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Tri-ang and Tri-ang Hornby Smoke Unit details...

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Tri-ang Railways and Tri-ang Hornby "Smoking" Locos.

Tri-ang Railways first marketed Smoke Unit fitted model locomotives in 1961, using patented technology from Seuthe in Western Germany.

These early smoke units were brass tubes, with a heating element inside. A wire from the bottom of the element was wired in parrallel to the loco motor, so the amount of voltage, and therefore heat was governed by the speed control setting.
The "Smoke Pipe" (which is a very thin tube, a bit like a hyperdermic needle) takes the vaporised oil (smoke) up and out of the top of the unit, and the chimney.
The smoke was expelled by the smoke pipe in "puffs" that were not synchronised to the driving wheel speed, and continued for a short time after the loco was stopped.

These Smoke Pipes can get blocked. (3 Amp Fusewire is said by Tri-ang to be the right diameter to rod out a Smoke Pipe, or a strand of electic wire can be used)

Removing the Smoke Pipe from Seuthe type units and cleaning it every so often is a good idea, though you have to be careful to get it the right way up putting it back!...

The angled end is the bottom end...


The Smoke Pipes can also fall out of the unit if the locomotive is turned upside down! So be aware!


New locomotives had a label over the chimney to stop this happeneing in transit...

 

Seuthe are still trading today, and make a wide variety of smoke units for locomotives, and buildings, etc.

They also still make the Smoke Oil...

 

In 1964, the Seuthe units were mainly repalced by the introduction of Synchrosmoke. (Earlier known as various spellings, Synkro-smoke, etc...)

This was Tri-ang Railways own design, and was designed after seeing a Mr. Fry of Ireland's smoking locomotives. He wanted a good up-front payment  to disclose his design, so the "men from Margate" went away and came up wiyh their own design.

This used a cast metal box, with a piston in a cylinder, driven by a gear wheel by the motor worm, to push air into the box.
The box contained a wadding material, and on top of this was a heating element, that looks a little like a fuse, with a metal conducting cap on each end.
The element was wired in parrallel to the loco motor, so the amount of voltage, and therefore heat was governed by the speed control setting.
The forced air expelled the smoke in "puffs" that were synchronised to the driving wheel speed by the gear drive.

Complicated to describe, but it works!

There were two main "Box" castings" Long" and "Short".

The long one was used in the 4-6-2 locos, with different holes in the lid for the different chimney positions.

The short one was used in the tank locos, and the B12 4-6-0, with different lids and extensions.


The smoke oil has come in a variety of plastic tubes and sachets over the years. The last Hornby issue I have seen was a small plastic "pot" with a screw lid (R.8111) Hornby earlier supplied Smoke Oil as R.521 in a white Sachet.

For the ultimate in originallity... the Tri-ang stuff can be found for sale on the "net"....[

Until the Hornby "Pot", the various packs of Smoke Oil had the part number R.521, including the sachets sold by Hornby to go with the later Smoke fitted locos that use a plastic smoke unit, including the 4-4-0s (Schools, Midland Compound, County, Hunt) and the GWR 2-8-0 Goods Loco. These plastic units are prone to overheat if run without oil for any length of time...

These used a syringe with a plastic spout to transfer the oil to the unit.

The first Seuthe type used a real glass "pipette" as a filling "funnel"

Later a platic funnel was used.

Most of the tubes were marked in various colours:-

Tri-ang Seuthe Smoke Pat. Made in W. Germany.


Some Examples of Seuthe Type smoke unit fitted locomotives.

R.52S B.R. "Jinty" 0-6-0 Tank Locos (1961-1963)

R.53S B.R. Green Princess Royal class 8p 4-6-2 Tender Locos (1961-1962)

R.54S "T.C. Series" Transcontinental Pacific Tender Locos.(1961-1963)

R.59S B.R. Class 3MT 2-6-2 Tank Locos (1961-1963)

R.150S B.R. B12 4-6-0 Tender Locos (1961-1964)

R.251S B.R. Lined Black "Deeley" Class 3F 0-6-0 Tender Locos (1961-1964)

R.258S B.R. Lined Maroon Princess Royal class 8p 4-6-2 Tender Locos (1961-1963)

R.259S B.R. Britannia Class 7 4-6-2 Tender locos (1961-1964)

R.350S B.R. Class L1 4-4-0 Tender Locos (1961-1963)

R.354S "Lord Of The Isles" 4-2-2 Tender Loco (1961-1962)

R.356S B.R. Battle of Britain Class 4-6-2 Tender Locos (1961-1963)

R.358S "T.C. Series" "Davey Crockett" Western 2-6-0 Locos (1962-1965)

R.651S "Rocket" locomotive. (1963-1966)

etc...


Some Examples of Synchrosmoke fitted locomotives.

