In our update on 01.06.19, we welcomed the HNoll brand into production, with the reservation about the boxes not accommodating ‘close coupling’ heads. HNoll has listened (or read), and subsequent boxes have had their inner trays modified to allow for this consideration. Full marks to them for listening and responding to their customers. (Roco, take note!)
And another follow-up: in response to our question about emergency texting in the UK, a correspondent has said that technically, the functionality does exist, it is just with the politics of how the system is set up in the UK. So, at the risk of being seen as comedians, here’s how it might work… The emergency is identified, and an internal message is sent for the emergency notice to be issued. Naturally, this will be somewhere within the Civil Service, and the authorisation lies with a manager who is in a meeting. Once the manager has been consulted, form XQZ.v1 needs to be completed, but form XQZ.v1 cannot be found. So the form is ordered, and it arrives two weeks later. In the meantime, half of the population has been poisoned … but, good news for everyone else, the emergency has been lifted. So the request goes out for the follow-up text to go out, which requires form XQW.v1 to be completed … you get the picture…? It won’t happen!
The Lokstallet D-loco body and Jeco D-loco chassis were matched in January, and although a tight fit, they went together very well. We have paused in order to conduct a bit more research regarding the placement of the tail-lamp. The chassis comes with working lights, but the body is designed for no lights. Fitting lenses over the open lamp apertures (instead of the ‘plugs’) should be fairly straight-forward, but the body does not seem to have any provision for the tail lamp, and it would be a shame to waste the working lamp. It will not receive the number 597 (as mentioned last month) because loco number 597 never had a timber body, so 174 is more likely. The book on the D-loco doesn’t seem to indicate pantograph type, so further research will be required there. But the book did indicate which way round the body goes; a look at roof shews that the fittings are different along its length, and this of course has to marry-up in relation to the drive shaft.
Brekina has announced some new model cars which are especially suitable for a Swedish or other Scandinavian layout. The Volvo 66 was developed by Daf, and produced by Volvo when they took over that Dutch firm. The Volvo 343 replaced it. The Saab 92 was Saab’s first production car and a model has been available from some time by VV Modelle, and sold exclusively by the Stockholm Model Railway Club. That model is in the original green livery used for the first three years; the Brekina model has later liveries. The Saab 99 was a revolutionary car when introduced, incorporating many features ahead of its time enabling people to take the brand more seriously; the previous model, the 96 was becoming quite dated.
Here is a selection of news articles from 2019; more items can be found on the old website.
As 2019 drew to a close, we said ‘good-bye’ to our two Triang shunting locos, based on the Z65 design. The arrival of the more authentic Jeco version rendered these models surplus, and a purchaser was found from within the Scandinavian Railways Society, so at least it is nice to know they’re going to a good home.
From departures to arrivals… a body and some accessories for a ‘D’ electric loco have arrived from Lokstallet in Sweden. This, we hope, will fit (with or without some modifications) to the Jeco spare rolling chassis that we have. The essential difference from the r-t-r Jeco model is that this will be a model of the wooden-body version. Curiously, although we have etched number plates (for loco number 597), we do not have any transfers for the buffer beams, but we can sort that out later. Also, the pantographs will need to be purchased separately, and Entec will be the most likely supplier here. Entec, quite sensibly, advertise their models by the prototype that they represent (pantograph type LLXJE 135, for example) and not by locomotive types that they would have been fitted to, so we will need to dig out from storage our book on the D-loco to find which type we need!
Whilst driving through Sweden in November, an interesting SMS was received from ‘sosalarm’, thus (translated here): “Important communication to the public in Hallsberg and Kumla municipality in Örebro county. The municipal drinking water has been shown to be contaminated by bacteria. The municipal management encourages everyone to boil the water before consuming. Sampling begins immediately. For more information listen to Sweden’s Radio P4 Örebro.” Then on the return journey through that area, “Hallsberg and Kumla Municipality in Örebro County announce that the danger of unfit water is over. The requirement to boil the water is lifted and you can now drink the water just as usual.” I am not registered with any alarm system so I was quite surprised to receive these texts. But it seems that the situation was so serious that EVERY mobile within the region had to receive them. Does this facility exist within the UK?
Jeco’s new X16/X17 railbus has arrived into store without warning! It had been hinted at nearly ten years ago and then no more was heard of it. Then, in a newsletter from MJ-Hobby on November 1st, both models (X16 and X17) had become available in stock for the princely sum of SEK 3495:- each. Catching modellers out by surprise is not a particularly wise move as people’s funds could be too limited (especially in the run-up to Xmas), and nobody really had the chance to allow for it. This situation (thinking about allocating funds for it) will preclude any arriving into stock for the FLMJ or whatever replaces it (we’ll continue to say “FLMJ” until we know differently)! (The model is of course, very similar to the Y6 series of diesel railbuses. Sadly it seems the model is too much so; it doesn’t have the correct (different) window layout for the electric version!) Still with Jeco, the ‘older’ style Ma-locos, and the green TGOJ ones have arrived. The older style means original large headlamps and original door positions; there may be other subtle differences, also. The images used in advertising do shew different bodyside windows for the SJ and TGOJ versions, which is correct. Sadly, the orange TGOJ one that is wanted for the FLMJ had sold out on pre-order, so we won’t be getting one. Whilst upsetting, this is not a major loss; we would have preferred the orange livery with the later lights—as seen during Adrian’s first visit to Sweden in 1990! The brown SJ version, which is wanted by a friend of the FLMJ has been delayed due to a fault in detail where the so called ‘A’-end markers were fitted at both ends. This needs to be corrected, of course.
