Graham Farish

N Gauge Train Sets, Locomotives, Coaches and Wagon

The Poole, Dorset based manufacturer of radio parts and kits entered the model railway business in the late 1940s, after the need for radio sets reduced post World War II. The early 1950s models focused on British OO gauge, and they manufactured track, wagons and other supporting items. Many of the more obscure items such as the Graham Farish Coronation figures (by Russell Gammage) from 1953 are considered collectors items.

Originally the OO railway locomotives were powered by an unconventional 2 pole DC electric motor. Unfortunately many of their diecast items were manufactured with impure mazac, which was all that was available immediately after the War. MZAC is an alloy of Magnesium, Aluminium, Zinc and Copper similar to Zamak), which later crumbled due to Zinc pest.

Graham Farish really found its market niche with the arrival of N scale becoming the major supplier of British outline N scale models under the GRAFAR label at a time when the market was shrinking and the other OO gauge players were suffering badly. The initial range in 1970, started with the delightful 9400 Pannier Tank loco, 4 wheel coaches, bogied 'suburban' stock (based on Period 2 LMS suburban stock) and 'Mainline' bogied stock (based on Southern coaches); which have appeared in Caledonian, LMS, GWR, LNER and SR liveries. Peco produced better detailed models, but produced no locomotives (except the Jubilee), focusing on wagons and its own dominance of finescale track, which Grafar had withdrawn from.

After the withdrawal of two competitive mass-market manufacturers, the Italy based Lima and German based Minitrix, from the late 1980s Grafar was the only major supplier of British outline models in N scale - predicating its withdrawal from the OO scale market in light of greater competition in the developing collector scale market. Grafar produced reasonable models and had many fans, but their early 1970 products were produce with three pole armature motors. They were also equipped with all brass gears. They were more reliable than the Lima models of the same era. In the early 1980s the motors were improved with five pole armatures. At about the same the gears were replaced with white nylon gears, these were only produced for a short time. The nylon gears were replaced with thin black plastic gears these could suffer from splits, making the models run badly or not at all. These gears were eventually all replaced by thicker plastic gears, to produce a much more reliable and popular range of locomotives. By the late 1990s the GRAHAM FARISH N Gauge Range included no less than 350 lines including a huge variety of Locomotives,Coaches,Wagons,Buildings and complete Trainsets from Starter sets all the way up to the popular 8 ft x 2 ft 6in Magnum Layouts which came complete with all track laid, and a full set of building kits to complete it.

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