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28.09.2015
In 1901, Frank Hornby applied for and received a patent for his Meccano construction toy idea.
Manufacturing was moved to Guangdong province in China in 1995 to cut costs and improve quality because of competition from Dapol, Lima and Bachmann Industries.
Bachmann Brothers was founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA it is now owned by a Chinese company called the Kader Group. In 2001, Graham Farish was absorbed by Bachmann who were originally an American company, are now owned by Kader Industries of Hong Kong, China. They span from early steam engines of the Victorian times to the modern high speed intercity express locomotives. He formed the Meccano Ltd company based in Liverpool to produce his soon to be successful new product. They lead to the adoption of 00 gauge as a broadly accepted modeling standard in Britain, whereas much of the rest of the world had adopted HO gauge.
The former Hornby line was discontinued in favour of Tri-ang's less costly plastic designs.
Hornby tried to become more profitable by producing licensed train sets to increase its appeal to a younger customer.
This manufacturing company has been around since 1833 but it was only in 1966 with the sudden popularity of N scale model railroading in the USA that Bachmann entered the Model railway market. To cut production costs Bachmann immediately closed the Poole facility and moved production to China.
Hornby is the main company specialising in British model railways but others like Lima Marklin Peco Mainline Roco Graham Fraish and Bachmann are available. He then used his surname Hornby to as a trading name to launch a line of clockwork O gauge trains in 1920.


The railway sets based on Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends and Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Express have been particularly profitable ventures.
In 1968 Bachmann launched its N gauge products and in 1970 it entered the HO scale toy train market.
As demand decreased after the end of the war they decided to enter the model railway business.
Bachmann improved the model range robustness by redesigning them as they reintroducing the entire range. Hornby was slow to realise the potential of plastic unlike some of its competitors who could produce cheaper but still good quality products like Triang-Rovex.
Hornby decided to acquire it’s competitor Lima, an Italian model railway equipment manufacturer that had previously acquired Jouef, a French manufacturer.
They started to sell British OO gauge railway layout track, wagons and other supporting items. The former Tri-ang Hornby was sold to Dunbee-Combex-Marx, becoming Hornby Railways in 1972. Originally the OO railway locomotives were powered by an 2 pole DC electric motor which was an unconventional choice.
British made Graham Farish models is sought more by model railway collectors because it is 'older' and 'British'.
By 1976 Hornby was facing challenges from Palitoy and Airfix, both of which were producing high quality detailed models. In 2007 Bachmann purchased the Williams Electric Trains company, which has allowed the company to expand into the O scale market. The company suffered at first from faults with some of its models due to its uses of impure mazac which is an alloy of Magnesium, Aluminum, Zinc and Copper similar to Zamak.


New model railway enthusiast generally prefer the more robust and detailed Chinese-built models. Detail on the models was upgraded to make the product line more attractive to adult hobbyists. This acquisition also included the Rivarossi line of HO-scale products, also originally from Italy, and the Arnold brand of N-scale products. Because of dwindling interest in model railroading, the Brothers decided, in 1981, to sell to their manufacturer, the Chinese Kader Group.
The way to tell these two types apart is that UK built models have a yellow sticker on the ends of the box and models built in China have a white sticker on the end.
By 1980 the market was extremely tough and Dunbee-Combex-Marx was liquidated, placing Hornby in receivership. In November 2006, Hornby Hobbies acquired Airfix and Humbrol paints for the sum of ?2.6 million.
The company name was changed to Bachmann Industries and the new owners started to expand the brand worldwide. In 1980 Hornby became Hornby Hobbies and in 1981 a management buyout saw the company back on a sound footing.
It is also part of the strategy to take over other failing companies in Europe and put them under one single name for example the British model railway company Graham Farish. In May 2008, Hornby announced the acquisition of Corgi Classics Limited, one of the world's oldest makers of collectable die-cast models of trucks, buses, cars and airplanes.



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