Category:Big Big Train
|Toy Brands and Manufacturers|
Big Big Train
|1966 - 1972|
The Big Big Train was introduced by Tri-ang in 1966 as an entry-level toy train system primarily aimed at small children, using gauge 0-sized track - a similar target market to that of the final gauge 0 0-4-0 locos produced by Meccano Ltd, but reconsidered in the light of 1960s plastic manufacturing techniques.
The Big Big Train had a large, long diesel-looking electric locomotive running off battery power, which meant that the track could be cheap moulded plastic. Rather than try to hide the fact that the track was plastic, Tri-ang produced it in bright red, and leveraged the cheap cost of production for the track by making a selling point of the amount of "Big Big Track" that one could get for a reasonable price. Kiddies could lay the bright red track throughout the house (or garden), parents didn't have to worry about troublesome electrical connections, and with its auto-reverse feature, layouts could be thrown together without any planning, and without having to design track loops – after putting together a long winding track, the train could be set to simply run backwards and forwards along it, indefinitely, until the batteries ran out.
Although the Big Big Train was primarily aimed at younger kiddies, it also had a second market for adults wanting a more serious garden railway. The bright red plastic track was sturdy and weatherproof, and since it had no electrical capabilities it could easy have black or brown paint sploshed over it to make it look more natural. For model railway "purists", the locomotive could be cheaply customised, or the battery-powered mechanism fitted to a new bodyshell to make it appear more authentic, and since the track size was gauge 0, the modified train could then pull an owner's collection of more authentic gauge 0 rolling stock around the garden.
IT HAS A BIG BIG TRACK. More than 18 feet of it in the biggest Set and you can buy extra track separately.
IT GOES ANYWHERE – OUTSIDE, TOO. The tough, weatherproof plastic track won't break, can't rust – so it can go outside and stay outside even in the rain.
- Tri-ang Big Big Train (bigbigtrain.org.uk)
- 1966 advert for Tri-ang Big Big Train (tri-angrailways.com)
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