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Giving Tri-ang Pullman coaches a facelift


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I recently bought 10 old Tri-ang pullman coaches.

I know that Hornby produces very nice pullman coaches with integrated light and every thing, but at an average price of about £30 a piece. :o

So nice, but expensive.

Looking around on the net a bid I found these old Tri-ang coaches, standard a far cry from the modern Hornby product, but they came at a good price.

After close inspection the first thing I replaced where the plastic wheels, they where switched for new Hornby metal ones.

This was an immediate improvement, and they all became smooth runners.

Next thing that I didn't like where the oval windows.


So I started with making a master, out of brass insert.

Here I made a rubber mold of.

And now I can produce as manny resin inserts as I want

And this is the result.



Also the interior could do with a bit of color.

Of course the plastic interior is a far cry of how the original pullman coaches look inside.


But still with some paint and imagination you can give the feel of luxury.

So this is what I did.



I also have to mention, if you look at these coaches for reel, they even look even better than on photo, but you get the feel.

Also if you look at the real pullman coaches, the color use of the interior differs from coach to coach.

So with some paint and new wheels these coaches can have a nice second happy life.

And you can make them look unique if you make the interior in different colors.

Let me know what you think of this face lift?



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...Are you going to work on the outside as well?...

Well, the oval window has changed.

Some coaches did get an other name decal, as I got ceveral coaches with th same name.

This one was first "car N°79" and is now renamed to "car N°86".

And of course every coach is cleaned up from years of dust, with a water/disch wash soap.

and that's about it



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Being slight involved in fine scale work, I was thinking of Wire hand rails instead of molded, the same for various tubes and wires on the ends and I'm not sure if the corridor connectors were black or brown.

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Yes, wire handrails could be an option, but personally that's something I won't do.

Because if you want to do that, you got to sand away the old plastic relief handrails.

This also means painting or at least varnishing with the risk of repainting the whole coach.

And these new parts are so fragile that they could break off or bend very easy.

Corridor connectors are really nice and realistic, but unpractical.

On eBay you find these black laser cut paper ones they look very nice, but the downside is that you must leave your train as a complete composition.

This I can't do, as I must store my material away when my garden rail is not in use.

Beside that, If you ask me what do you not like on British OO gauge material?

Than I have to answer you, Hornby type couplings.

Ok, if you talk about this old Tri-ang material, here I find it normal.

If you look at other brands of that era in HO, they are as primitive.

But now, with these super detailed models and universal NEM couplings, you would think they developed something new, that Isn't that obvious or at least a bit more realistic, but no, nothing.

Look at how close these TRIX coaches are coupled, and that is standard, no need for paper Corridor connectors.

And Price compared with new Hornby coaches not a real big difference.


How does it work, simple, the coupling runs in a V shape, when a train goes in a curve, the coupling is pushed out creating more space and the buffer bar follows the coupling.

This makes that it looks as if the buffers are nice prest to each other al the time.


I've seen people use 3 eyes of chain, at this moment it's the most realistic option, I think.

But If it comes to coupling and decoupling I find unpractical.

But then on the other side, if a new system would come out, what would we do with our old stock.

I think beside the beautiful British models that are on the market, and are released every day, we have to live with the old Hornby type of coupling. :roll:



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Having spent hours at a MRC show assisting on a layout with 3 link or screw link couplings http://www.scalelink.co.uk/acatalog/WTLP5.jpg , they are definately not coming anywhere near my railway except in fixed rake trains.

After a lot of research, I've gone for Dingham couplings, http://www.dingham.co.uk/ , which can be magnetically / electromagnetically uncoupled. Outside there will be just a few strategially place permanent magnets, Luckily my garden railway will lead into the shed meaning no packing away, just park up in a fiddle yard.

Heres an Idea, could you have a siding leading to a place where you could use cassettes to remove stock? it would be a lot quicker...


how to arrange connections


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