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85/2585-47 Toy railway wagon, Hornby No.1 lumber wagon, 0-gauge, metal / wood, Meccano Ltd, Liverpool, 1948-1957. Click to enlarge.

Hornby No.1 lumber wagon

This Hornby No.1 toy railway lumber wagon, made between about 1948 and 1957, is one of the items of rolling stock 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 …


Object No.


Object Statement

Toy railway wagon, Hornby No.1 lumber wagon, 0-gauge, metal / wood, Meccano Ltd, Liverpool, 1948-1957

Physical Description

Toy railway wagon, Hornby No.1 lumber wagon, 0-gauge, metal, Meccano Ltd, Liverpool, 1948-1957

The No.1 lumber wagon comprises a flat-top, four-wheel wagon base fitted with two bolsters, each with stanchions and chain. The lumber wagon was designed for log or timber transport and this example has a load of cut timber. The wagon is finished in black enamel-painted tin plate with red bolsters and is fitted with automatic couplings. The No.1 lumber wagon differs from the No.2 lumber wagon in that the latter is a longer wagon on two, four-wheel bogies.



65 mm


55 mm


170 mm



The Hornby No.1 lumber wagon was first made in early 1923 and originally came in an enamelled olive-green base and black bolsters which were soon changed to red. In late 1924 company initials 'LMS' ( London Midland and Scottish Railway) or 'L&NER' (London and North Eastern Railway) were added in small gold lettering to both sides of the base. Early in 1924 the company initials were retained on one side (except 'L&NER' was replaced with 'LNER') and the other side replaced with 'No.1 Lumber Wagon' in white transfers. The transfers were removed in 1925 and the company letters appeared on both sides. A Great Western Railway model appeared in 1926 with 'GW' on the sides and 'NE' replaced the 'LNER' lettering soon after. Two holes were added to the top of the bolsters in early 1927 and a light brown 'SR' Southern Railway wagon with blue bolsters was made from 1928 to 1930. Automatic couplings were used from 1931.

A new livery came in from 1933 with the olive-green bases changing to light green and the red bolsters changing to yellow. By this time company initials had disappeared. This continued until 1939 when black wagons with red bolsters were used.

After the Second World War the colours remained the same but with a post-War base made between 1948 and 1957. The No.50 lumber wagons, with the glossy black No.50 series base, replaced the No.1 lumber wagon from 1957 and remained in the Hornby catalogue until 1969.

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



This toy railway wagon 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 No.1 lumber wagon 2022, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 19 August 2022, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Hornby No.1 lumber wagon |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=19 August 2022 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}