When we talked about the new LEGO Harry Potter sets, we mentioned that, unfortunately, the #75955 LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Express is not set up for motorization right out of the box. Some LEGO trains come with all Power Functions elements included (like the LEGO City trains we talked about previously). Some LEGO trains don’t include Power Functions, but they are designed with optional motorization in mind, with alternate instructions available in the building manual or at LEGO’s website (the #10254 LEGO Creator Holiday Train from 2016 is a good example). And some LEGO trains are just not meant to be motorized in their original form. However, since we are dealing with the highly adaptable medium of LEGO, and LEGO fans are a creative bunch, they will always find a way to motorize any LEGO train.
A couple of days ago, JANGBRiCKS released a video, demonstrating five different ways to motorize the #75955 LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Express using the old 9-volt system, Power Functions 1.0 with the regular battery box, Power Functions 1.0 with the rechargeable battery box, Power Functions 2.0 (also called Powered Up), and a LEGO Power Functions 1.0 M-motor or L-motor. You can watch the video below.
As you can see, each of the methods has some plusses and minuses. Using the 9-volt motor requires the least extra parts and modifications, however you have to have the whole 9-volt train system with metallic tracks, transformer, etc. If you are a dedicated 9-volt LEGO train fan, you should already have the parts needed, but if you are not familiar with the 9-volt system, and you don’t have any of the parts, it is not worth investing in it just for this train.
Most LEGO fans will have the LEGO Power Functions 1.0 components, as it has been around for a long time. Using this system, you will need to install the motor (under the tender is easiest), the battery box, and the IR-receiver (which communicates with the remote to turn the train on or off, and control the speed and direction). The battery box and receiver are quite large, but there are a few different ways you can hide them inside the train. This include enlarging the tender and fitting everything inside, splitting the Power Functions components between the engine, tender, and train car, or even building a separate car for the Power Functions components. All of these methods are fairly easy with some minor modifications, and JANG makes some helpful suggestions in the video.
If you have the LEGO Power Functions 1.0 rechargeable battery box, you can get away with not using the IR-receiver and the remote, but instead turning the train on and off and controlling the speed directly from the controls of the battery box. The rechargeable battery box is a good long-term investment in general, but be aware that you also need to get the 10-volt DC transformer. The transformer is unique to LEGO (you can’t just use any easily available alternative), and is expensive. However, you only need one transformer even if you have multiple rechargeable battery boxes. It’s just something to consider if you really want to get into trains. You can find Power Functions components at the LEGO Power Functions section of the Online LEGO Shop.
Another options you can use with Power Functions 1.0 is instead of using a standard train motor box that you put under the tender (or a train car), you can incorporate a regular M-motor or L-motor into the engine and, with the aid of some gears, power the back set of engine wheels. This method requires the most modification, but JANG explains in detail how to do it in the video above. This could be a good option if you don’t have a train motor, but you do have the other Power Functions 1.0 components (perhaps from a LEGO Technic set, or from the #8293 LEGO Power Functions Motor Set).
Finally, you could motorize the #75955 LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Express by using the brand new LEGO Power Functions 2.0 (Powered Up) system that is being introduced with the #60197 LEGO City Passenger Train and the #60198 LEGO City Cargo Train (available in North America in August, already available in many other countries). This system includes a train motor and battery box very similar to the previously mentioned ones. However, because the Bluetooth receiver is integrated into the battery box, you don’t have to hide that many components. The train can be operated by the redesigned remote control, or from the Powered Up app via a smartphone or tablet. The negative side of this system is that it is very new, and components are not yet available individually. So, you will have to invest in a whole other train just to power the Hogwarts Express. Please note that Power Functions 1.0 and Power Functions 2.0 components are not compatible due to the different wires and plugs. You can find the two new trains at the LEGO City section of the Online LEGO Shop.
From the different motorization options for the #75955 LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Express, probably the easiest and most realistic is going to be using the LEGO Power Functions 1.0 components. The system has been readily available in many LEGO sets through the years, and you can also purchase the components separately at the LEGO Power Functions section of the Online LEGO Shop. Also, don’t forget that you will need tracks for your powered #75955 LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Express. If you already have some LEGO train sets, you should have plenty of tracks, but if you don’t, you can get train track packs at the Online LEGO Shop.
The #75955 LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Express is definitely a great set, and the best version of the iconic train LEGO released to date. While it is perfectly fine right out of the box, if you want to make it even more awesome, I would highly recommend motorizing it. It just looks great running down the tracks and stopping at Platform 9¾. Here is the official description: Step aboard the iconic #75955 LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Express train from King’s Cross Station, featuring a railway bridge with a clock and steps leading to Platform 9¾, moving brick wall entrance, ‘Wanted’ poster and Daily Prophet newspapers, plus a train toy and carriage with 4 seats and removable side panel and roof. Order candy from the Trolley Witch, fly the Dementor into the carriage and recreate fantasy realm scenes from blockbuster Harry Potter movies. Includes 5 minifigures: Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Remus Lupin, and the Trolley Witch, plus Dementor and Scabbers figures. Platform measures over 5” (13cm) high, 12” (31cm) wide and 6” (17cm) deep. Hogwarts Express measures over 3” (9cm) high, 18” (46cm) long and 1” (5cm) wide. 801 pieces. Price: $79.99 – BUY HERE
What do you think? How do you like the new LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Express? Do you have it already? Are you planning to motorize it? Which method of motorization do you prefer? Feel free to share your thoughts and own reviews in the comment section below!
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