The Collection - The Disease

Dear Marjorie - My husband is 46 years old and spends most of his time playing with toy trains. He doesn't pay any attention to me these days.

Dear M - You have my deepest sympathy! Unfortunately, this condition is well known and is usually terminal. Very few people ever fully recover. However, you can turn this situation to your advantage! Trainaholics are so oblivious to their surroundings that you can bring as many men back to the house as you want - your man will never know!

Whatever you do though, don't get rid of your train fanatic - they are notoriously good at paying the bills! Blessings

When I first read this letter in a women's magazine I was shocked, devastated, mortified........

It took me a while to comprehend the truth in these words, but I am determined to 'clean up' my act.

No more trains!

The disease started .......... continue reading my incredibly boring history


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Class 5600/6600 Collett 0-6-2 Tank Engine

How in the blazes did Trix get in on the scene? Oi! Will someone lock that back door – all kinds of riff-raff are sneaking in here!

For some strange reason two Trix locomotives wound up in this collection. The first one shown here is in abominable condition. She’s lost her bogey (euch!) and someone (not me!) has taken a chipping hammer to the paintwork.

Trix, Class 5600 Collett 0-6-2 Tank Locomotive, No. 6664 in British Railways lined green livery

The Class 5600 Tank Locomotive was the design of Charlie Collett, who presumably was a steam fanatic like Mr Gresley and my Dad, who was actually a boiler maker on the steam locomotives. The first of the 5600 series came into service in 1924 and the last one removed from mainline service with British Rail in 1965. You have to assume therefore, that it was a pretty good engine!

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....thank you for that little word for the would-be hippies - back to trains:

Mainly used for hauling coal from the pit heads of Wales (I am not calling the Welsh ‘pit-heads’ by the way …..although I knew a few who would fit that description quite well!) to the docks and factories and power stations.


Water Capacity – 1900 gals
Coal Capacity – 3.75 tons
Boiler Pressure – 200psi
Weight – 62 to 69 tons (depending on who you believe), plus the fireman’s lunch box
Tractive Effort – 25,800lbs
Drivers Inside Leg – 24inches

Charles Collett was the Chief Mechanical Engineer for the Great Western Railways (GWR) and he it was, who thunked up this great little mover and shaker of a tank engine to replace the small and inefficient ‘coal rats’.

Two hundred of them were built between 1924 and 1928 and they ended up in all manner of jobs in many locations around the UK. As far as I know, nine of these engines have been saved from the scrap yard and I think five are in active service including this little baby at Swanage ‘6695’.

If you want a ride on one then I highly recommend the Swanage Railway Museum. Take a long weekend and some old clothes and get thoroughly sooty and sweaty amongst this great collection of steam trains and associated ironwork.

For some strange reason the engines were numbered 5600 to 5699 and 6600 to 6699. One must assume, must one, that the 6600 series were slightly modified from the 5600 series. The later series being about 1 ton heavier.

Here’s another one of those photo’s kindly stolen from Wikipedia, which is a great source of information, but not always trusted to be 100% accurate!

'6664' in the flesh!

As for the Trix model of ‘6664’ it is designed to run on 3 rail and does perfectly well on the Dublo track even though the electrics were wired somewhat differently.

Of course, this trix, 5600 Tank loco does not come with a box. I’m sorry, but the quality of red Trix boxes is nowhere near the Hornby Dublo standard. Half the weight, cheap wood pulp and ….well, that’s why there’s no box. Nothing to do with the verminous creature who took the chipping hammer to the locomotive!

Now then, the other Trix Twin loco is a different scuttle of coal entirely…..
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