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Hornby Dublo was model railway system introduced to the British market in 1938 by Meccano Limited. The pre-war range consisted of an LNER passenger set and a tank goods set in each of the ‘big four’ railway liveries. They were available in either clockwork or electric versions and ran on 16.5mm gauge track. After a successful launch, production soon ground to a halt due to the outbreak of WWII.

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Post war LNER A4 Pacific ‘Sir Nigel Gresley’ named after the railway’s Chief Engineer who designed this locomotive class. Her stablemate ‘Mallard’ to this day holds the world speed record for a steam train.


After the war, production of non-essential goods was slow to commence. Raw materials were scarce and toys were not high on the list of priorities. Thus, it was not until 1948, that the first Hornby Dublo train sets re-appeared in the shops. A newly designed coupler and the omission of the clockwork versions from the range are among the most notable changes.

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LMS Coronation class 4-6-2 ‘Duchess of Atholl’ dating from about 1949.



The first truly new item was the ‘Duchess of Atholl’ 4-6-2 Pacific locomotive in LMS maroon livery. Together with a pair of matching Stanier coaches and some track, these were sold as starter sets.

Anyone interested in detailed information about the Hornby Dublo range is well advised to consult Michael Foster’s excellent tome HORNBY DUBLO TRAINS in The Hornby Companion Series. Useful information about how to restore and maintain these vintage toys can also be found in our blog.

Copyright © 2014 by Rudolf Ramseyer ABN 45 937 096 102