28 Nov BR Prototype HST
BR Prototype HST
Prototype HST gets a caution signal
Rapido visited Locomotion Shildon in January to talk projects with the Locomotionmodels.com team. We sat down together and had a detailed look at the finances of the HSDT project. Due to the drop of the value of the pound and its continuing instability, we feel that the Prototype HST model is not financially viable at present.
The project has not been cancelled, but like several mainline electrification projects in the UK it has been ‘paused’ for the time being. We know this news will be enormously disappointing, but the realities of the economic situation can’t be avoided. Stay tuned to future newsletters for more information about this project.
Following the exclusive APT-E trainset and Stirling Single locomotive, Rapido Trains Inc. and Locomotion Models are excited to reveal a new partnership to produce the ground-breaking Prototype HST (HST-E) Power Cars in 4mm scale/OO gauge as part of the ‘National Collection in Miniature’ series.
The forerunner of the iconic Inter-City 125 HST Power Cars, the distinctive grey and blue-liveried HSDT (High Speed Diesel Train) vehicles were delivered from BREL Crewe in June 1972 and quickly proved the HST concept which went on to revolutionise passenger services across the UK from 1976 onwards.
Two power cars were built and the pair were originally classified Class 41 on TOPS with the numbers 41001 and 41002. They were each fitted with a 12-cylinder 2,250hp Paxman ‘Valenta’ 12RP200L with Brush electrical equipment. Each HST-E vehicle weighed just 70-tonnes allowing regular 125 mph running without damage to the track.
Designed to run in fixed formations of a pair of Class 41s sandwiching the then brand new Mk.3 coaches, the entire trainsets were designated as Diesel-Electric Multiple Units in 1974 with new Class 252 set number 252001. At the same time, the two power cars were renumbered W43000 and W43001.
After HST development was completed in 1977, the two prototype power cars were taken on by the Mechanical & Electrical Engineering department (M&EE), principally for hauling APT-P test trains. They were renumbered ADB 975812 and ADB 975813 and gained large yellow cab ends.
By the mid-1980s the pair were stored at Derby Locomotive Works. No. 41001/43000 was claimed by the National Railway Museum in 1985. Sadly its sister, No. 41002/43001, was scrapped by CF Booth, Rotherham, in November 1990.
After 25 years at the NRM York, the museum joined forces with the 125 Group to launch ‘Project Miller’, after T.C.B Miller, the designer of the HST concept. The 125 Group took the power car on loan in 2011 and returned it to working condition with a production Paxman engine acquired from the MTU re-engineering programme.
No. 41001 was successfully fired up in 2013 and the following year it moved under its own power for the first time in three decades. It hauled its first public passenger train in preservation at the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) in May 2015.
For Rapido and Locomotion Models, the Prototype HST was an obvious follow-on from the APT-E project. With the iconic gas turbine trainset now in production both companies considered the NEC Warley National Model Railway Exhibition to be the perfect platform for the HST-E launch.
The model will be produced in 4mm scale/OO gauge and will be available exclusively from Locomotionmodels.com. Rapido will undertake a 3D scan of No. 41001 early next year and all stages of the models development will be communicated via regular website updates and the modelling press.
Further details of the train-pack configuration, liveries/numbers, retail price and delivery date will be provided in the future. Potential customers are advised to sign up to Rapido’s regular British newsletter and the Locomotionmodels.com newsletter to keep up with news of this exciting project.
When asked about the plans to produce the Prototype HST, Brian Greenwood, Chairman of the Locomotion Management Board said, “When we first sat down with the team from Rapido to discuss the introduction of the APT-E we all agreed that once the production of the APT-E had started we should move straight into the development of the Class 41 HST-E. To us all sitting around the table it was obvious that one iconic train should follow the other and I am pleased that at last we can announce Phase 2 of our plans.”
Bill Schneider, Project Development Manager added, “Producing the APT-E for Locomotionmodels.com presented us with some special challenges which we were more than capable of overcoming. As for the HST-E, this unit is a natural progression and we are most definitely excited about what we can build in to what we know will be an amazing model.”