TRACK

TRACK

The individual pieces of Track were manufactured in various 4” wide Pale Grey polystyrene sections with each slot having a pair of plated steel contact strips running parallel to either side. Each track section featured four steel projecting pins to each end which mated to four slots in the adjacent piece of track under the contact strips thereby holding the pieces of Track together as well as providing the electrical continuity. The pair of contact strips, in conjunction with the optional Collector positions underneath the cars, enabled up to three cars to be independently controlled in each lane. All items of Track featured a number of circular lugs to the underside of each piece for the optional fixing of track supports. The first items of Track which were made available at the launch were the T1 – Straight, the T25 – Terminal Straight and the 4” radius T4 – Curve. The other items of Track were then introduced over the coming months and years (see the relevant individual descriptions for these below).

T1 – Straight

The standard Straight was 9⅝‘’ in length. A later version of this piece of track was introduced which featured moulded slots and recesses in the vertical sections on the underside of the track which, if cut, enabled the piece of track to be curved or undulated to create even more interest. A Pale Green instruction leaflet was produced for this version of the ‘Curvable Track’ and the alternative ways to add this feature.

T2 – 1/6 Straight

Was 1.6” in length, introduced during 1963.

T4 – Curve

Had a 4” radius 45° – 8 required to complete a circle.

T8 – Curve

Had a 8” radius 45° – 8 required to complete a circle, introduced during November 1960.

T12 – Curve

Had a 12” radius 22.5° – 16 required to complete a circle, introduced during 1962.

T20 – Deflector Straight

This was equal in length to a standard Straight and was scheduled to be introduced during November 1960 but didn’t finally appear until February the following year. It featured two linked Red nylon buttons, one to each side of the track, which when depressed activated a spring-loaded steel ramp within both slots at the same time. These ramps featured angled ends and when a car’s Guide Pin entered the raised ramp at speed it deflected the car towards the opposite slot. When the buttons were released the ramps retracted back into the slot reverting the track back to the function of a standard Straight. A stainless steel angled lever was provided underneath this track to enable remote control of the deflector by means of a wire, as in model railway points control. The Deflector Straight was available in Sets as well as individually in a box with a Pale Green instruction leaflet.

T21 – Chicane Set

The boxed set consisted of two Chicane pieces of track fitted to either side of a Chicane Extension piece and when these were assembled the set was equal in length to a standard Straight, it was introduced during August 1963.

T22 – Chicane Extension

This was equal in length to 1/6 Straight and was the narrowed centre section of Track within the Chicane Set, it was available separately in order to extend the Chicane and was also introduced individually during August 1963.

T25 – Terminal Straight

This was equal in length to a standard Straight. It featured eight stainless steel screw-type Terminal Pins protruding through the track on one side which were physically and electrically linked together with flat steel removable links. They had plated knurled nuts to retain the links and secure the electrical leads. Underneath the track each Terminal Pin was permanently linked to the relevant contact strip with a thin flat brass section. A different version of this track section appeared in the 9-Volt sets, having only the central four Terminal Pins but with the other existing four outer hole positions just being left empty.

T40 – Lap-Counter Straight

This was the same size as a standard Straight and featured a spring-activated lap-counting mechanism. At either side of the track there was a vertical, double-sided White polystyrene indicator showing laps 1-10 in Black to both sides, beneath this was a Red nylon pointer which ‘counted’ these laps down. Prior to a race the two pointers were each slid to a similar start position of a number of laps, up to the maximum number of ten laps, so stretching the spring, and each time a car travelled on this piece of track the counter registered another lap. Within each slot was a small piece of angled steel which the cars activated in passing and this in turn activated the spring mechanism. The lap indicator had a printed chequered area at one end and at the other end a vertical slot was provided to enable the White polystyrene racing car number board to be inserted which identified the number of the car using that lane. Unfortunately when a Deflector Straight was also used in the same circuit this meant that the Lap-Counter Straight could not be used effectively during the same race. This was because the Lap-Counter registered cars passing in that specific lane and could not distinguish between two different cars since they could run in either lane. This piece of track was introduced during November 1962 and was supplied in a separate box with a rectangular White tubular cardboard packing piece to protect the vertical lap indicators and a Pale Green instruction leaflet.

Pit Lane-Changing Track

This piece (or pieces) of track was illustrated in the brochure but was not produced which was again, like the Red Cross Hut, always listed as ‘available later’. A prototype was obviously produced and photographed, it showed a four-lane track changing section that could be used in front of a pits complex and would have required two sections (or a pair?) to operate fully