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Hornby Railways is a British model railway brand. Its roots date back towhen founder Frank Hornby received a patent for his Meccano construction toy. The first clockwork train was produced in InHornby launched its first 00 gauge train. InHornby and Meccano were bought by their competitor, Tri-Ang and sold on when Tri-ang went into receivership. Hornby Railways became independent in the s, and became listed on the London Stock Exchangebut due to recent [ when?
Hornby was at first a tradename for the railway productions of Meccano Ltd and based in Liverpoolwhich released its first train, a clockwork 0 gauge 1: An electric train soon followed but was under-designed and the few that were made were sold in France. Ina much more successful electric model was introduced, operating on the high voltage of volts AC power.
Safety concerns saw low voltage 4V and then 6V motors introduced, followed by a reliable 20V AC system, which was developed in the early s. However, clockwork remained the mainstay of the Hornby 0 gauge trains until and became the only power available in Liverpool-made 0 gauge trains from A factory was established in Francewhich developed its own range of French outline trains, but Liverpool dominated export activity elsewhere, with large numbers of Hornby trains exported to AustraliaNew ZealandArgentina and Scandinavia.
Even though the export models were often painted in ‘foreign’ liveries, Hornby trains looked very British. Hornby attempted to break into the American market by setting up a factory in in Elizabeth, New Jerseyto make American-style trains. These were colourful and attractive, but low-market and only clockwork. They probably would have failed in the marketplace because several established U.
In lateMeccano Ltd. Gilbert Company and Hornby trains had vanished from the U. The leftover inventory was sold in Canada and in the UK and some of the tooling was reused for products in other markets.
Meccano introduced its OO scale trains in under the name ‘Hornby Dublo’. The locomotives were diecast metal, and the carriages and wagons were generally made of tinplate.
This led to the adoption of OO as a broadly accepted modelling standard in the UK, whereas much of the rest of the world adopted HO scale.
As for their O gauge locomotives, electric Hornby Dublo locomotives ran on a third rail electric system with the track built on a pressed tinplate base. Both OO and HO use the same track gauge, but their scales are different.
Beginning as literally “half O gauge”, the HO models of continental prototypes at 3. The range expanded quickly, but was curtailed from due to World War IIproduction being completely suspended in Production resumed after the war but did not reach full capacity until Clockwork models were not produced in 00 scale after the war.
Ina special commemorative model of LNER Class A4 Sir Nigel Gresley was produced, in period packaging, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of this introduction. The company was slow to recognise the threat posed by rival manufacturers particularly Triang-Rovex  and to realise the potential of plastic. Infar too late, Hornby introduced two-rail track and moulded plastic rolling stock the Super Detail seriesbut even then the system was complicated and difficult to use in comparison to its rivals.
With the benefit of hindsight, the policy of keeping the faith with its existing three-rail users whilst bringing the two-rail system to the market was a mistake that cost the company dearly.
Meanwhile, the company persisted in producing a range of very old-fashioned 0 gauge models, in completely retooling much of the range instead of taking the opportunity to discontinue it, indicative of major failings at management level. InLines Bros Ltd. Remaining stocks of 0 gauge were either scrapped or sold to the local retailer Hattons. By Hornby was facing challenges from Palitoy and Airfixboth of which were producing high quality detailed models. Detail on the models was upgraded to make the product line more attractive to adult hobbyists.
A 16 channel command control system named Zero 1 was introduced in late Advertisements claimed that 16 locomotives could be operated independently at the same time. Though an important milestone, Zero 1 was not widely successful; the controller units and decoder modules required for the locomotives were expensive, but with clean track and well serviced locos the system worked well.
Control of points and other accessories was available in a very simple manner. Locomotives equipped with a Zero 1 decoder could not be used on conventional direct current systems, making it difficult to run one’s locomotives on friends’ layouts or club layouts. This was a common issue with command control systems in that time period.
Hornby Railways – Wikipedia
Locomotives with no decoder could not be used on a Zero 1 layout either. The Master Control unit was discontinued inthe Slave controller, Loco Modules, and accessory modules were still available until the late s. The system is still used today by many modellers, highlighted by the demand on such sites like eBay for the items in the second hand market. Despite being on the market for a short time, Zero 1 had the largest installed base among command control systems in the early s in North America, according to a reader survey done by Model Railroader magazine.
