Hello, my name is Richard Deas, welcome to my Triang Hornby website.
I can trace my interest in model railways, back to one Christmas day in the mid 1960’s. Santa brought me a Tri-ang ‘Holiday Express’ train set and from that day I was hooked. For the past 30 years I have modelled in ‘N’ gauge but a chance encounter in a model shop a few years ago rekindled my interest in the Tri-ang Hornby era
Lines Bros, the owners of Tri-ang, purchased Meccano Ltd, the owners of Hornby Dublo in February 1964. The two railway systems were merged in May 1965 and the name Tri-ang Hornby was created. Although the official description of this merger was amalgamation, in practice only a few items of the former Hornby Dublo range made it into the first Tri-ang Hornby catalogue. The next few years saw the choice of models and accessories expand rapidly and this layout attempts to capture some of the atmosphere of the time. Despite the vast quantities of products manufactured at the Margate factory during the period, not too many survive in good condition, primarily as they were intended for the younger end of the market and usually made of plastic. They were intended to be played with, and they usually were. Mint boxed examples are now getting very hard to find.
To keep manufacturing costs to a minimum, many standard parts were used in the production of the locomotives, which today makes maintenance easier. The design of some of the locomotives, especially the later ones was so good they remained in production many years after the demise of Tri-ang Hornby in 1972. A few, although updated, are still in production today and can be found in the Hornby catalogue.
Creating this collection has enabled me to own many of the items I longed for but could not afford on the pocket money of the time. Saving up for a loco for weeks or even months generated a strong sense of their worth and I looked after mine for many years. In fact I still have a few of my original trains running on this layout!!
For many, including myself, the Tri-ang Hornby model railway system was also an introduction to the world of light engineering. This was promoted by the availability of service sheets and spare parts. The young owners were encouraged to carry out regular maintenance, servicing and even repairs on their locomotives. It is very rewarding to find out how something works or why it doesn’t. Whilst in almost every way, today’s models are far more detailed and accurate, they somehow don’t seem to have the charm of the products of the Tri-ang Hornby era.
This footage was taken at the London Festival of Railway Modelling during March 2010
This page was last updated on 06-Jan-2011.