R.51S G.W.R. 0-6-0 Pannier Tank Locos (1972)

R.051 G.W.R. 0-6-0 Pannier Tank Locos (1973-1974)

R.52S B.R. "Jinty" 0-6-0 Tank Locos (1964-1972)

R.052 B.R. "Jinty" 0-6-0 Tank Locos (1973-1975)

R.52AS L.M.S. Maroon "Jinty" 0-6-0 Tank Locos (1970-1973)

R.52RS L.M.S. Maroon "Jinty" 0-6-0 Tank Locos (1970-1973)

R.54S "T.C. Series" Transcontinental Pacific Tender Locos.(1964-1970)

R.54NS "T.C. Series" Transcontinental Pacific Tender Locos. "1542" late production models with 8-wheel "Gresley" "Flying Scotsman" Non Corridor Type tender fitted with Exhaust Steam Sound (1971-1973)

R.59S B.R. Class 3MT 2-6-2 Tank Locos (1969-1972)

R.150S B.R. B12 4-6-0 Tender Locos (1964-1969)

R.150NS N.E. Black "7476" B12 4-6-0 Tender Locos (1976-1978)

R.251S B.R. Lined Black "Deeley" Class 3F 0-6-0 Tender Locos (1964-1965)

R.259S B.R. Britannia Class 7 4-6-2 Tender locos (1964-1970)

R.259NS B.R. Britannia Class 7 4-6-2 Tender locos with Exhaust Steam Sound (1971-1972)

R.258S B.R. Lined Maroon Princess Royal class 8p 4-6-2 Tender Locos (1964 & 1969)

R.258S L.M.S. Maroon Princess Royal class 8p 4-6-2 Tender Locos (1970)

R.258NS L.M.S. Maroon Princess Royal class 8p 4-6-2 Tender Locos (1971-1974)

R.356S B.R. Battle of Britain Class 4-6-2 Tender Locos (1964-1969)

R.377S G.N.S.R. Brown "Jinty" 0-6-0 Tank Locos (1970-1972)

R.452 L.M.S. Maroon "Jinty" 0-6-0 Tank Locos (1973-1974)

R.558S Battle Space Khaki "Jinty" 0-6-0 Tank Locos (1966-1967)

R.661S “Old Smokey Set” Weathered B.R. Lined Black "Deeley" Class 3F 0-6-0 Tender Locos (1965)

R.653S "T.C. Series" Continental "Prairie" 2-6-2 Tank Loco (Red frames and wheels, two domes) (1969)

R.866S L.N.E.R. Green B12 4-6-0 Tender Locos (1970)

R.866NS L.N.E.R. Green B12 4-6-0 Tender Locos with Exhaust Steam Sound (1971-1974)

R.869S S.R. Battle of Britain Class 4-6-2 Tender Locos (1969-1972)


etc...

 

From the instruction leaflet supplied with Synchrosmoke (Post 1964) smoke fitted models, 1969 edition...

SYNCHROSMOKE
(British Patent No. 961630)
OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS


Pierce the narrow end of the capsule of smoke oil with a household pin.
Place the filling funnel in the chimney of the locomotive.
Hold the capsule over the funnel and squeeze the capsule so that seven or eight drops of smoke oil pass through the hole in the cover of the smoke generator beneath. DO NOT OVERFILL.

It is important that the fluid enters the generator and does not run over the body or chassis of the locomotive.
In the case of locomotives R.259S, R.356S, and R.869S the reservoir is longer and four or five more drops may be added, if so desired, in order to give a longer run between refills.

Blow gently into the top of filling funnel and then remove it from the chimney. Replace pin in oil capsule.

Start the locomotive and run in the usual way.
After the train has been in motion for a few seconds, smoke should appear and continue to be discharged from the chimney, while the model is travelling, until the supply of oil in the generator is exhausted.
Best results will be obtained if the locomotive is run at a good speed.

Additional supplies of smoke oil are available under reference number R.521.

MAINTENANCE

If, after a period of use, the smoke generator fails to operate when supplied with smoke oil, the element may need replacing.
Elements are available as spare parts under reference number X.549.
To fit an element, the body of the locomotive should be removed from the chassis. Next the lid of the smoke generator must be lifted off. In the case of models R.259S, R.366S and R.869S the screw in the centre must be withdrawn to release the lid, but in other models it is only a press fit. The screw (where fitted) retains the complete smoke generator in position on the chassis and care must be taken not to dislodge the unit whilst the screw is removed. For locomotives R.59S and R.653S the complete top section of the smoke unit must be removed.
The cartridge-type element may be lifted out and the replacement inserted in its place.
Any filling material, which may have been removed with the old element, should be repacked below element level before the new element is inserted. The element should be well pressed down into position, to make good contact at both ends, before refitting the lid. In R.259S, R.366S and R.869S the screw and the brass tag eyelet must be replaced correctly, before refitting the body.

SPARE PARTS

Spare Parts may be obtained either from Tri-ang Hornby model railway stockists or direct from the factory.

Made in Great Britain by ROVEX TRI-ANG LIMITED WESTWOOD, MARGATE, KENT


These days, spare parts can be found on Ebay, and other places...

 

 

The last "Hornby" smoke unit was made from plastic (!) and is the one that can cause most damage if run too long without oil. The unit itself can melt, and the heat can damage the body.

The other Tri-ang Units are made from metal, and are more robust.

The Seuthe type can get hot, as the whole unit gets warm.

The Synchrosmoke units are more likely to burn out the element (which is removeable) if run too long without oil.

So, if you are worried about running without smoke oil, you can wire a switch in the loco to turn the smoke unit off...or with the Synchrosmoke unit, remove the element...

Cleaning the oil out is not really neccesary, as the Synchrosmoke unit has a fibre wadding to soak the oil into...

 

Smoke Oil for these units is available from various retailers. (Including Gaugemaster who are Seuthe Stockists...)

One Brand Name to look for is Seuthe, who made the Smoke Oil used by Tri-ang Hornby for many years (Sold as R.521).

Old Stock Smoke Oil, R.521, is also sometimes available on Ebay...
 

 

 

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