Motorising EFE's Horsfield Tram
+ a Vienna tram car
Review by David
Click on the
pictures to see the larger images
The picture at the top
of the page shows the "tram line up" for Halling 4-wheel unit motorised
kits - four originally un-motorised EFE Leeds Horsfield cars plus one
Vienna car fitted with the Halling unit from the start.
Quality model-maker EFE branched out into trams in 1989, producing an
accurate 4mm scale non-motored model of the 1930 Leeds "Horsfield" tram
(also known locally in Leeds as "Showboats"). The "Horsfield" was
thought to be typical of the all-enclosed traditional British
double-deck 4-wheel tram in its later years, though
and Liverpool could also have provided prototypes. In contrast, the
London "Feltham" 8-wheel tram modelled equally well in the same scale by
Corgi was a completely new design and a true 'second-generation'
tramcar, although it too was built in 1930. Ironically, during the last
years of the Leeds tramways in the 1950s, the "Horsfields" and "Felthams"
ran together and provided the service when the rest of Leeds trams had
been scrapped. The EFE Horsfield model, which is beautifully painted
with excellent advertisement transfers, comes in five forms: early blue
livery, later blue livery, final maroon livery (where it exactly matches
one of the Corgi Felthams!), wartime grey/green livery, and a white
livery for the "Road Safety Tram". Most of these variants are shown in
how the housing for the Halling unit (provided) is cemented into place
using epoxy cement in three of the Leeds cars, and simply screwed into
place on the Vienna car. (The fourth Leeds car uses a home-grown UK
white metal motorising kit, which is fixed in place the same way. But
the Halling one runs more smoothly...)
kit for motorising the Feltham is available (inc. post and packing) for
£33 (two motorised bogies) from "The Tram Man" (email:
firstname.lastname@example.org), and he
also does the
four-wheel drive unit for motorising the Horsfield for £19 (ask for the
34mm wheelbase unit with 9.5 diameter wheels). One of these fitted BEC
traction units can be seen in my photographs of the tram undersides. It
works perfectly well, but in my view the Halling unit1 has a smoother
response due to its built-in flywheels; the other three Horsfields in my
photos all have Halling units. The Halling price on their website at
www.halling.at is currently 30
euro + 5 euro post/packing, which is in total about
£23.50. Like BEC, there is a range of wheelbases available, and what you
need is the 34mm wheelbase ("34 mm achsstand" in German) unit which is
labelled as being for the Vienna KSW tram under reference 2001002-A. The
website gives you good pictures of all the units, but the text tends to
be only in German. There is a direct on-line ordering facility with the
usual "shopping trolley" system, that takes UK credit / debit cards.
the EFE Leeds tram has been described in detail already by David Voice
in 'Tramfare', but briefly it is: (1) drill out retaining rivets holding
in the old un-motorised 4-wheel unit. (2) cut away outline of new
motorising unit in plastic chassis. (3) fit housing of new motorising
unit into plastic chassis using epoxy adhesive or anything else suitably
tough. (4) screw new motorising unit into housing. (5) - this is the
cunning bit - re-attach upper saloon and lower-deck window moulding
using platform handrails only, with epoxy or cement below the steps
where it's not very visible, (Seriously, this works.)
Finally, how to get the Halling traction unit into the Horsfield body.
This is less easy than motorising the Feltham, though not horribly
difficult. Two internal vertical rods hold upper deck, lower deck and
chassis in place. The first thing is to drill out the two plastic discs
in the chassis that lock these rods in place. The tram will then fall
apart - you will note that the lower-deck roof/ windows and lower deck
body sides / chassis are two separate components (unusual!). If the door
handrails fall out, do not lose them (see below as to why!). Cut the
vertical rods at a point just below the lower-deck roof, and cement
these into this roof. You will now have the top two-thirds of the tram
assembled. Now cut out the aperture for the Halling unit in the chassis.
Fit Halling unit carefully with cement at either end, ensuring that it
is level (exactly the same technique is used for fitting the BEC unit,
by the way.)
another German HO tram with an earlier motorised mechanism for
comparison: ok, but not as good as Halling.
You will now have the top two-thirds of the tram in one hand, and the
bottom one-third in the other (henceforth referred to as "halves"), with
no visible means of joining them together except to cement all along the
body sides, which is not a good idea (even if done skilfully) as it will
harm the model's otherwise superb paint finish. Do not despair. The
Horsfield comes with strong steel handrails in the doorway at either
end; as built they are a sliding fit into the door step (otherwise you
could never have dismantled the tram in the first place), and the step
itself is a strong casting. The solution is to carefully re-unite the
top and bottom "halves", ensuring the handrail fits into the door step,
and then cement the handrail into the doorstep at either end of the
tram, and also cement where it fits in the lower-deck roof if necessary.
This effectively locks the top and bottom "halves" together, and where
the cement is visually unobtrusive and easy to put a bit of paint on if
you need to. I didn't.
This may all sound a bit Heath-Robinson, but the result is a
beautifully-modelled 4mm tram with a really excellent traction unit, for
The copyright of all the photos in
this review remain with David Orchard.
HERE for the technical bulletin
released by Halling regarding their various 4-wheel traction units -
opens as a PDF file.
The opinions offered in the reviews
on this page remain those of the authors,
and do not necessarily represent the of views of The Model Bus Website.