Well, actually a Christmas bargain from Father Ebay.


TT  is the only gauge missing from my collection, and I could not resist a bid on this set. It came to me for £46.01, which I think is pretty good value. It also serves another purpose, in that I have always been a fan of Oliver Bullied's air-smoothed pacifics built for the Southern Railway, and I didn't have one anywhere in my collection.

I know in real life their chain driven valve gear was a maintenance problem, but they did perform outstandingly well in service. During the Interchange trials of 1948 they handled heavy trains over steep gradients in Scotland and the West Country with apparent ease, and recorded the highest maximum equivalent draw bar pull of any locomotive. The "West Country" indicated 2010 dbp, the "Merchant Navy" 1929 dbp, compared to the A4, 1728 dbp and the London Midland Duchess 1865 dbp. The "West Country" was therefore 16% more powerful than the A4, and 8% more than the Duchess. (source - The British Steam Railway Locomotive 1925-1965: O.S. Nock.) So, how could I not have to have it!

It is complete with instruction leaflets, and does not appear to have too much use. It was missing a power connector, but with a bit of fiddling I managed to use a Tomix N gauge connector. A quick service check showed clean commutator slots and good brushes. After a light oiling it ran exceptionally well with power from an H & M Safety Minor.


Tri and TT set box top


Tri-and TT Merchant Navy set T1

I understand Tri-and intended TT to refer to Table Top, and so it is. Even though this set has the large radius curves it fits nicely on our dining table. This could be the start of more collecting..............