There are at least five different toy train and model railway systems bearing the name 'Hornby'. As one of the foremost brand names associated with model trains, with a collectable range dating back to the 1920s, this guide will help you identify which Hornby you have.
Hornby Series: known as O or 0 gauge: trains usually made from tinplate featuring a flat profile with printed detail. Crude track, measuring 1.25 inches between the inside faces of the rails. Electric and clockwork. Manufactured 1927-1958 with Meccano trade marks.
Hornby Dublo 3 rail: known as OO or 00 gauge, diecast metal loco bodies, tinplate rolling stock (carriages and wagons). Tinplate track with raised third rail in the centre, measuring 5/8 of an inch (16.5mm) between the inside faces of the rails. Manufactured 1939-1964 with Meccano and Hornby-Dublo trade marks.
Hornby Dublo 2 rail: similar width to 3 rail, more realistic track has separate plastic sleepers (ties), locos and rolling stock make more use of plastic. Manufactured 1952-1964 with Meccano and Hornby-Dublo trade marks.
Tri-ang Hornby: following the acquisition of Hornby by Tri-ang, the Hornby Dublo range merged with the Tri-ang range. Trains are predominantly plastic and branded 'Tri-ang Hornby', no mention of 'Dublo'. Manufactured 1965-79.
Hornby Railways: 1980-present day. Tri-ang name dropped although many Tri-ang features and products continue with 'Hornby' or 'Hornby Railways' branding.
Search Tips: When searching or listing the above, be aware that some people will use lettes (O) or numerals (0) which will give different results. Also although Hornby-Dublo and Tri-ang both have hyphens (-) these are often omitted on the internet, so the best search terms are 'Hornby Dublo' and 'Triang'.