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Hornby is a leading brand of model railway in the UK. Hornby are famous for their Thomas the Tank engine and Friends range that includes Henry, James, Percy, Edward and of course Thomas. The company also produces freight rolling stock, passenger coaches, track, power systems and buildings to complete the model railway world.
Frank Hornby (1863 – 1936) was a visionary in toy development and manufacture and produced three of the most popular lines of toys in the twentieth century: Meccano, Hornby Model Railways and Dinky Toys. Frank applied for a patent in 1901 to protect his invention ‘Mechanics Made Easy’.
This was the beginnings of Meccano. When trains were first introduced into the range in 1920 they were an instant success and the company was quick to bring in more engines and accessories. Meccano introduced its 00 gauge trains in 1938 under the name 'Hornby Dublo'. The locomotives were die-cast, and the carriages and wagons were generally made of tinplate.
After the company was taken over by Tri-Ang in 1965 the trains began to follow the livery of British Rail trains. Some of the locomotives produced during this time included the E3000, Hymek, Class 37, M7, Hall Class, Coronation Class, Flying Scotsman and Evening Star.
Each new change taking place on British Railways and privatisation of the railways brought several new eye catching liveries that were eagerly modelled by Hornby. One of their most popular ranges is the Skaledale which is a range of resin buildings and track accessories for 00 gauge railways.