Ray’s Layout

Recent update on Ray;s Layout
Hi Tony,i`m just trying to work out how to describe some of the conversions from 2 to 3rail. Some are pretty straight forward,for instance, Dublo & Wrenn locos, Others are not so easy,it takes a bit of courage & faith to spend £100 plus on a loco & then proceed to take it to pieces. My background is model engineering & i have a lot of hand tools,taps & dies mainly in the smaller BA sizes but i have been known to stray into Metric.
I`ve attached some pics of the easier locos,a Dublo WC loco, The Hornby 2BIL needed a different approach as in the pics.The Heljan EM1 is fitted with a Marklin 7164 skate & the pantographs are Trix with a miniature slide switch inside the body to allow it to collect current from the track or pantographs,the switch is shown in the second pic.
The pic of the underside is the Hornby Cl.71,the arrangement of the p/ups but unfortunately.after trundling around the the layout for some time,the lighting PCB blew out but i can live with no lights,bit of a gimmick anyway.
The Duchess loco is not a track conversion but an example of what can be done to a Dublo or Wrenn city, Sir William A Stanier the Ivatt build with a Delta trailing truck & roller bearing loco, the correct tender is a Comet models etched kit on the Dublo tender chassis with Fox transfers. The video of the 9F on the turntable has been posted below.

Another new video from Ray with the comment

“A rare beast on a Dublo 3 rail layout,a Hornby SR Class.71 converted to run on my layout.A challenging conversion,at first,i thought it couldn`t be done but with a bit thought ,this is the result.It`s hauling a set of Trix coaches in the video,they are slightly underscale which shows up in this video but they are extremely free running These 750v third rail locos hauled the Night Ferry from Victoria,then BR`s heaviest train at around 800 tons and the Golden Arrow,also from Victoria”.

Ray had some information on this conversion on the forum which I have taken the liberty of repeating

Must be the lock down or the masochist in me!.I`ve just bought a Hornby Cl.71 with a view to 3 railing it. It has got room for a skate under the bogies but i want to remove a triangular piece on the keeper plate moulding.There is a countersunk screw which appears to hold the keeper plate on but I`m a bit loath just to undo it without knowing what`s underneath.

Further to the Hornby E5000 conversion,progress so far.One more bogie & p/UP to make then to sort out the wiring.I`d like to keep the lights working.

The Hornby Cl.71 SR electric 3rd rail loco.I wanted to convert one of these as there is a dearth of Dublo SR locos.These were used to haul the Night Ferry from Waterloo which was the heaviest paseenger train at 800 tons in the UK at the time,they also hauled the Golden Arrow as well.The 3 rail conversion was one of the most challenging i have had so far but it runs & is a powerful loco. The couplings are a bit of a problem but hopefully here is my answer at the moment to the NEM Dublo coupling, A Trix plastic Mk1 coach coupling with a piece of plasticard welded to the shank & shaped to fit the socket for a friction fit.It shouldn`t have been cranked but i welded the card to the wrong side of the coupling,Hopefully,the Mk2 version will be better.


Another of Rays  conversions of modern Hornby models. A 2BIL fitted with a Marklin 7164 skate on the front bogie of the driving trailer car wired through the motor coach using a home made plug & socket as in Dublo 8fs & Castles through the coach ends.

The latest video from Ray

Ray is a frequent poster on the Facebook Hornby Dublo Group and he has allowed me to add his layout to my Other Layouts section of my website.

Ray runs Hornby Dublo, converted Wrenn trains, Trix and modern engines converted to 3 rail. He also runs Trix, Triang and Heljan under a section of catenary on his layout. He posts lots of videos and some of these have been included.

Click me!    for Roy’s latest project

I think you may be interested in a project I recently carried out. My rake of SR green Mk.1 SD coaches was missing a full brake in green so with a scanner & Photoshop, I produced these overlays for the SD full brake, while I was at it,I resized them to convert a Trix Mk1 coach. If you want a copy of the artwork to print out,let me know & i`ll email them to you.The green version is the Dublo coach, the second is the Trix coach & the third is my never produced Maroon 3 car EMU.

I thought you may be interested in this short movie of one of my Triang Electras running on 3 rail track picking up traction current from the OHLE.The trailing bogie is fitted with modern Hornby metal coach wheels  fitted with  wire wipers for extra return to the track

Many years ago,the mid 80s i believe,a model shop in London ,Hadley Hobbies,sent me a sample pack of JV catenary,a French product,which was a pretty accurate version of mk.1 25kv catenary with very fine soldered catenary. I still have this sample pack & will post a pic.It`s still available from a company called Marno LTD.It`s on google.

My Heljan EM1,its been fitted with Trix EM1 pantographs & by means of a subminiature switch inside the body,it can pick up current from the Marklin skate or the pantographs,the intention is to extend the Trix catenary right around the layout.The coaches are Trix Mk1 coaches refinished in crimson & cream

A line up of some of my AC & DC electrics.The trix AL1 is 2nd from the front behind the Triang EM2.The idea was that the layout was built to run trains but it seems to have turned into a test bed for these,my converted other make locos & EMUs + my restored HD locos.