Repairs to Zero 1 units were no longer undertaken by Hornby due to them stating ‘Lack of available parts required’. The boiler was considerably smaller than the external diameter, surrounded by a thick insulating jacket to prevent burns. It was fuelled by butane gas, from cigarette lighter refills. To provide more torque from the small cylinders, gearing was adeptly hidden between the cranks and the wheels.
The track was of asymmetric moulded plastic units, representing the fishbelly rails of the period.
These could be assembled either way round, to give either curved or straight track. Bythe market was extremely tough and Dunbee-Combex-Marx was liquidated, placing Hornby in receivership. InHornby became Hornby Hobbies and in a management buyout saw the company back on a sound footing. It went public in By the early s Hornby again faced competition from newcomers such as Dapol and established foreign manufacturers, including Lima and Bachmann Industries.
Manufacturing elechrotren moved to Guangdong province in China incompleted byin a cost-cutting exercise. In September Hornby released its first steam-powered 00 gauge locomotive, a model of the record-breaking Mallard.
Several other ” Live Steam ” locomotives have now been produced. Since then Hornby has bought Limaan Italian model railway equipment manufacturer that had previously acquired Jouefa French manufacturer. Some of the ex-Lima models appear in the main Hornby products list. This range is known as Hornby International. This acquisition also included the Rivarossi line of HO-scale products, also originally from Italy, and the Arnold brand of N-scale products.
They also took over the Spanish model railway company Electrotren. Electrotren had been the Spanish importer for Scalextricsold in Spain as Superslot. The takeover was at the request of the Spanish company and was not due to obvious financial problems. They have remained independent outside of the Hornby International umbrella. Airfix fans had been concerned that it could be the end of the brand, but just as the name Hornby was once a tradename of Meccano, Airfix is now a successful tradename of Hornby.
Inthe Hornby Shop and Catalobo Centre was in development. Christmas saw the launch of the new Hornby Shop at Ekectrotren in Kentwith the visitor centre still in production. FromHornby plc began to announce a series of declining financial results. The major reason behind the decline Hornby declared was two fold, with the decline in the number of now aged, and hence older collecting customers, and a lack of interest in modelling as a hobby in light of the digitization and advancement of the internet games industry.
In October PAM announced their new management team who would join the company and steer through the turnaround.
Pre Hornby trains have enjoyed a level of adult collector interest since the s. In the Hornby Railway Collector’s Association was founded to cater for this cata,ogo currently enjoys a membership approachingproducing 10 journals a year, as well as other literature. Lima was an Italian company that was a popular, affordable supplier of model railway material but market pressures in the mids led to Lima merging with RivarossiArnoldand Jouef.
When these consolidations failed and operations ceased inHornby Railways acquired Elevtrotren assets. As of mida range of these products has been made available under the Hornby International brand, refitted with NEM couplings and sprung buffers and sockets for DCC decoders.
Lima also had a popular OO gauge range much like Hornby, which strengthened the case for acquisition. Production began in when an initial range of only 6 items were distributed into the market place. The interest and demand proved so positive that the range cataloyo the following year to include new domestic style buildings plus the introduction of station and trackside buildings. The Skaledale range comprises station buildings, platforms, trackside accessories, shops, houses, churches, monuments and street furniture.
Forbes Outfitters and St. Andrews Church for example, provided the inspiration for their scaled down models, although others are adapted to suit a particular price point or subject.
The station and trackside buildings are inspired by actual structures but again in some cases adapted to suit manufacturing constraints. Some of the station pieces were inspired by Goathland railway station.
Lyddle End is the range of N scale model railway buildings for Hornby Railways. The buildings are created from high quality die cast resin and are made to represent the cataloo village of Lyddle End, somewhere in England.
Most of the buildings are models of GWR style buildings made out of red sandstone. Hornby created these buildings thanks to the success of their 00 gauge buildings [ citation needed ]which they call Skaledale. Many of the buildings are the same as their Skaledale equivalent, except in different scales, to save epectrotren cost of designing a new model. They are generally released about 6 months to a year behind their OO electrotreb.
When Hornby announced their range, Lyddle End was not mentioned, presumably ended. An attempt to catalpgo the world’s longest model railway formed the final episode of James May’s Toy Stories. Hornby was heavily involved, providing the track and the prototype of their OO gauge British Rail Class Javelin train.
Simon Kohler, marketing manager of Hornby model railways, said that the train which travels at just 1 mile per hour 1.
All the trains reached their destinations and the British team won. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.