Rovex Plastics Ltd. was founded in 1946 by Alexander Venetzian who made toys for Marks & Spencer's. Venetzian was asked to produce an electric train set based on the LMS express locomotive 'Princess Elizabeth'. Needing more space for this project the Company was moved from Chelsea to a disused brewery in Richmond. The train set was delivered in time for Christmas 1950 but financial limitations prevented further development.
Meanwhile, the giant toy manufacturer Lines Bros. Ltd, who traded under the name 'Tri-ang', was wanting to get into the post war model railway market. In 1951, Rovex Plastics Ltd. became a wholly owned member of the Lines Bros. Group. The trains would now be called Tri-ang Railways and the Company renamed Rovex Scale Models Ltd. To aid development of the system, a brand new factory was built at Margate, in Kent, and production moved there in the Summer of 1954.
Demand from the public for new models was so great that in 1951 Rovex bought the tools of a goods train set made by Pyramid Toys Ltd. which they were selling under the name Trackmaster. This gave them an 0-6-2 tank engine and two wagons.
By farming out work to outside designers and tool makers progress was made. The Jinty 0-6-0T and a range of station buildings came in 1952 and a guards van and other wagons in 1953.
Almost immediately there was pressure on the young firm to produce for the export market and a range of Transcontinental models, primarily for North America, was released in 1954.
Under constant pressure, the system expanded fast. 1955 saw the first real Tri-ang Railways retail catalogue - soon to be the best in the market place. By 1956 there were 10 locomotives available and a good range of rolling stock and lineside buildings etc. As if the existing pressure was not enough, in 1957 Rovex were pressed by Lines Bros. to start a TT gauge model railway system. A completely new 00 track system called Series 3 also arrived that year.
At around this time, in order to overcome trade tariffs, Lines Bros. Ltd. were expanding toy production overseas and Tri-ang Railways was soon being made in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand; in each case for local markets but creating interesting variations for future collectors.
What's it worth? Take a look at this Rovex price guide: sold listings for a value indication.