Category:Hornby Railway Company

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The Hornby Railway Company ("HRC") was a central umbrella organisation for Hornby model railway clubs, launched in Meccano Magazine in a double-page spread in October 1928. The HRC was run by Meccano Ltd., out of Binns Road.

HRC purpose

The HRC had two main aims: while it was supposed to be an organisation similar to the Meccano Guild (in encouraging local networks of user-groups, encouraging members to feel committed to and supported for their Hornby Train purchases, and creating a network of users that could then be contacted for further promotions), the Hornby Railway Company also had the aim of teaching its members how real railways operated in practice.

Since the Hornby system now included a plethora of accessories, points, control systems, signals and stations, it was possible to build large layouts and operate them according to the standard operating procedures of real railways, and since Hornby were now presenting their product range as a "complete" system that was not just a train set, but a model railway in miniature, it was desirable that owners be provided with a way to learn how real railways functioned. Operating a railway layout authentically gave it a higher play value than simply moving trains about at random, and the more committed owners who took more enjoyment from their layouts would then buy more trains, track and accessories.

"A Real Railway in Miniature"

Hornby presented the HRC in the guise of a real railway company "with boy officials and boy directors" whose Chairman was Frank Hornby, and whose members owned and controlled small branch lines or offshoots. The HRC also gained the approval of the "Big Four" railway companies (GWR, LMS, LNER and SR), to study their methods and procedures, and encourage members to set up officially-recognised "branch companies" with six or more members, to hold regular meetings and to submit running records of their activities.

Members were also, obviously, encouraged to subscribe to Meccano Magazine, which was declared to be the official publication for HRC news.

Launch announcement, 1928

Two-page spread in Meccano magazine announcing the formation of the Hornby Railway Company, 1928


The natural successor to the HRC is the HRCA, the Hornby Railway Collectors' Association.

External links

Media in category ‘Hornby Railway Company’

The following 11 files are in this category, out of 11 total.