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New Zealand Hornby Railway Collectors` Association

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More Hornby (and Meccano) fun!


For a short time (1928/29) the Meccano factory in Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA, made  toy trains.   These were not the same as trains made in England.   They were not made in vast numbers and now are very scarce .   The locomotive was clockwork powered and made in red and green.  Passenger and freight rolling stock was made, but not in great variety.  The factory was bought out by A.C,Gilbert (Erector) and train production ceased.   Machinery for the rolling stock was shipped to England for continued production during the 1930s but the locomotive was not included.   Hence rare now.    Here are  locomotives now owned by Lew in Boston USA.


This locomotive is a representation of the American Hornby type shown above.  Modified from a Hafner body, the original Hafner had a general similarlty to the American Hornby.   Electric motor installed and is used with American style rolling stock which was made in England after the USA production ceased.  The tender used here is a Hachette Hornby replica which has same shape as the American Hornby type.


Meccano model of NZR Kb loco by Neil Pluck



Hornby `Nord` locomotive. Based loosely on actual French locomotive type. As can be seen Hornby omitted one driving axle. The earlier Hornby locos did not have smoke deflectors.


Hornby`s `Nord` loco (as in photo above) was introduced in 1926, loosely based on a French type.   A year later the same body style, but with different fittings, was made and these four other types were given the  names of prominent British locos. Appropriate colour schemes and British style tenders were used.  Although quite non-scale these locos (known as No.3`s) were popular. Made in both clockwork  and electric versions.  Production ceased after the start of WWII and did not recommence after the war.
   Simon from Invercargill has followed  Hornby`s methods by refurbishing a Hornby No.3 (20 volt AC) and renaming it `Kingston Flyer` to represent an Ab class loco of New Zealand Railways.   Ab locos are currently in use on the Kingston Flyer tourist train near Queenstown. 


Meccano locomotive and happy children at a display.


Metropolitan locomotive


In 1925 Meccano Ltd introduced a Hornby which was a good model (in its time) of an actual locomotive. Initially with a high voltage (as here) 110 volt motor. Compare with the actual loco above. Not too noticeable that the Hornby had only four wheels instead of eight! Soon lower voltage and clockwork versions were made to replace the dangerously high voltage. But children did not require much molly-coddling then!


 Inside a Hornby No.2 Engine Shed.    All prewar items.



Pennsylvania Railroad of the USA - Some toy trains representing that famous company.  At left are two Japanese Sakai brand locomotives, based on the PRR K4 class. Then a GG1 electric, this model made by the Williams company.  Finally at right is a Lionel version of the K4, this model dating from 1947.  The Engine shed however is English Hornby, this one was made in 1933. The light tower was made by Marx of the USA.


  Rather unusual is that Lionel of the USA  produced a British style locomotive.  The popularity of the Harry Potter films was the reason. Thanks to Dave J..... for photo.


We have gone to America but whether it is North or South is not clear! The station building is Skyline brand, made about 1950, the Signal box is one with a transformer inside for the Argentine market. The train is an American style Hornby but the loco started life as a Hafner & has been modified to represent the USA Hornby type. The gondola behind the loco may puzzle some viewers!

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