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 & European 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 have been published in the December 19 Railway Modeller and British Railway Modelling magazines. A flier has also been distributed with the December HRCA (UK) journal. For Australia and New Zealand, details are in the December 19 HRCAA journal.


The Manual has now been ‘booked in’ to print with the UK print shop and all PDF’s verified for printing. We are now going to have 750 copies printed, 550 for the UK, USA and Europe, plus 200 for Australia and New Zealand. The interest in the book has been good, 91 views on this website, yesterday alone. The UK books will start delivery in the 3rd week of February and in Australia slightly later.


The response from the December advertising has been overwhelming to say the lease with 300 pre-orders already. Bob Hamilton the UK distributor has just moved house, having problems with BT transferring his phone and so very busy at the moment. Please thus keep this in mind, we will answer your requests. The book has now been approved in its ‘Ripped’ form and we are now waiting for a full production book sample. Will post images when available.


The response from the advertisements has been absolutely overwhelming, however we are getting on top of it, and apologies for the delay. Bob Hamilton has a very large list of people he needs to contact and to confirm orders with. We will get to your enquiry, in order of contact. Thank you for your patience, the print proofs have been received and colour wise they are exact, especially the Meccano service yellow. Best regards David


The latest with the book is, advanced copies have been printed. Images of the book are displayed below. The book is to be launched at the HRCA (UK) AGM Tamworth on 22nd February 2020.


The book has been printed and all copies are currently with the UK distributor. Books are being sent currently to UK and European addresses. The Australian books we are still waiting for them to be sent from the UK. There are 200 destined for Australia and just under 100 are pre-sold. I will post here when they start to arrive. Thank you for your patience. Best regards David


Today 30 books arrived by courier for Australian customers. I have around 100 orders so there will be still a wait for some. The 30 which arrived today will be in the post on Monday. Best regards David


As from today 35 books have been sent and delivered in Australia/NZ. One box of 9 books which did arrive were damaged and will be sold as seconds later. Still waiting on further shipments from the UK to full fill the many required Australian/NZ orders. An email will be sent individually with tracking number when an order is going to be posted. There are great problems with getting these books from the UK at the moment. Best regards David


All Australian pre-orders have been sent, four books still to arrive is NZ. For Australia/NZ customers the Manual is in stock. The remaining copies will be sold on the Internet. Please use the contact page if you would like to buy a copy.

Best regards David


The books are selling fast. In the UK there are only about 40 books left. In Australia there are 90 books left and selling at about 10 a week. Reviews of the book have been sent to the major model railways magazines. I will be very pleased to wind up the project very soon and start something completely different. Thanks for the support.

Best regards David


The current status of the books is, it has nearly sold out. Currently there are only a few copies left in the UK, with the remaining stock left in Australia. Use the contact page to find out the current Australian availability.

Best regards David


There are now only a few remaining copies in Australia, all UK copies fully sold out. The cost of the book is $100. Postage to an Australian addresses is $16, to UK addresses it is $75, due to its heavy weight of 1.7KG. There is a 99% chance it will never be reprinted, so these will be the very last ones to buy new.

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