Simon Kohler to leave Hornby

05 May 2023
Affectionately known as 'Mr. Hornby', the company's Marketing and Development Director is to retire in May.

After more than 45 years of service to the model railway world, Simon Kohler is taking a well-earned break.

From starting work behind the counter at The Model Shop in Northampton, followed by a move to Hammant and Morgan Controls and finally, into the main Hornby group, there can't be many people with a deeper grounding in the hobby, or who have been involved in as many of its aspects.

Related: Watch – Simon Kohler presented with BRM Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013

Among the products Simon has been responsible for, the Live Steam range is one he has always held dearly, but never one to rest on his laurels, 2022 saw the introduction of TT:120, a scale he always maintained a passion for. Behind the scenes, the development of this entirely new range has taken considerable effort, with much hands-on guidance.

SImon Kohler retires Rare TV

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Simon with a model of LNER W1 'Hush Hush' during the filming for Hornby: A Model World. RARE TV

Many people will know Simon from his tireless work behind the Hornby stand at exhibitions, and more recently, from his appearance in the Hornby a Model World TV series, where he coined his catchphrase "Detail, detail, detail".

Related: Watch – Simon Kohler on Hornby's W1 'Hush Hush'

We are told that Simon now plans to spend more time on outdoor and garden projects – although no mention of a garden railway, perhaps he has enough of that working on the James May Toy Stories series in 2009, rebuilding the 'Tarka Line' in Devon.

Whatever his next venture, we wish him all the best!


Welcome to the Retirement Club Simon, i joined nine years ago and i have wondered how i have ever had time to go to work, as I am sure you will do as your better half will produce the list of jobs she has been wanting you to do for ages. Seriously though i wish you every happiness for both you and your wife in your retirement and maybe our paths will cross at some event or other one day. Good Luck you successor has a hard act to follow.

Posted by Alan Hughes on Mon 05 Jun 10:54:40

So sad to hear he's leaving you really ARE mr Hornby

Posted by Brian Grover on Sun 07 May 16:37:12

Hi Simon, From Graham ex-Kent now a long time in Staffordshire, nobody associated with the model railway hobby could not wish to thank you for the decades of dedication, enthusiasm and achievements for the hobby. Time for you to undertake your hobby’s and I wish you a long, happy and healthy retirement. Thank you a legend!!

Posted by Graham Maltby on Fri 05 May 17:34:38

Sorry to hear you're gong. You've been a great asset to Hornby and to the hobby. You're well over the retirement age so it's really well earned Wish you a long happy and healthy retirement You will be well missed

Posted by John Shepherd on Fri 05 May 14:36:08

Best wishes in your retirement, the hobby will miss you. Gardening is no substitute for railway enthusiasm!

Posted by David Broomfield on Fri 05 May 11:41:23