Trix was a German company that originally made metal construction sets. In 1935 it began producing the electrically powered model trains that it became famous for, under the 'Trix Express' label.
Prior to the outbreak of World War II the Trix company produced a small range of fairly unrealistic AC powered three rail models running at 14v. Unlike other manufacturers of the period, Trix allowed two trains to run on the same track simultaneously under independent control, one collecting current from the left rail and centre, the other from the right and centre. This system was know as 'Trix Twin'. In the United Kingdom Trix models were distributed by Bassett-Lowke under the brand name 'Twin Train Table Railway', initially using German outline models painted in British colours, and from 1937 onwards relatively crude models of British locomotives and rolling stock.
Production resumed in 1948 but began to lag behind the technology used by rivals. Trix switched from AC to DC (with its simple reversing function) later than rivals like Tri-ang, particularly the British Trix company. In 1956 Trix switched to DC and in 1967 to two-rail as used by most competitors. The failing Trix brand was taken over several times becoming Trix Twin Railways, Trix Trains, British Trix and then merging with Liliput. Production of British Trix trains ceased in the mid 1970s.
N gauge models under the Minitrix brand were made from the late 1960s mostly of European prototypes (German and British primarily). North American prototypes were also manufactured and marketed under the Aurora "Postage Stamp" brand; later these items were sold under the American Tortoise, Model Power and Con-Cor brands. Trix sometimes utilized North American consultants to aid in the design of this portion of the product line. The "Hornby Minitrix' brand was used in the 1980s for a short lived range of British outline models using the earlier product tooling.
Trix's owner in the 1980's and 1990's was Mangold, which went bankrupt in the late 1990's and Marklin purchased the assets in January of 1997. In part, this purchase was a reflection of Märklin's need for added production capacity; Trix had been manufacturing certain items for Märklin in previous years. But the purchase was also in response to the earlier purchase of the Karl Arnold company by the Italian company Rivarossi. In 2003 Marklin introduced its first N gauge models under the Minitrix brand.
The Minitrix brand is very popular in the United States of America.
- Trix Trains (Official American Website)
- http://www.trix.de (Official German Website)
- http://www.trix.nl (Official Dutch Website)
- Read the backgrounds on many other tin toy manufactures.