The online magazine on the history and operation of vintage scale model trains in American OO gauge

Saturday, September 6, 2014

A Trix Twin 0-4-0, Converted to American OO

A few years ago Dick Kuehnemund sent me photos of a mystery model, this 0-4-0.

It clearly has a factory body with a new drive, and had Schorr tender trucks on it. It had to be a HO conversion, but what was it? I puzzled over it at the time and actually Dick sold it on eBay a few years ago and I did not bid.

Another recent project has been reading 1950s magazines and I realized I skipped reading the issues I have of Model Trains. This was a Kalmbach publication of the late 50s and early 60s aimed at “All Gauges—All Ages: HO – S – O – O-27.” The topic of American OO very rarely comes up at all, but the magazine is a good quick read and has an interesting prototype feature in every issue.

Reading along I came to an article in the December, 1956 issue. It is on reworking the Trix Twin 0-4-0 for use as a heavy switcher on a HO layout. The article has quite a title: “Trixie the trollop from the Thames.” The article is written in an interesting, narrative style and was probably aimed at younger model railroaders. Various handy things are noted though, such as the model is two inches longer than a Mantua HO shifter. One primary change was to upgrade the tender trucks, which was part of a general goal of reducing the size of some of the clunky details and adding more detail. There are two before and after photos, including this one.

A key photo though was this final one below that shows their modified model with a Mantua Shifter. The Trix Twin is huge in HO, the body castings are probably OO, a fact that must have caught the eye of some OO gauger who rebuilt the one at the beginning of this article with a new drive and Schorr trucks.

There are websites devoted to Trix Twin, and on this page it notes that this model was introduced 1948/49. It was originally manufactured for export to the USA, and they refer to it as the “US Switcher.”

In a follow-up item in the March issue a reader noted that Trix makes British OO scale models and the editor noted that this model is “actually oversize for American HO gauge.”

This model is certainly collectible and has value if in good shape (and not modified), but still it is one to keep your eyes peeled for, it actually would have made a great American OO model.

2 comments:

Robert Little said...

The MARX Company made an inexpensive 0-4-0 swithcher that was always oversized for HO. It resembles the Trix locomotive in shape (and was possibly based on it), though is much cruder. Even as I write this, there is one on eBay.

Ted Winther said...

Hi John. You probably know that Trix made English OO, which were really OO gauge scale 4mm bodies running on HO 3.5 mm scale track. Same is still true for Hornby, etc.