Vintage Hornby HST Conversion

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      Patrick Hunt

        Somewhat amazed at the cost of the new Hornby HST, and even previously owned ones, I decided to see what the art of the possible was with the original 3 pole Ringfield motor fitted 1980s Hornby HST. The conversion requirements were, ability to pull a rake of 7 Mk 3 carriages and the dummy power car, improved running lights, EM gauge and DCC Sound in both cars. At first, a CD motor conversion with Ultrascale wheel was considered but that upgrade might not be enough to handle the load. In the end, the solution arrived at was to fit the motor drive and bogies from the latest HST model to the old HST chassis.

        Surprisingly, very few modifications to the chassis and body shell are required and the new motor and bogies can be acquired for around £50. The wheels on the new bogies are RP25/110 compliant and simply swapping the 2mm axles for those available from the EMGS stores for the power bogie and slight modifications to the unpowered bogie were all that was required. The disc callipers on all the bogies are lightly glued in place, as are the rail guards, and these are removed, new holes drilled and the parts refitted.

        Both powered and unpowered cars are fitted with Hornby TTS Decoders (Valenta) and MegaBass speakers. Additional circuits are also fitted to allow adjustment of running and cab light brilliance. Separate red and white running lights are fitted. Hornby TTS decoders only allows basic consist, i.e. both decoders have the same address, but adjustment of the individual sound CVs in the dummy car prevent the horn and other sounds emanating from both cars.

        Having found the solutions on the first conversion, I will document a second conversion for upload to the EMGS. All in, including buying a non running vintage Hornby HST set in cosmetically good condition, the cost was around £160 before selling on the old serviced powered and unpowered bogies. A little skill of hand (cutting, filing & drilling) is required but no special tools.

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