Model Railway Manufacturers
There are many different manufacturers of model railway products available in the UK, and the listings on this website only cover a few of them. However, The vast majority of model railway equipment sold in the UK comes from a fairly small number of leading suppliers. These are the ones you are most likely to come across if you're looking for ready to run (RTR) locomotives, rolling stock, track and accessories in the two most common gauges (OO and N).
All the products from these manufacturers are compatible with each other, so you can mix and match items from different sources without any problems. If you started off with a train set from Hornby, for example, you can extend it with a new locomotive from Bachmann, new wagons from Dapol and new track from Peco - or any combination of any of the major manufacturers.
Hornby is by far the largest supplier of UK model railway equipment, and is probably the only one that most non-modellers will have heard of. Hornby's catalogue covers a wide range of railway models, from the inexpensive Railroad brand aimed primarily at children to finely detailed items aimed at adult hobbyists and collectors. Hornby also produces a wide range of train sets, making them the most common entry point into the hobby, as well as the popular Thomas and Harry Potter themed items.
The majority of Hornby's products are in OO gauge, but some trackside accessories are also available in N scale under the Lyddle End brand.
Bachmann / Graham Farish
Bachmann Industries is the largest worldwide model railway manufacturer, the second largest UK supplier overall and the largest UK supplier of N gauge items (under the Graham Farish brand). The majority of Bachmann products are individual items aimed at the adult hobbyist or collector, but the catalogue also includes a small number of models in the Junior range as well as a few train sets.
Bachmann Industries manufactures models in nearly every commercially available scale, but within the UK the primary product ranges are Bachmann Branchline in OO gauge and Graham Farish in N gauge.
RailwayModels.info currently only lists products sold under the Bachmann (OO) brand, not Graham Farish (N)
Based in Wales, Dapol is the largest of the major manufacturers with a factory in the UK (both Hornby and Bachmann outsource their production to Chinese firms). Dapol produces models in both N and OO, although the majority of OO gauge products are rolling stock rather than locomotives. Dapol also produces a number of model kits for self-asssembly, covering a range of trackside accessories as well as some rolling stock.
RailwayModels.info currently only lists products by Dapol in OO gauge.
Heljan is a Danish company which produces a small, but growing, range of British model locomotives and accompanying wagons in OO gauge as well as several trackside accessories aimed at those who model the diesel/electric era.
ViTrains is a new company based in Italy, set up by former staff from the now defunct Lima. As a relative newcomer, the ViTrains range of OO British outline models is smaller than the other main RTR manufacturers but is expected to continue to grow.
RailwayModels.info doesn't currently list products by ViTrains.
Peco produces a small range of rolling stock and locomotives, mainly in N gauge, but is primarily known for its extensive range of trackwork and associated accessories. Peco Setrack has the same geometry as track from Hornby and Bachmann, and is fully interchangeable with either. For those who want to move beyond the limits of fixed geometry trackwork, the Peco Streamline range of flexible track and associated accessories is the UK market leader.
RailwayModels.info doesn't currently list products by Peco.