I run Hornby Dublo 3 rail toy trains. They are definitely toys as they were given to me as such when I was a young. They represent the real engines and rolling stock but are not models and don’t profess to be. One advantage of this is that the scenery can fall into the same category as representing rather than being a real model. Which is a good thing as my five thumbs have serious problems even building card models.
By running HD you have to be a collector as HD was discontinued in 1964 and 3 rail many years before although Meccano carried on making 3 rail versions of their later 2 rail engines. The rolling stock was compatible with both systems.
Thus being a collector you come against rarities and silly prices. This means that all of the later HD engines are very pricey and therefore not for me. Ludlow Castle > £400, EMU 3 car > £500, St Paddy >£350 City of Liverpool >£300 etc. Its not really that I couldn’t afford them if I really wanted them but all of my stock sits on the track all of the time regardless of temperature dust etc and to take something so valuable and treat it like that hardly seems the right thing to do, but then to leave it in its box and just run it every now and then seems pretty pointless. So I don’t consider them to be within my scope.
My method is to use alternatives, a 3 rail Crepello looks like St Paddy, a 3 rail City of London does for Liverpool, Altheny Castle does for Ludlow but of course it doesn’t have the Ringfield motor, just the one 8F can’t be bothered to have a replica of the ringfield version. The really tricky one is the EMU which I would like if I could find an unboxed very good condition rather than the mint and boxed which seems to represent most of those that come up on ebay. In fact ebay is definitely not the place to look, a local fair or similar would likely be the best bet.
So to add to the rather limited offering that HD had, I have gone for some non Hornby additions. A Trix Lilliput Flying Scotsman, engine drive and an excellent runner. It has a red background to the name plate and therefore it is post its sale to its private owner which means that it can run with BR coaches, which it does.
Then there is – more to follow on this subject