Durham was an importer in the 1960's and 1970's based in New York, NY. They imported a lot of toys from Hong Kong. Most Durham trains are roughly 'O' Scale and run on plastic track. The rolling stock is very short, and has 2 axles with a mock 4-wheel sideframe. Durham also imported some 'S' Gauge and smaller sets as well. The smaller scale sets can be seen HERE
These style of trains were later imported under the Scientific Toys name and continue to be imported under the EZ-TEC brand. Durham trains and their successors can usually be identified by one of three types of locomotives. The tooling for the Durham 0-6-0/0-4-0 has been around since the 1960's, and the molds are still being used. Durham also produced a 2-4-0 'Old Timer' and a General Electric U-30-B Diesel locomotive. The 2-4-0 is still being produced, but the diesel hasn't been in several years. There is also an 0-6-0 with a large 'old timer' smokestack that appears in a couple of non-Durham branded sets but with identical cars. It's probably safe to say that these were made by the same Hong Kong company that originally made Durham's trains. Newer versions of this loco have also surfaced.
There was a wind-up version of the 0-6-0 with an 0-4-0 mechanism. The diesel also came in wind-up and battery versions. The Old Timer is solely a battery operated locomotive.
Rolling Stock info is below, and Durham and successor train sets can be found HERE
|0-6-0 Steam Locomotive||Battery - Early versions had cut-out windows|
|0-4-0 Steam Locomotive||Wind-up - Same body as 0-6-0 - Image courtesy eBay member activitymac69|
|'Old Timer' 2-4-0|
|GE U-30-B||Battery Powered Version|
|GE U-30-B||Image from collection of legoblunoser|
Durham trains only had a few styles of rolling stock, but they were molded in many different colours. Other similar trains out of Hong Kong used a sideframe with spoked wheels, and some smaller scale Durham imported trains used this. For the majority of the 'O' scale equipment though, the solid wheel side frame was used. Most Durham sets using the steam locomotives had hook and loop couplers, whereas the diesel sets came with plastic knuckle couplers. Most new EZ-TEC equipment uses the knuckle couplers.
Other importers have brought out similar trains, and the long passenger coach seems to be from them. So far it doesn't appear in any Durham branded sets. This coach is still available in sets today, and has the spoked wheels.
|Standard steam tender||Image from collection of legoblunoser - EZ-Tec Version shown|
|Old Timer Tender||Image from collection of legoblunoser - EZ-Tec Version shown|
|Gondola||Image from collection of legoblunoser - EZ-Tec Version shown|
|Boxcar||Image from collection of legoblunoser - Some versions had a separate base and opening doors|
|Tank Car||3-Dome Tank Car - 2 Pieces|
|Work Caboose||Image from collection of legoblunoser|
|Centre Cupola Caboose||Image from collection of legoblunoser - EZ-Tec Version shown|
|Old Time Coach||Image from collection of legoblunoser - EZ-Tec Version shown|
|Long Passenger Coach||2 pieces - Imported by Kamco and others. Locomotive similar to Durham|
Any questions, comments or corrections - Please e-mail me Dan MacKellar