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PLEASE READ BEFORE ORDERING TOTEMS

If you are considering having a totem made, you will find many suppliers offer them for sale at prices much lower than ours, to prices much higher. Quality and accuracy does not always have to have a high price tag, so consider the following points carefully before committing to having one made.

The shape of the totem must be correct. Many on the market have the wrong radii on the upper and lower panels and some suppliers offer only a flat version with face drilled holes.

The shaping for Trackside’s totems is based on careful research and has been checked against many originals for accuracy. With regard to the flat version, out of about 3,000 stations originally fitted with totems, less than a dozen were known to have flat ones. Trackside produce totems in either flat, half flanged or fully flanged versions, according to the style originally installed at the station .

Colours are another point to watch for. The colours we use have been carefully matched against originals and although the originals had slight colour variations, depending on which manufacturer supplied them to British Railways, the colour Trackside use is as close as possible to the original regional colour, subject to the constraints’ of modern paint materials.

The lettering is another indicater of a quality product. The font used on totems is not available through commercial software packages, so many suppliers resort to using the nearest available one. At Trackside, all the alphabet has been meticulously traced from original totems and with our library of photographs, we can emulate the size and spacing of the lettering accurately.

Original totems were produced using 16 swg steel and a vitreous enamel finish. Trackside use 16 swg steel and a vitreous enamel finish, exactly as the originals. We do not use plastic or aluminium panels or stick on lettering. We do however, offer as an alternative, a slightly lower priced version, using 16swg, stove enamelled steel panel and a paint and lacquer finish.

Some suppliers will offer only a basic set of names at their standard price, charging a hefty supplement for bespoke names. Trackside will supply any station name, house name or business name, all within the normal basic price.

At an exhibition a couple of years ago a respected collector of original totems placed a Trackside reproduction amongst his display and invited visitors to “spot the reproduction”. Out of the hundreds of visitors over that weekend, only ONE correctly pointed out the reproduction, - Need we say more.

With respect to the hundreds of collectors of originals, all Trackside totems are discreetly coded on the back, to prevent the unscrupulous trying to pass them off as originals.

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