Overcrowding, congested platforms, cancellations, delays and increasing ticket prices – they’re all things that Frank Hornby left out of his train sets when he started making them more than 90 years ago.
Then again, the train network is a little different today than it was back in 1920, when the first Hornby clockwork train was produced.
Back before the days of computer games, big screen TVs and hundreds of digital TV channels, model train sets could be found in the bedrooms of most young boys and Hornby was the brand that people wanted. Enthusiasts for the brand still exist today and the Hornby Collectors Club enjoys a burgeoning membership.
Part of Hornby’s success over the years was in the way that the trains that you could buy for the track on your bedroom floor looked so much like the trains that were running up and down the country, providing there were no leaves on the line of course! The attention to detail on every single model made Hornby trains stand out from the crowd, as did the number of accessories that became available for the sets over the years.
In 2011, the railways have moved on considerably and Hornby has moved with the times, releasing a series of new sets that capture the very latest in rail technology.
In 2009, the new ‘Javelin’ trains began shuttling commuters from London to Kent at speeds of around 140mph and in 2012, they will carry sports fans from Central London to the Olympic Stadium in just seven minutes.
And Hornby hasn’t let those developments pass them by, with the launch of the Hornby Blue Rapier. This set comes with a motorised and non motorised driver trailer, 2 open coaches and the option to purchase extra coaches to extend the train. The set also comes with an oval track pack, meaning that you can get started straight away, even if you’re new to Hornby sets.
If you want to celebrate the Olympics, then the Limited Edition 2012 Olympic set is the one to go for. This pack offers the same package as the Blue Rapier kit but the trains feature the official London 2012 livery for the Olympic and Paralympic games. Only 2,012 copies have been made of this limited edition set, so grab one before they’re gone!