Talking of most expensive purchase,this my Wrenn Royal Scot which i bought a few weeks ago & converted to 3 rail hauling a rake of refinished Trix Mk1 coaches.

Whilst on the Trix theme, I thought you may be interested in my Transpennine unit running on my HD 3 rail layout.

A Wrenn Spamcan converted to 3 rail using a Marklin skate.Clearances are very limited on these locos,you can`t fit a Hornby dublo collector unit unless you alter the chassis.I do have two of these locos.

A modern Hornby 2BIL converted with a Marklin skate under the trailer car & power fed through to the power car via a plug & socket.I do have photos of all my conversions but i can`t post them on here.

A Hornby 9F railroad loco drive since modified with a Dublo 8f 3 rail tender

And finally for now,an Airfix tender drive Royal Scot with a Marklin skate under the loco.Sorry about the radio,i forgot to turn it off!!.

Some information from Ray on 3 rail conversions

Getting ready to 3 rail my latest acquisition. Lyme Regis.Since I have a few Marklin skates in stock,rather than buy & wait for a Dublo collector,i thought i`d use this.I have used these before on Dublo locos & other makes.Easy to fit,getting the long 6ba screw may take a bit of searching on the auction site but they are available,you only need them for WC & Diesel shunter conversions.You will have to enlarge the hole in the p/up to get the screw through & fit a 6ba brass washer to contact the phosphor bronze of the p/up to make contact with the screw but the rest is pretty much plain sailing.the other pic is of the connection on top of the chassis.

Finished at last The tender chassis has been miiled down at the edges & a slot milled in the rear buffer beam to accommodate the ladder & two water filter boxes made out of 20thou plastic card.It has been painted with Railmatch coal black paint.It does haul 11 Dublo tinplate tank wagons & a brake van but i think that`s about the limit as Dublo D1 wagons have the rolling capacity of a brick!.I`ll take a video in the next few days.Now,onto the next project.

Modern Loco drive Hornby Railroad Evening star.I`ve fitted the tender body to a Dublo 8f tender chassis fitted with plunger p/ups ,the original tender was too light.As you can see,it isn`t quite finished yet,some details still to added to the chassis & it works on a short piece of track on my workbench.Hopefully,a video in the near future.

First pic of my Wrenn spamcan conversion.I made a new copper clad p/up mount using the original as a pattern.I drilled & tapped a 8BA hole & screwed the pick up to it using a shortened 8BA Csk.brass screw so that it could be removed to gain access to the fixing screws.A small hole was drilled through the collector base & copper clad & a length of extremley fine wire(from All components)was soldered to the p/up & fed through the hole in the chassis & on first test,it runs very well,it does run in reverse but i can live with that at the moment even though i have a Ron Dodd magnetiser .Clearances for the p/up are very tight on this model so a countersunk screw is essential.Video to follow later.

Just to show that most manufacturers locos can be converted to 3 rail.this is my Airfix Royal Scot using a Marklin skate.

A new project for Ray was converting a Silver King to a full valance Sir Nigel Gresley.


Perhaps a few words on how SNG was created.The Silver King body was given to me with the cylinder covers cut off.A wooden pattern was made to fit the curve of the valance & the shape was transferred to a sheet of brass which was then,using Araldite Rapid,fixed to the body.It was filled & primed & painted with Railmatch Garter blue.The chassis was an easy conversion removing most of the vave gear & making a new nickel silver connecting rod.The slide bar assy. was modified as in the pic.I also have a silver grey Silver king but this time,the full valve gear could be squeezed in.

A Trix A2,A.H.Peppercorn,converted to run my HD 3 rail layout.Not having converted one of these British Trix locos before ,it was a steep learning curve but these are very powerful locos.

You mentioned the Trix A2, not being familiar with Lilliput locos it was a bit of a brain teaser. Because the chassis is live. What I didn’t realise was that although the driving wheels were insulated on both sides the bogie wheels were not. When I ordered the centre rail p/up parts, I should have ordered insulated bogie wheels as well. However all was not lost. I connected both sides of the tender p/ups, the loco being a loco drive model but wiring it to the motor gave a dead short .I overcame this by removing the wheel keep plate, opening out the original hole for the p/up assy & tapping it  M3 for a nylon csk screw. several layers of black pvc insulating tape was applied to the chassis & the collector assy was fixed in position with the nylon screw & a very fine wire soldered to the p/up & connected to the insulated carbon brush spring. All parts are available from the TTRCA but you have to be a member but it`s only £14 a year & gives me access to a lot of Trix spares. A multimeter is a must if you do these sort of conversions yourself,all sorts of annoying short circuits can pop up. In finishing,I`ve sent you a pic of my Wrenn Golden Arrow spamcan & pullman train & the latest development of the loco shed & my from new in about 1950 Sir Nigel  Gresley which was bought for me for Xmas by my parents.