Restoring Triang MK1 Coaches

Those of us who have been modelling since the last century will probably have a few Triang Mark 1 coaches in our collections.

Towards the latter days of Triang, a new Mark 1 was produced which significantly lifted the standards of the day. A BSK, CK, BG, RMB and sleeping car were all available and remained on sale under the Hornby brand well into the 1980's. All used a standard 64 foot chassis and the roof of a CK, although the buffet had a slightly different roof as did the sleeping car. Construction was the same for all in that the body sides slotted into the chassis. Two screws held the whole thing together which meant they were very easy to dismantle and were ideal 'kit basher' candidates, indeed, they were also available as 'CKD' (Completely Knocked Down) kits for a while at a reduced price.

By the mid 1980's, both Mainline and Lima were producing mark 1 coaches and the Hornby (ex-Triang) model quietly slipped away, however, since the Triang product was all that had been available and it was actually quite a good model, many modellers set about improving them. They are also available today, very cheaply.

In this article, I demonstrate a number of modifications I have made to these models back in the 1980's and early 1990's. Admittedly, they aren't quite up to the standard of modern Bachmann, Hornby and Replica, but so long as they are used separately, the Triang models are acceptable.


The BSK was available in numerous liveries, from BR Blue/Grey to Crimson and Cream and even fictitious LMS and Southern liveries. I acquired several of them in the early 1980's. The two shown here have had the following modifications applied:

  • Complete repaint in BR blue and grey, roof in Humbrol 67 Matt Tank grey
  • Chassis painted in my own mixture of track colour brown
  • Bogies replaced with Replica Commonwealth bogies and Romford wheels, also mounted slightly further 'in-board' from the ends as the originals are a little too far 'out-board' and give a strange appearance
  • Bachmann Ez-Mate couplings applied
  • Gangway connectors replaced with Replica rubber connectors - these were available on Replica and originally, the Mainline RBR buffet car
  • Re-glazed windows
  • HMRS transfers applied

These two coaches serve in a parcels train on Ashprington Road to this day, along with modified Lima GUV's and CCT's.
If I was doing these again back in the 80's, I'd probably add more chassis detail, step boards, sprung buffers and brass door handles. I would also correct the roof vents for a BSK. Today, I'd probably go and buy a modern Hornby or Bachmann!


The RMB was also available in many liveries. This one started life as a blue and grey version and has had the same treatment as the BSK's above:

This coach served in a rake of Airfix Mark 2D coaches for about 8 years from the mid 1970's until it was replaced with a Mainline RBR. All of the coaches on this page were hand-painted.


The original Hornby BG was supplied on the same 64 foot chassis as all others in the range and was therefore, too long by 7 foot (28mm in 4mm scale). The model shown below is not an original BG, but two BSK's which have been 'cut and shut' to form a correct, 57 foot long BG. Replica B4 bogies are fitted and all other treatment is the same as the coaches above:

Throughout the late 80's and 90's, this coach always drew attention at exhibitions because its correct length made it stand out. Everyone wanted to know its origins at a time when a correct length RTR model wasn't available.
It continued running on Ashprington Road alongside Replica versions in the late 1990's through to the early 2000's when it was replaced with a Bachmann version. It hasn't run since then, evidenced by the fact that it still retains N Gauge 'Elsie' couplings which were an early (successful) experiment of mine into more realistic close-coupling.

Related Articles

Ashprington Road
Fitting Bachmann Ez-Mate knuckle couplings
Lima GUV Improvements
Index of Articles

Graham Plowman (27/05/20202)

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