What do you know about Hornby Hobbies?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Topo, Apr 1, 2004.

  1. Topo

    Topo Member

    The news here is that Electrotren (the 1st. spanish model train manufacturer) has been bought by the english Hornby Hobbies. :eek:

    That has caused a storm in a teapot in the spanish model world. Some are afraid that Hornby is more interested in the slot-car that in trains. :eek:

    I have been following the Horizon-Hobbies/Athearn fuss there, in the USA, and this seems another similar takeover of a traditional, family-owned, industry by a "big-fish" business. :(

    The english members, what do you know about Hornby? :confused:

    (maybe I shold hurry and buy these nice Electrotren Talgo-III cars) :rolleyes:
  2. I don't know about you, but I'm surely going to get some more coaches from Electrotren before they disapear...

    It's really a major takeover. Hornby has absorbed also Jouef (France), Lima (Italy), and I guess a part of the Bachmann productions.

    It's kind of a strange deal, but probably, it would be only a way of Hornby to get into the Spanish Market more easily... (or at least I hope so...)

    Electrotren has proved itself all these years... I don't understand why they turned to Hornby unless there were some major money sums involved...

    I'll wait to see the new chapters of this novel......
  3. Topo

    Topo Member

    The link about the takeover

    Here is the link to the takeover news in Hornby:


    According to Hornby, "This will provide a platform to increase our sales of slot racing products in Spain, spearheaded by our recently launched MotoGP range". Uh, Oh. :(

    I remember also that, after its purchase by Hornby, the locos and cars of the french "Jouef" skyrocketed to the moon. Sigh!

    For the Gauge friends that don't know Electrotren, they are also the manufacturer of the AmTrak Talgos cars that run in the West Coast:

    Attached Files:

  4. Unfortunately, I just read the news too... Still I don't know what to make of them... I hope (I hope) that the train production for Electrotren don't disappear... I love those cars, specially the ones for Ep. II and III....

    And the locomotives are of great value too... Electrotren has developed itself in an increasing way for years... remember their teaming with Marklin/Trix for the production of the Talgo IntercityNight? Are hornby getting everything down, just for the slot production??

    :curse: :curse: :curse: :curse: :curse: :curse:

    I don't want it... and I guess no one of us will... :cry: :cry:
  5. neilmunck

    neilmunck Member

    Upon reading the news item I came to the conclusion that Hornby will still produce the Electrotren model railway stuff.

    I don't know if you North Americans know much about Hornby because thier own brand stuff is nearly exclusively British outline, however you could think of them as being the British equivalent of Life Like (except with a history in model railways dating back to at least the 30's).

    FOr a while in the 90's most of their was pish (ring field tender drives anyone? I really want a Smilie throwing up here!)and you were better tracking down older second hand models.

    Then about two years ago they started to reinvent them selves. There most recent model (a Southern Q1) is an absolute beauty and they have come out with the OO scale live steam. As a result they are experiencing a period of growth. They have moved manufacturing to china (who hasn't?) but all is looking rosey and the other companies they have taken over are still available so I think Electrotren fans can breathe a bit more easily.

    That doesn't mean prices won't go up though:(
  6. Topo

    Topo Member

    Hello, neilmunck

    Well, I hope so that they don't "milk" the company. The thing hat worries me is that they seem to be too much interested in the slot thing.

    We will see.

    GLUPS!!! :eek: :eek:
    The Electrotren prices are already "luxury" ones! The last Electrotren loco that I purchased, in January, was 168€ (around 210$, then).

    It was one of new 353 class, "Virgen de Lourdes". A nice one, but a pricey too:

    Attached Files:

  7. neilmunck

    neilmunck Member

    They are quite pricey just now so I don't see how they will go up too much. Remeber you are getting clobbered by the weak dollar at the moment - it is a great time for me to order stuff from Walthers just now:D :D :D

    edit By the way - I think the reason they want the slot car stuff is that Hornby make the Scalextric slot cars here (I think so anyway) so they probably see buying this company as a chance to expand two lines without buying two companies.

  8. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Hornby has made quite a turnaround this century.
    Their new locomotives have set a standard for ready-to-run that leaves the reviewers gasping. They seem to be revising their wheels standards so that they work on finer track. After they took over Dapol, they released their locomotives with improved detail (sprung buffers) and vastly improved mechanisms. (I'm thinking of the N2 tank) They released one of Dapol's coaches with a 1/3 drop in price (at least at the Canadian end).
    Unfortunately, they closed their English factory and moved production to China.
  9. Topo

    Topo Member

    Hey, David. Your comments encourage this model manufacturer-orphaned! :D

    If only they could do these nice english steamers in H0, instead of the "weirdo" OO :rolleyes:

    We will wait and see.

    Yeah. This days, the chinese may be doing the model trains (and other things) for the 90% of the world. :rolleyes:
  10. neilmunck

    neilmunck Member

    Hi Javier,

    If you think about it all the scales we use are stupid but 4mm = 1 ft makes more sense than 3.5mm - 1ft!

