On visiting the model railway department of a model shop or toy store today, the visitor would find one name that dominates the displays, 'Hornby Railways.' Where the name can be traced back to Frank Hornby, the O Gauge Hornby Railways and Hornby Dublo made by Meccano Ltd. However the products that today sells under the Hornby name can be traced back to another factory sold under a previous name.

Triang Coach

A Triang OO Brake Coach

Plastics have been around from the early 20th century, Precision Plastic Moulding started just after world war 2. In 1946 Alexander Venetzain a toy maker founded Rovex Plastic Ltd, producing an electric train set based on the LMS, Princess Elizabeth Loco. The set was launched in time for christmas 1950, consisting of the loco, two coaches and some track.

Rovex Set

An Original Rovex Princess Set

Lines Brothers had been around almost as long as Meccano Ltd. Launched by 3 brothers, William, Walter and Arthur Edwin Lines, sons of a Victorian Toy maker. As 3 lines make a triangle they traded under the triang brand name making large metal children's vehicles. However following World War 2 the company was keen to get a share of the expanding model railway market. In 1951 they took over Rovex Ltd, renaming the OO Railways as 'Triang Railways,' and building a new factory at Margate Kent which was ready to take over production from the old Rovex factory at Richmond in 1954.

Pullman Coach

An Triang Pullman Coach

Demand for these cheap plastic train set where high, by 1956 Triang had expanded its range to 10 locomotives along with rolling stock, track and buildings. In 1957 Triang introduced series 3 track as well as a new smaller scale TT (Table Top Railways) at 3mm to a foot. 1962 saw the introduction of Super 4 Track a very robust track suitable for young children.

Triang TT Set

An Triang TT Set with Yellow Lid

By 1962 the range had expanded to 25 locos, as well as rolling stock and a new range of buildings called Model Land being introduced in 1963. In 1964 Lines Brothers bought the ailing Meccano Ltd, the owners of the now discontinued Hornby Dublo brand. In 1965 Lines Brothers Rebranded Triang Railways as Triang Hornby but for a couple of items Triang Hornby continued the production of Triang Railway.


  • 1946 Alexander Venetzain launches Rovex Plastic Moulding
  • 1950 Rovex launch the Princess Elizabeth train set
  • 1951 Lines Brothers acquire Rovex Ltd
  • 1952 Rovex products rebranded Triang Railways
  • 1954 Production moved to a new factory at Margate
  • 1957 Series 3 Track launched
  • 1957 Triang TT Railways Launched
  • 1962 Super 4 Track Introduced
  • 1964 Lines Brother buys Meccano Ltd
  • 1965 Triang-Hornby brand replaces Triang Railways