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85/2582-5 Toy steam locomotive, Hornby E220 Special Electric Locomotive 'LNER Bramham Moor 201', 4-4-0 type, 0-gauge, metal, 20 volt, made by Meccano Ltd, Liverpool, England, 1935-1939. Click to enlarge.

Hornby toy steam locomotive No. 2 Special LNER ‘Bramham Moor’ 201, 1935-1939

  • 1935-1939
This Hornby E220 Special LNER "Bramham Moor 201" toy steam locomotive, made between 1935 and 1939, was built by Meccano Ltd for their 0-gauge range of Hornby toy trains. The Hornby toy trains and accessories are a microcosm of railway social and technological history in Britain during the first half of the twentieth century.

Trains were the first form of modern transport to be reproduced as toys. Wooden pull-along trains were available in Britain from the 1840s, not long after the commercial introduction of full-size railways. By the 1870s the wooden toy train was replaced with tin-plate locomotives, hauling carriages, which were often powered by clockwork or steam. The German toy manufacturers dominated the world market at this time. The First World War broke this monopoly and the rise of patriotism in Britain saw an emphasis on local toy production there.

The scene was set for the English inventor of Meccano, Frank Hornby, to market his 0-gauge trains in 1920. Hornby trains became the most comprehensive ever produced. The series developed into finely-detailed locomotives, as well as commercial vans, wagons and tankers together with a range of accessories including stations, goods sheds, signals, crossings, water tanks and signal boxes. They were exported from the Liverpool factory to many countries including Australia, Canada, Egypt, New Zealand, Rhodesia and South Africa. In Australia, Hornby trains of the four major British railway companies became as familiar to boys as Australian rolling stock.

Two years after Frank Hornby's death in 1936 Meccano Ltd introduced the smaller Hornby Dublo (00-gauge) table top trains which were more affordable and convenient than the 0-gauge. This gauge became the most popular type of toy trains for the next 50 years. From the late 1950s no further effort was devoted to 0-gauge trains and by the 1960s their popularity had diminished. Today model railway production is aimed at adult collectors and is increasingly removed from the traditional children's toy trains. Many of the original collectors have kept and added to their interwar childhood 0-gauge toy train layouts with stations, tunnels, landscapes and rolling stock forming a historical diorama of twentieth century land transport.

Marsh, Hugo, "Miller's Toys & Games Antiques Checklist", Reed International Books Limited, London, 1995

Margaret Simpson, Curator, 28 November, 2007


Object No.


Object Statement

Toy steam locomotive, Hornby E220 Special Electric Locomotive 'LNER Bramham Moor 201', 4-4-0 type, 0-gauge, metal, 20 volt, made by Meccano Ltd, Liverpool, England, 1935-1939

Physical Description

This toy steam locomotive is a representation of the full-size 'Hunt' Class D49 3-cylinder steam locomotive introduced on the LNER (London & North Eastern Railway) in 1932. This engine was virtually identical to the earlier 'Shire' Class locomotives which went into service in 1927 to work light express services in the North East of England and Scotland. 'Hornby' is written on front of engine.

The toy Hornby 20 volt E220 Special Electric locomotive 'LNER Bramham Moor' has a wheel configuration of four leading wheels and four driving wheels (4-4-0). The locomotive is very well modelled with details including lamp brackets, handrails (which are a single piece and wrap around the smoke box door), steps to the cab, a vacuum brake pipe, and whistle. The cab has cast details including steam pipes, gauges, regulator and firebox doors. The smoke box, chimney, cylinders, valence, leading wheels and cab roof are finished in black and the remainder, including the driving wheel spokes, are green. The edges of the cab and cab windows are hand-lined in black. There are five double-lined bands on the long parallel boiler. It is also fitted with a safety value unit set on a large base in front of the whistle, and a low steam dome and chimney. The brass name plate 'Bramham Moor' has raised letters on a black background and is surmounted by a running fox on the splasher plate. The number '201' is featured on the cab side in gold shadowed in red. The toy locomotive is electrically operated but it is not the version with the electric light bulb in the smokebox door.



100 mm


60 mm


235 mm



  • 1935-1939


Of all the Hornby toy steam locomotives, it is said that the No.2 Special engines more closely resembled the British locomotives of the period than any other Hornby model. Four different locomotive bodies were produced, one for each railway company, but each with the same powerful clockwork motor. The No.2 Special Locomotives were introduced in 1929 and replaced the No.2 Locomotives. The E220 Special Electric versions were available from 1934. They were fitted with automatic reversing 20-volt mechanisms designed for remote control operation and some had a bulb in the smoke box door. A number of black-coloured No.2 Special Locomotives were made for export.

The first LNER No.2 Special Locomotive of 1929 was the clockwork operated 'Yorkshire' with the tender lettered 'LNER 234' and a small oval cabside number plate transfer. The livery was altered in 1930 to conform with the full-size LNER practice of the time and the locomotive was numbered on the cab side with the large numerals '234' in gold shadowed in red. At this time the vacuum brake pipe above the front buffers was finished in green. The following year this was changed to black, together with the running plates, valances and front underframe. An electrically-operated E220 Special Electric 'Yorkshire', fitted with a blub in the smoke box door and finished with black leading and driving wheels, was sold between 1934 and 1935. The 'Yorkshire' was replaced in 1935 by the 'Bramham Moor'. The style and finish was the same as the 'Yorkshire' except that outside steam pipe covers were added between the smoke box and the cylinders and the front splashers were no longer lined. A change to a darker green livery occurred in 1936 and a matt finish in 1939.

Graebe, Chris and Julie, "The Hornby Gauge 0 System", New Cavendish Books, London, 2002



This toy steam locomotive is part of a large collection purchased by the Museum in 1985 from the tin toy collector, Ken Finlayson. As a boy, Finlayson admired steam trains but never owned a train set. As an adult he began collecting Hornby model trains, and his interest spread to other toy trains and tin toys. He increased his collection at auctions, swap meets and market stalls, and through his connections with toy dealers and other serious collectors. Some toys were simply found sitting neglected on the shelves of remote country newsagencies, brand new and never opened.

Finlayson's knowledge and love of toys brought him a collection of nearly 2000 items, including highly collectable tin-plate toys manufactured by respected names such as Carette, Bing, Marklin and Lehmann, as well as a variety of other German, English and Japanese makers. The Finlayson collection contains every type of transport toy - cars, trucks, tractors, fire engines, buses, motorcycles, aeroplanes, ships and trains, as well as novelty toys, robots, kitchen toys and Meccano sets. It represents the type of toys that were available in Australia throughout most of the twentieth century, including ones made here by Boomaroo, Wyn-toy, Cyclops, Ferris and Robilt. These Australian toys were usually built from heavy-gauge pressed steel rather than thin tin plate, making them sturdy enough for rough treatment in Australian backyards and sandpits.

Cite this Object


Hornby toy steam locomotive No. 2 Special LNER 'Bramham Moor' 201, 1935-1939 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 25 November 2020, <>


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This object is currently on display in Transport at the Powerhouse Museum.