few years.

The three different American style Pullman coaches. They came with integral lighting which was quite advanced for the fifties.

Trix Express BLS AE 4/4. The pantographs worked and a pin on the roof selected which rail it replaced. But you had to take off two of the collector shoes or it would still pick up from the rails.

Early in 1962 my parents went to Switzerland on a business trip. When they returned, they gave me a Trix Express BLS loco (pictured left). The pantographs worked, and this meant I could now run 3 locos under independant control on the same track.

  In 1966 we moved from Enfield to just outside Bishops Stortford, and our new home was big enough for a play-room. At one end of it was a shelf unit and hinged to the top of it was a 6 x 4 blockboard for my first permanent layout. It was originally planned to be a double track folded over figure of 8 configuration, but it was felt that the 2-4-2 was not

powerful enough to haul any trains up the ramp so a triple circuit was built on the level.

   When the planned circuit was finally built the 2-4-2 was powerful enough, but following some high speed falls to the floor, the body cracked and it unfortunately had to be scrapped. The layout was dismantled. And everything was put into storage.

  Nothing much happened over the next few years, but it was really 1978 and the '80s when it all started again.

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