Lockdown sees spike in Model Railway sales

Model railway maker Hornby has reported a huge jump in annual sales, which is great to see as thousands of people rediscover their love for their old hobbies in lockdown.

The model making firm which sells both Hornby and Scalextric saw their sales increase by 28% compared to the previous year.

Both children and adults have had to spend an increased amount of time inside over the last 15 months and this has allowed people to discover a new hobby or make time in their life for an old hobby.

Model railways can be an extremely comforting activity during lockdown.

Model making is a large part of our customer base, and this can vary from model trains to aeroplanes, cars and Warhammer as magnets can be used in various ways to improve a collection, or to be used as a crucial part in their operation.

We have dozens of customer applications on our website showing how our customers have used our products to improve their collection and models. You can view these applications here.


One customer, a member of the Guildford Model Engineering Society, was in the midst of constructing a small-scale locomotive and needed some magnets to hold a vital piece in place while spot-drilling the component.

Below we can see how four of our 8mm x 8mm cylindrical neodymium (N42) magnets were used to hold a thin steel plate to the locomotive coupling rods and then the coupling rods o the locomotive chassis while two holes were drilled in opposite corners.


We used to receive several enquiries from model railway enthusiasts asking how to successfully couple and decouple model railway carriages on the move, from this we produced our very own model railway magnetic coupling system.

Our magnetic decoupling can be fitted used on almost all types of train couplers. Our coupling system was created by attaching two 5 x 1.5 x 1mm thick N45 Neodymium Magnets to the coupling element of the train and placing a single 4mm dia x 8mm thick N42 Neodymium Magnet embedded into the ground underneath the train track.

As the train passes over the larger magnet it will attract the two smaller magnets pulling the coupling downwards, allowing the two carriages to separate while on the move.

You can see our magnetic decoupling in action below and for more information on fitting the system to your train check out the original blog post here.

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