27 January 2023
Re-boxed and updated, Phil Parker takes a first look at this retro Crash Train Set.
1963 saw the launch of Tri-ang's Crash Train Set based on a small breakdown train. Perfect for handling smaller incidents on your train set, the original spent three years in the catalogue, with 19,000 sets produced.
60 years later, Hornby has brought out a tribute set, complete with a retro-looking box and modern examples of each of the items of rolling stock from the original set.
R502 - ex-LMS 3F 'Jinty'
First introduced in 1953, the model was so popular that the moulds wore out after 22 years and an entirely new, and more accurate version appeared in 1978. At least 80,000 'Jinty's' have appeared over the years, making it possibly Hornby's most popular locomotive.
Conflat A Match wagon
When the train is coupled up, the crane jib overhangs the end, so a match wagon is required underneath this so it doesn't whack the adjacent rolling stock. The Conflat A dates from 1997, and was originally produced by Airfix. Normally found carrying a BD container, it's perfectly appropriate for it to be pressed into service here.
R127 Small Mobile Crane
A popular model that has hardly been out of the catalogue since 1963, it has appeared in brown, red and yellow before this fully painted version appeared. A reasonably accurate model, it's formed the basis of the R243 Transcontinental range mounted on a bogie wagon and R475 Yard Crane, sat on top of a platform section. Collectors will look for the R385 CKD assembly pack version, a seriously rare item.
With a capacity of only 6.5T, as a breakdown crane, its usefulness in real life would be very limited, but it looks good, and has plenty of play value with the operating jib and hook.
R333 Clerestory Brake Coach
The oldest item in the set, this coach first appeared in 1961 for the Lord of the Isles train set, and has turned up in at least 30 different liveries since then. While under-length, the panelling is crisply moulded and it's been a favourite of kit-bashers for over sixty years. A very appropriate vehicle for the train, as the PW department often took on rolling stock approaching the end of its life on revenue service.