I live in Derbyshire in the middle of the UK and have been collecting Tri-ang Railways since early 1998 although I still have all my childhood trains from 1958/63 era still in their original boxes but unfortunately not mint!
I remember having my first Tri-ang locomotive in about 1956/7. This was a second hand example of the TR Baltic tank bought from Hattons of Liverpool. It was followed later by some TC rolling stock, the short box car, oil tanker, gondola and caboose and a circle of standard track. My older brother also had the TC Pacific. I later bought the double-ended diesel and three blue coaches.
However the attraction of the TC series waned and the Baltic tank was converted into a Princess by swapping the body, exchanging the trailing bogie and buying a tender. The rest of the TC series were exchanged for some British stock and the collection was then added to every Christmas and birthday. I finally had a Princess with a rake of maroon coaches, the dock shunter, the Deeley 3F and a large number of goods stock, all running on series 3 track by late 1962.
Unfortunately other attractions then took over and the whole lot was put away in the attic. Somehow it survived being given to the Church jumble sale, which can't be said for the Dinky Toy collection, and is still in existence in the original boxes.
Although I have been a keen railway modeller since the early 1970's and have had various layouts over the intervening years it wasn't until I bought a copy of Pat Hammond's excellent first volume that the interest in Tri-ang was awakened in late 1997.
I buy my models mainly at swapmeets, toy fairs etc, but I also buy at model railway shows etc which can be a good source of reasonably priced models. I sometimes buy second hand from model shops but prices are now increasing as more people have started collecting. I also keep an eye on the Ebay internet auction site where one can sometimes pick up bargains.
I try to stick to pre-1965, which is the true Tri-ang era, although since I bought a copy of Pat Hammond's latest volume I have now expanded my era to include Tri-ang Hornby up to 1971.
I often buy rolling stock that's seen better days with plans to restore it to running order. I am not a purist and don't usually go for mint boxed, as I want to run a railway and not have a large collection gathering dust out of sight. I also object paying some of the ridiculous prices that are asked for what are sometimes poor examples, but I am slowly building up my collection.
It's sometimes a challenge to try to restore some of my finds to running order but that's all part of the fun of collecting!
When I finally get the time and the space to build a layout I hope to build big so that I can see long trains running. I shall also take some photographs of the layout and put them on the web site. I would like to build a portable layout so that I can take it to various events around the country to show it off, but that's in the future.
There are a number of special 'vintage' swapmeets nowadays at Rugby and Reading for example and several regular annual shows such as Alresford and Sandy where societies and individuals collect and show off their layouts. This is an excellent idea and a source of great interest. It's wonderful to see these various fine collections running on the tracks as intended.
I am trying to collect at least one of all the UK models and I hope to build up freight trains of say, six or more wagons of the same type, as shown in some of the original Tri-ang publicity shots. I also think a Transcontinental train with the A & B series diesels at the head of, say, six or seven red and silver passenger cars will look good.
I am a member of the Train Collectors Society, which I can thoroughly recommend as a very professional society with knowledgeable people and an interesting magazine. I have attended several of their organised Society events, where one can see samples from Tri-ang and other collections and swap tips and information etc.
If you have any comments about the site or require any information about Tri-ang please e-mail me