The smallest model railway layout in the world is believed to be the 'Sceniced and Ridiculously Small Railroad' it measures half an inch wide and features a single train running round an oval layout.
The largest model railway layout in the world is 'Minatur Wunderland' in Hanover Germany, built to HO scale it features 11,000 meters of track, over 900 trains and takes up 1,500 m² of floorspace
Unsurprising Minatur Wunderland also holds the world record for the longest model train (HO scale) measuring 110.3m (361 ft 10 in) and comprising of three locomotives pulling 887 carriages.
The first Hornby trains were produced in 1920, they were clockwork and had a scale of O.
In 1995 the manufacture of all Hornby train sets and accesories was moved to China.
In October 2007 a 'Folkestone Flyer' electric passenger train set sold at auction for £6,600, the set was part of a collection amassed by Dr Clifford Patrick, a retired vet who died in 2003.
The models used in the original 'Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends' television series are built to 1:32 scale (O scale).
Hornby recently (early May 2008) bought die-cast model car maker Corgi for a reported £7.5m, read more here.