Hornby-Dublo Manual


Update 6/09/19

After many years, a definitive reference book has been written on the technical side of Hornby-Dublo trains, as made by Meccano Ltd from 1938 to 1965.  The book addresses the repair, maintenance and restoration of these classic model trains in very fine detail. The book has been compiled for over 10 years, all done in Adobe software and as such, all material is very finely presented. There are 100’s of original Dublo artworks and technical data references from a lifetimes collection on the subject. 

The printing will be done in the UK and the book will be hard covered and in size A4 portrait format. The binding will be stitched for easy open book reading and has a total length of 304 pages. It will have one UK distributor and as a privately published book, it will have a limited print run, unless it proves to be very popular.

The book has six distinct sections, the first 40 pages are on Dublo technical. Here all the sub-assembles such as armatures, brushes, magnets and commutators are outlined in great length. Also, many technical procedures and assembly setup jobs are fully addressed. Such assemblies as brushes and armatures rewinds are extensively detailed so all variations and sizes are presented. There are for example five different standard brush spring types, all have a different application and critical for efficient running.  There are many tables listing all armatures and bearings produced, compete with graphics for easy identification. The author has a trade background and a lifetimes experience in repairing Dublo, and the aim from the beginning was to record all this information.

A section which is very central to the book is the graphical section on spare parts. Nearly every Dublo spare part manufactured is illustrated and with the use of the spare’s compendium helps identify every part. For instance, there are two full pages on most nuts, bolts and screws and with the compendium gives each screw its use in, description, variations and dimensions.

Meccano originally issued 18 official Dublo service diagrams. These have been completely remastered and in some particular cases, redone from scratch, such as with the class 20. Along with the remasters these have been expanded to around 140 diagrams, and a major reference work in itself. These include the Delta and clockwork locomotives. There are new diagrams such as wiring diagrams, original maintenance instructions and factory assembly drawings, once again remastered to the highest standards. Basically, there are diagrams for every Dublo locomotive made, including pre-war and many forgotten original part numbers have been found to bring this area up to date. There are also four Wrenn assembly drawings for their later productions such as the Royal Scot and streamlined West Country locomotives, which continued the Dublo style and used many Dublo parts. There is even one Hornby Acho model, the electric Bo-Bo drawing and instructions, this was marketed by Dublo in their late production and can be considered a Dublo model.

Another section is the parts compendium which lists in numerical order nearly every part associated with entire locomotive range. This lists the parts compatibility with each locomotive, has a part description, with importantly specifications such as size and material. The part dimensions are only given where appropriate and all references are from original factory drawings. Another point is this compendium has drawing dates and component changes, information to help compare original parts with reproductions. Also, to help date a locomotive manufacture.

The book is aimed at the technical level however having a full set of locomotive instruction artwork in one place it is a must have, if just acquired as a collector’s reference. There are also many pieces of rare remastered Dublo literature to add interest to the work, it is not just all technical.

The book is an official publication of the Hornby Railway Collectors Association of Australia Inc.


UK PRE-ORDERS now being taken by Bob Hamilton, Devon, UK. A print date will be early 2020. For both UK orders and Australian orders please use the email contact on the home page of this website. Full contact details will be in the December 19 Railway Modeller, the advert has already been booked.

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