December 2020 News

Z69 659: The classification Z69 applied to an eclectic collection of shunting tractors, so we have used this classification to apply to the Roco model said to be a Z66 (which it certainly isn’t).  As with the R5 catering carriage, this loco is being used to fill a gap, an alternative shunting loco to the Z65/Z70.  It was purchased, second-hand, during December.  Roco produced the model back in the 1980s and it was only available in a train set as Z66 000.

F 1207: The new motor arrived on December 1st, having been held up in the UK’s mail system (the shop had wasted no time sending it out).  Then, a chance meeting with a friend and a trip out to a model shop procured some better wire for the loco… and a new whistle (the home made spring-loaded one didn’t work out)!  The new motor was fitted on the 7th.  We started by soldering on two long cables, and connecting them directly to a controller, which proved the motor worked OK.  Then, using a modellers’ power tool, we cut away the spindle protruding at the ‘contact’ end because it isn’t needed and is in the way.  Next job was to gently hammer on the flywheel, leaving exactly 4mm spindle exposed between it and the motor casing.  Then it all dropped into its correct place, nicely lined up and secure.  The wires were then connected directly to the controller again, and with only slight power, the loco crept forward and then back.  Smooth performance such that we had never seen before with this model!  Satisfied this far, the next job was to put it all back together, and then “Heljan Syndrome” kicked in; an electrical contact further forward broke and despite our best efforts we did now have to separate loco and tender again (a job which also risks electrical breakage)!  But, this all done and by the end of the day, the loco was in running order (pending proper running in), more smoothly than it had ever run before.  On the following day, we refitted the steam pipe that broke away during the day, and the new whistle.  Job Done!  (The new whistle, by the way, is not a genuine article because Heljan doesn’t supply them; so we’ve fitted the nearest alternative; a 4mm scale Markits LNER ‘Pacific’ whistle.)  An irritation for solving later is the lighting; it comes on correctly at the front of the direction of travel, but it also comes on at half brightness at the rear of the direction of travel; probably a back-EMF issue.

N 1304: A Jeco/DJH kit for the N loco has arrived, and having worked extensively on the F 1207, we’re reasonably confident of being able to build it.  The kit is a mixture of etched metal and cast metal, and it seems that it only needs paint to be able to complete it.  We are, however, also purchasing replacement numbers; 1304 has not been preserved and is therefore less likely to duplicate any visitors to the new railway!  (The other available numbers are 576 (Ängelholm), 641 (Gävle), and 1173 (Stockholms Ånglokssällskap).)  We brought six paints from the UK; unfortunately one of them leaked on the way!

For ore train shunting, eight eight-coupled (D / 0-8-0T) tank locomotives were procured for the Ore Line in 1900.  However, it was quickly found that the locomotive type was also suitable for heavy shunting on southern and central Swedish railway yards and until 1920 the number was increased to a total of 64 locomotives.  However, it was appropriate to also supply shunting locomotives with superheaters and in 1922-32 superheating was introduced in 44 of the locomotives which received new identity Na.  Other locomotives were scrapped or sold in the years 1925-37 to GDJ, TGOJ, JLJ, HHJ, SSJ and NBsJ, including N 578, 641, 645 and 1167 which returned with the nationalization of Gävle – Dala Järnväg in 1948, which were then also superheated.  From 1942, the locomotive type was again called N at SJ, when all locomotives (including the nationalised ones) were now superheated locomotives and equal.  The N locomotives became popular and indispensable shunting locomotives at railway yards and in ports around the country until the end of the steam locomotive operation. They were set aside as standby locomotives, but were not scrapped until 1973.  Most were scrapped, but a handful remain as museum locomotives.

We made a start late December by fitting a securing nut to the chassis!  Then work stopped whilst we investigated the kit because a problem had been identified.  One of the bell cranks (comprising lifting arm and reversing arm) was missing.  Even though the drawings indicated that there should be two, the etched sheet had only one.  So, we improvised; the supplied one went on the side of the reversing rod, and a lift arm was made for the other side from brass off-cut!  These were fitted in place, and then the housing for them fitted also; but work stopped here due to the need to paint some parts before proceeding, and we had no brush-cleaner/thinner to hand!  After the Christmas break (with shops closed), the thinner arrived and we were able to continue.  The parts painted at this early stage are ones that would be difficult to get at once the model has been built; boiler sides and adjacent tanks sides, and chassis area under the boiler.

B5FKRT 5017: Although the 1990s liveries are really too modern for the bulk of our stock, the first of the blue/black livery was being introduced at about the time that our epoch ends.  This second class coach joined the fleet in December, and allows us greater flexibility with train formations.

Fv1 (ex-F5-L) 25786: Our first plain SJ-brown Fv1 arrived in December, at last.  This is a Heljan model and we have all three of their ‘special’ livery versions already (TGOJ green, Pressbyrån brown, and SJ service grey), so this is an especially welcome addition!  It needs one buffer repaired/replaced, and a box, but it is otherwise in good condition.

FM4 55420: The freelance baggage carriage was finally put together in December.  It was decided to add a plough to the end under the cab, so a Roco yellow plough (which was certainly surplus) was repainted red and fitted to the bogie.  We had overlooked the need for the buffers, and although we had plenty available, we only had two stocks available, so we had to improvise at the cab end—and it looks OK.  We also found some Rc-loco mirrors to add as a last minute idea, so these will be painted later, along with any other snagging that might be needed.

(NOJ) Gs 761: There was an issue with the coupling height with this retrofitted wagon, and we found that the actual height was correct, but the ‘stalk’ was not 90° from the horizontal, so the coupling was pointing down.  This has all now been corrected (with a bit of packing), and is fit for service.

Tekla: Following the disappointing completion of this model (see last month’s news), a box has been made and it has been put away.  Maybe one day in the future, we’ll build a better-proportioned one from scratch.

Manufacturer News

HNoll: Unfortunately, there was not time to produce the proposed carriages (A7 etc, B7 etc, R4R etc,) before Christmas.  There were simply too many carriages and other customers in line.  There is a belief that they can deliver before the Chinese New Year, which means delivery in February, but don’t hold your breath.

Jeco: The X2000 is to be reissued as a four-car set, both SJ liveries and in AC and DC varieties.  A second set would be welcome here (but our funds may preclude it)!