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Note the repetition of the two loco types [image info]. The glorious paintwork on a diecast three-rail Hornby Dublo locomotive [image info]. Side-detail on Hornby Dublo three-rail metal-bedded track [image info]. Dublo logo, blue and white "three-rail" packaging [image info]. Meccano Ltd. After WW2 , the system essentially took over from gauge 0 as Meccano Ltd's main model railway format.
By , Meccano Ltd decided that they couldn't hold off on producing a miniature table railway system any longer, and launched Hornby-Dublo. The need for a format that was smaller than Gauge 0 had been apparent for some time. Bing had tried a half-size table railway system in the s before going bust, but it had been pushing the boundaries of what was then technically achievable. The new Trix model railways were a noticeable improvement on their Bing ancestors, but inherited a few archaic features like AC power and clunky wheels.
Beaten to the market by Trix, and unwilling to involve themselves in a price war, Hornby seem to have decided that their system would make better use of the latest technical advances, and set out to build the "Rolls Royce" of table railway systems. The first Hornby implementation of "Double-Oh" Hornby-Dublo had drawn brass rails on raised metal bases, making the track practically indestructable.
The Dublo rolling-stock had lithographed printed tinplate sidewalls like their larger Gauge 0 stablemates, but the locomotives had heavy diecast bodyshells whose weight helped the locos grip the track, and whose accurate shapes and gorgeous paintwork leveraged Meccano Ltd. Using AC meant that a power supply didn't have to be much more than a step-down transformer, but meant that to make a locomotive run backwards required a complicated and unreliable sensor system that would switch the direction of the loco's motor in response to a deliberate "glitch" introduced on the power rails.
By contrast, Dublo's DC power system required more expensive power supplies, but a DC-motored loco could be reversed simply by reversing the polarity of the voltage on the rails, which worked, as the company pointed out, "every time!
The Dublo range launched with just two locomotives: A tank loco, and a blue streamlined "Sir Nigel Gresley" LNER A4 passenger express locomotive, each in clockwork and electric versions. An unstreamlined passenger loco was scheduled for the "Duchess of Atholl" set , but the outbreak of World War Two meant that it couldn't go into production until after hostilities had ceased. After WW2 it became clear that that age of gauge 0 as a popular format was now over, and Hornby's Dublo range expanded to replace it.
The gauge 0 range which had reached such a high-point in the late s contracted back to clockwork-only locomotive models and a limited range of simplified rolling stock and accessories, and gauge and H0 gauge outside Britain now ruled the roost. After WW2, Hornby dropped the Dublo clockwork locomotives and kept with the three-rail electric system.
However, the "bombproof" three-rail track was expensive, and while children often aspired to own a Hornby train set, their parents often bought the cheaper Trix.
Hornby launched their cheaper two-rail system using plastic sleepers in with both track systems appearing in the the Hornby Dublo Book of Trains.
While the Dublo rolling-stock had been updated in advance of the appearance of two-rail to have insulated axles so that it could run on either system without shorting out the track, Hornby were back to having two versions of each locomotive — a two-rail and a three-rail version — and the effort of having two systems was a strain on the company's resources.
Hornby's original points system was designed for electrical reliability, but required special insulating sections to prevent "shorts", leaving some customers annoyed that the new "cheaper and simpler" two-rail system was actually creating more complexity, especially since there were some sorts of layout, such as a closed loop at the end of a spur, which would cause a polarity-reversal in the tracks and create short-circuits unless more of the special extra "insulating track" sections were used.
This didn't please existing three-rail Dublo owners, some of whom were already annoyed that the two-rail system often wasn't as conducive to a good electrical contact between locomotive and track - with two-rail, the wheels tended to roll a layer of dust and grease onto the track, whereas with three-rail, the centre "electrical" rail was constantly scraped by the loco's electrical pickup, cleaning it, while the return path went through two sets of rolled contacts, so there was only one "troublesome" rail connection, which was shared over two sets of wheels and rails, reducing the risk of a problem serious enough to stop a train.
The difficulties in the switch to two-rail is blamed by some for Meccano Ltd. While cheaper train-set designs could be continuously improved in quality, Dublo could not easily be manufactured more cheaply without a switch in manufacturing methods, at which point the company would be at a disadvantage compared to competitors who had been using those methods for years.
While enthusiasts might be happy to pay a premium for quality and longevity, parents who just wanted to put a train set of some sort under the Christmas tree often chose cheaper alternatives to Hornby.
Hornby started producing more and more plastic-bodied pieces, but its use of newer manufacturing technologies came too late to save the company. Lines Brothers "Tri-ang" bought Meccano Ltd.
However, in effect, the main result of the acquisition was that Dublo was finished. Jump to: navigation , search.
Subcategories This category has the following 16 subcategories, out of 16 total. W Water Crane Hornby Dublo Austin Lorry Dublo Dinky Toys Austin Lorry, underside Dublo Dinky Toys Austin Taxi Dublo Dinky Toys Breakdown Crane No, Hornby Dublo , profile. Breakdown Train Set, box artwork Hornby Dublo Coal Wagon. Hornby Dublo DubloCat Commer Van Dublo Dinky Toys Dublo Dinky Toys MM Dublo low-priced train sets MM Duchess of Atholl loco, boxed Hornby Dublo. Engine Shed, Hornby Dublo D1 FH - Hornby Dublo Footbridge, Hornby Dublo D1 Ford Prefect car Dublo Dinky Toys Goods Depot D1, Hornby Dublo Hornby Dublo Accessories MM Hornby Dublo Book of Trains , front cover.
Hornby Dublo Book of Trains, accessories spread, p Hornby Dublo brochure Hornby Dublo footbridge detail. Hornby Dublo Goods Depot D1. Hornby Dublo Island Platform D1 Hornby Dublo Layouts advert MM Hornby Dublo logo, box detail. Hornby Dublo logo. Hornby Dublo Look out for developments Dublo brochure. Hornby Dublo Mainline Station D1 Hornby Dublo styrene station Hornby Dublo Uncoupling Rail, detail.
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MODEL TRAIN SALE
Clockwork locos were never re-introduced. Autumn Initially just boxed sets 5 varieties in both electric and clockwork available, with some wooden building accessories. November The loco "Duchess of Atholl" with LMS coaches finally appear, in boxes sets only, having been advertised in but never produced. April Long-awaited announcement of Dublo stock in British Railways colours. The four private companies were represented previously, although from only LMS tank locos and goods sets were available. October A new loco at last!
Hornby Dublo Catalogue
Note the repetition of the two loco types [image info]. The glorious paintwork on a diecast three-rail Hornby Dublo locomotive [image info]. Side-detail on Hornby Dublo three-rail metal-bedded track [image info]. Dublo logo, blue and white "three-rail" packaging [image info]. Meccano Ltd. After WW2 , the system essentially took over from gauge 0 as Meccano Ltd's main model railway format. By , Meccano Ltd decided that they couldn't hold off on producing a miniature table railway system any longer, and launched Hornby-Dublo.