    After all - 4mm=12" gives 1mm = 3" so scale rulers would be a lot cheaper!

    3.5mm = 1 ft doesn't go into anything! that works out as 11.6mm = 1m or 0.2916mm = 1 inch. At least OO scale fits!

    the only scale I can think of that exists and makes sense is UK TT scale which is 1:100 scale, or for the part of the world that is still imperial; 1:12 scale or possibly UK N scale which is 1:144.

    In conclusion:
    all the scales we use are totally arbitary except some which don't have as big a following as the "mainsteam" scales. There is no point in going on about one scale being inferior in some way just because it is different.

    Don't get offended or take any of this the wrong way but bear in mind that OO scale is older than HO scale.

    They are diiferent - one is not better than the other,

    Again - don't be put off. It's my opinion only.

  11. Topo

    Topo Member

    Hum, hum!

    I'm off some days and, what I found when I came back? :rolleyes:

    SACRILEGE!!!! :curse: :curse: :curse:

    Sir Neil, I hope that you accept to be converted inmediatly to the "H0 cult", or, as english (scottish?) gentleman, be prepared to dueling to death. :mad:
    The mainstream modellers world is too small. Only a scale must prevail!! :D :D :D :D

    Nope, Sir. I'm not "put off" easily when speaking about trains. As computer analyst that have survived the "Mac vs. Windows vs. Linux" wars, I'm well trained to avoid such "offenses". :D

    Now, seriously. I'm with you in that all actual scales (well, all but the TT one) have no sense in our ISO world. Actually, 1:50, 1:75 and 1:100 scales would have lots more sense (but none of us would be eager to renew all our motive power and rolling stock, wouldn't? :rolleyes: ).

    The meaning of my comment about the "weirdo" 00 scale (in my previous post) should be read: "I'm jealous of the nice 00 english steam locomotives, but they don't match well with my H0 stuff". I didn't intend to scorn the 00 scale. :oops:

    Well, having a new market, maybe Hornby decide somedays start to make some of their actual locos in H0 too. Hummm. :p
  12. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I don't think that English HO will take off anytime soon. There is so much ancillary equipment in 4mm scale and almost nothing in 3.5mm. (So how do people who don't have feet anymore designate the scales?) Changing track and wheels is easier than scratch building the entire layout.
    English HO modellers only have ready-to-run locos where some Continental country (say, Holland) has bought old British stock and someone has modelled it.
  13. neilmunck

    neilmunck Member

    Actually - given that the loading gauge is smaller in the UK the american HO and british OO scale stuff is about hte same size (the OO is a bit bigger but not much). If you get the ready to run stuff that is 16.5mm gauge rather than the (nicer - better?) kits that frequently run on 18.83mm gauge then it will all run together anyway.

    Here in the UK HO scale is for people who want to run foreign trains. Modellers all model 4mm scale (which covers all the scale/gauge permutations) if they want to model the UK railways.

    UK HO scale won't take off for the same reason that US or continental OO scale won't take off.

    The Linux/Mac/Windoze wars were fun, weren't they? I use Windoze even though I think it is the worst option :curse: :curse: I just haven't got round to changing everything on my machine and can't really be bothered.:confused:

    keep smiling Mr. Tupo - then we won't have to enter into a traditional Glaswegian duel; empty bottles of Buckfast up a back alley after 8 pints of cheap lager and the contents of the bottles :D :D :D
  14. Topo

    Topo Member

    Too bad. I liked these Hornby "Mallard" locos in blue livery. :cry:

    Well... thanks to software manufacturers, actually you need to replace your computer so frequently, that, finally, you will barely notice the O.S. (sigh!) :rolleyes:

    I would be surprised if, "after 8 pints of cheap lager", anyone can see any difference between H0 and 00 stuff. :eek: :eek:
    (BTW, if we can do it with "better" lager, I will be glad to provide you all the empty bottles you need. Just pass me the full ones!). :D :D :D
  15. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Hi Javier,
    I've been dearly wanting one of those LNER #4468 ever since
    I saw one at the LHS, I just can't to spend that much
    on a loco that doesn't go with my scale and layout! :cry: :cry:

    They supposedly have a new version coming out this year,
    also, Part #R2339. :) :) :) :thumb:
  16. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    I propose a duel using flextrack of eaches own scale! :D :D :D

    While HO is perhaps a little wacky as far as scale goes, I fix it by, well I guess you could look at it one of two ways. I either:

    Model 1/8" scale, using HO track, rollin' stock, and LPB's :D


    Model HO, using 1/8" = 1 ft for scratch building, and the LPBs are not schmardt enough to notice the 7% difference :D

    Actually, I have a scale ruler, and use it for anything critical, but much of the time, it's just not noticable if I use 1/8" = 1 ft, so I do. This is especially true for teenyweeny stuff, like when I cut stripwood, 1/16" wide makes a fine 2 X 6.

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