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Hornby 100

 Hornby’s lack of investment in new tooling from the mid 1980s until 1997 began to weaken the brand and had it not been for a change at Board level, the prospects were far from favourable for the Hornby model railway brand.

However, with a new Board and in particular a new Chairman, a positive wind began to blow through Hornby and with it a desire to produce high quality detailed models but such developments took time and what Hornby really needed was something that they could introduce almost immediately.

 While Hornby were keen to develop new products, other manufacturers were eager to move away from the industry and focus their attention on other markets. In 1997 Hornby were offered and purchased tooling for a number of locomotives and rolling stock.

There was much to do in such a short space of time but the newly purchased tooling was refurbished and improved with the result that in 1998 Hornby were able to release a selection of ‘new’ models giving the Hornby team time to focus on future major developments.

One of the ‘new’ 1998 models was the SR 0-6-0T Terrier locomotive, ‘Freshwater’. This model was the first of many variants of the Terrier that were produced by Hornby over the subsequent years and because of its diminutive appearance and subsequent charm proved a great favourite with modellers and collectors alike.

Eventually it became necessary to replace the ageing tooling and in 2019 a totally new ‘Terrier’ model was introduced into the range, incorporating many of the tooling changes that would allow Hornby to produce the numerous detail variations that the full size locomotives had evolved during their many years in service.

Without the influx in 1998 of the ‘new’ tooling it could be argued that Hornby’s revival may have taken much longer to achieve.


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