Two Jeco E2 models (one of each, 904 and 1333) arrived at the home of an FLMJ member, one for the FLMJ, but being retained until the FLMJ can pay for it! The urgency of the purchase is due to the “limited edition” nature of the model, and we don’t want to miss out! We are grateful for this kind offer. Both models were tested and the FLMJ one had a fault with the lighting, which has been traced to the DCC “Blanking Chip” which the supplier has now replaced. (Although it is a ‘blanking’ chip for use when not using DCC, they are not ‘standard’, different locos use different chips.) But, it runs beautifully!
Construction of the new FLMJ is unforeseeable at the moment. It could be another year to 18 months, for some of the most incredible reasons, which sadly, we cannot publish! Not yet, anyway. Consideration has been renewed in the Byxelkrok project (as hinted last month).
A second road-trip to Sweden has been completed (no photos this time, sorry), to help the emigrating friend move all their belongings. This needed to be done urgently because from December 1st a new Swedish law requires all visiting vehicles to have Winter Tyres during the period up to the end of March—this would be a problem with a British hire vehicle, so the journey was urgent. At least Adrian now has an idea of costs when his turn comes.
It has been noticed by many modellers that the new HNoll models are not very free-running; this has nothing to do with the brakes! If you have any of these models with this problem, turn the model upside down and you will see small ‘ears’ with holes in them on the bogies, these are in the way of the wheels. We have been advised, just cut them away, they are not supposed to be there.
HNoll carriages are slowly emerging, but at 995:- SEK, they’re going to be difficult to obtain whilst out of work! Adrian juggled his finances to buy the WL4 and WL6 models, but this month, the BC4 models appeared. Thankfully, a late birthday present (for the last three years) has taken care of them! Now, the R4/RB11/S12 models have been announced as likely to arrive February 2020. These have much more detailing on, so without surprise, these are a little more expensive, at 1195:- SEK! Restaurant cars are virtually non-existent in H0-scale for SJ! The FLMJ is only interested in the R4 (the RB11 and S12 are too modern). Only one brown one has been advertised (and is with the InterCity chevrons), so the solitary all-over red version might make a suitable ‘second’—if funds permit, of course!
The “Editions Atlas” ‘Rc3 1027’ arrived in June, and it was on display with the Scandinavian Railways Society’s stand at the GRS Model Railway Exhibition at Didcot a week later. It is a nicely detailed static model, very little to fault with it in terms of authenticity, but lots of detail needed gluing back on following delivery, especially bogie sides and steps. Curiously, to make the ribbed sides more noticeable, they have been painted with thin white lines, which are really unnecessary, but all livery details seem to be correctly applied, except that they have got their ‘A’ and ‘B’ ends confused! The pantographs are solid mouldings, so one is permanently raised (and not spring-loaded), the other permanently lowered. The bogies inside the dummy frames have that “could be retrofitted with Tenshodo Spuds” look, but the less said about that, the better! The wheels on the dummy bogies are RP25-ish, but they are easily accessed if NEM 311 wheels are preferred. Once retro-fitted with NEM 362 couplings (as well as exchanging wheels and pantographs), this will be a useful model for double-heading or push-pull trains. (Somewhere in the archives from 1994, there is a photo of an Rc-loco in the orange livery, but modified to denote radio control – maybe that is a future option for this model at the FLMJ.)
The first of the Hnoll coaches have arrived into the shops; none in SJ brown. Early impressions from a friend are positive, but that the boxes have not been designed so that the coaches can be put away with ‘close-couplings’ fitted into the NEM boxes, and some polystyrene will need cutting away! The models so far are of types BC4 (couchette coach), WL4 (sleeper coach with 1-2 beds and wash-room per compartment), and WL6 (sleeper coach with three beds per compartment). Of these only the BC4 was ever in the brown livery, the others being introduced to SJ after the new livery had been started. As 1990s coaches, their bodysides are slightly different to the 1980s design. With a lack of sleeper coaches for the FLMJ one WL4 and WL6 each in the original blue livery have arrived into FLMJ storage, but we’ll wait for the brown BC4 (of which we’d like two)!
The FLMJ closed at the end of the 2018 Summer timetable. All of the trains and buildings were put into safe storage soon after, as well as various other scenic effects, materials and tools. The home was vacated early November. Thus ended more than 25 years of Railway history. But given the circumstances leading to this, we are determined not to be beaten completely, and with suitable recovery and some help where it will be needed, the FLMJ will open again; somewhere else (and probably indoors). There is a sad irony that the FLMJ was officially closed on the 100th anniversary of Sweden’s worst ever railway accident (at Getå, October 1st, 1918) claiming the lives of ±42 people. There had been a landslide pulling the ground out from under the railway line; and here we have a situation where the rug has been pulled out from under our feet. But on that note, it is pleasing to recall the fact that the locomotive involved in that accident (F-class number 1200) was rebuilt and returned to service, and has been preserved in full working order. There is no reason why this cannot be true for the FLMJ also.