Sometimes called Triang. The brothers George & Joseph Lines made wooden toys in the Victorian age, their company being G & J lines Ltd. Joseph was the active partner while George went into farming. Joseph (or Joe) had four sons. Three of these, William, Walter and Arthur Edwin Lines, formed Lines Bros Ltd. soon after World War I. Three Lines make a triangle, hence the Tri-ang. Arthur's son, Richard Lines, was largely responsible for the Tri-ang Railways system.
Rovex Plastics Ltd. was founded just after the World War II in 1946 by Alexander Venetzian, who made toys for Marks & Spencer. Venetzian was asked to develop an electric toy train set for Christmas 1950. He delivered the product but although the company had found larger premises in a former Brewery in Richmond, it was constrained financially. Lines Bros were looking to expand into railways and so they purchased Rovex. Their products would be sold under the Tri-ang Railways name from 1951. To give room for development they moved the company (now renamed: Rovex Scale Models Ltd.) to a new factory built at Margate, Kent, in 1954.
The success of Tri-ang means that British competitors Trix and Hornby-Dublo were affected. In 1964, Hornby Dublo, a division of Meccano Ltd., had stopped production and Meccano invited Lines Bros. Ltd. to buy them out. Tri-ang purchased the company including a large amount of stock. The combined toy railways was marketed as Triang-Hornby although the vast majority of the models was all Tri-ang. The Hornby name being more established and recognised, the Tri-ang part was later dropped and it was sold as Hornby Railways.
Famous brands produced by Tri-ang included Pedigree, Frog, Minic, Scalextric, Tri-ang railways, Arkitex and Tri Ang Spot-On. Although in its heyday Tri-ang was a dominant force in the toy trade, its fortunes waned towards the end of the 1960s and the company finally went into receivership in 1971. Some of the major Tri-ang brands of course continued and flourished under new ownership.
What's it worth? Take a look at this Tri Ang price guide: sold listings for a value indication.