A set of six Märklin ‘Mas’ iron ore wagons has arrived (albeit fitted with DC insulated wheelsets). They have six-digit numbers instead of the five-digit numbers as carried on the Roco versions. This means that they are models of the newly built wagons from the 1950s, not the rebuilt 1908 ones from then. More about these farther down…
Desperate for the whaff of a steam locomotive, a trip was arranged to the Locoshed open day at Krylbo on 30 April, and B class 1324 could be smelt from the car park! Mission accomplished! But, this was also a good chance to have a look around as much of the shed as was open, buy a couple of items from traders, including the ‘SLM’ from 1973, and be in a proper railway environment again!
We have some news from Dekas. A shutdown has been introduced in DongGuan in southern China, to limit the spread of Covid infection. This is where their factory is located. Unfortunately, this means that the factory has been closed indefinitely. This applies not only to Dekas’ own products, but also to their OEM customers (McK, HNoll, ExactTrain, ASM and Lemke/HobbyTrain). This news reinforces the updates from HNoll.
On a brighter note, PCX87 is understood to be preparing a model in H0-scale of the Volvo 343 from 1976. This is an often overlooked car because it was always in the shadow of the 244/245 cars from that epoch, and we are delighted that PCX87 is to fill that gap. The model will be available thus: 870300 yellow, 870301 green, 870302 silver, 870303 red (and a limited edition ‘light blue metallic’ version exclusive to Model Car World in Germany).
Spårvägsmuseet opens at its new location, Gasverkstorget 1, (short bus ride from Ropsten,) on 21st May. The old site at Sofia closed a few years ago, and its reopening is a much anticipated event. (With the model railway exhibition on this day at Mölndal being cancelled, our weekend has been saved!)
This website … we have uploaded an extra 12 pictures into the category, “Rebuilt FLMJ (2016+)” on our photos page, only one of which already appears elsewhere on the site!
A brief history of the Iron Ore wagons
We hinted last month at a review of the Iron Ore wagons. It has not been possible to fully identify every type that has run, but we have been able to create a summary (here) which will become a much fuller article on this website, soon. With the models, we refer to ‘ready to run’ (r-t-r).
The story starts in 1886, with 375 type ‘Maä’ wagons built in England. When the firm went bankrupt in 1894, the Swedes built 295 more of the same wagon, but labelled it ‘Mam’. Both versions later became type ‘M1’. Many were later transferred to the TGOJ for their Iron Ore railway between Grängesberg and Oxelösund.
A new version was designed in Sweden with 75 prototypes in 1900. These were followed by 454 slightly modified versions in 1902, 255 further modified versions in 1903, and then 2730 of the penultimate design in 1908. These were all labelled ‘M2’, and would later become ‘Mas’, then ‘Ud’, and finally ‘Foo’/‘Foo-x’.
In 1950, another new version appeared (and many older 1908 wagons were rebuilt to a similar body design). These 1740 wagons were labelled ‘Mas’ from new, then ‘Ud’, and finally ‘Foo’/‘Foo-x’. Some of these wagons are referred to as the 1952 version; put simply, the 1950 version was built in Sweden, the 1952 version in Belgium and Germany.
In 1956, a few design experiments led to the construction of 11 prototype ‘Mar’ wagons, but the results were not encouraging, and the project was abandoned as a favourable 4-axle bogie design was identified!
In 1965, 199 4-axle bogie wagons type ‘Mb65’ were introduced, but still, they were not satisfactory. They remained in service, not entirely on Ore duties, and were substantially modified. Thus, relabelled to ‘Uad65’ or more correctly, ‘Uads’, they became eventually ‘Faoos’/‘Faoos-x’ and ‘Faoos-t’/‘Faoos-tx’.
Quite urgently, a modified ‘Uads’ was required, and the 1968 wagon was the answer, built in 732 samples. These became ‘Uad’ and later ‘Faoo’. Then, in 1970, 808 wagons of a modified version for the carriage of Iron Ore ‘pellets’ were introduced. These were ‘Uadp’, and later ‘Faoo-x’.
The desire for heavier trains carrying more cargo led to the ‘Uno’ wagon from South Africa. Only 68 wagons of this type were delivered in 2000, as they could not cope with the arctic winter conditions, so the balance of the order was cancelled.
To cope with this failure, and the need to move more cargo, 110 wagons based on the ‘Uad’/‘Uadp’ design were built from 2005. They were quite visibly different, and labelled ‘Uadk’.
Eventually, a Swedish designed and built wagon appeared. This wagon was built in two styles, and operates in 1000+ pairs as a master and slave. Individually, they are both type ‘Fanoo’, but the pair is ‘Fammoorr’! Interestingly, as single wagons, the ‘Fanoo’ is used a little farther south, in Norway between the Kvannevann mine and pit, and the port in Mo I Rana.
Finally, the ‘Fammrr’ is a pair of wagons operated (150 pairs) by another company (not LKAB) between a transhipment site at Pitkärärvi to Narvik. The mine is actually at Pajala, and especially modified lorries ply the route between the mine and the transhipment site! This wagon does not have bottom discharge, and is known as a ‘Helix Dumper’, with the body rotating 148 degrees on its chassis!
- The ‘M2’/‘Mas’ in original condition has been modelled by NMJ and sold in packs of four, with mostly different running numbers.
- The ‘Mas’ in rebuilt condition (after the arrival of the new 1950s version) has been modelled by Roco and sold in packs of four, with different running numbers.
- (NMJ and Roco collaborated on this project to produce the models with the same chassis.)
- The ‘Mas’ as the 1950 new production has been modelled by Märklin (with a 2-rail compatible version marketed by Trix,) and sold in packs of six, with different running numbers.
- The new and the rebuilt 1950s wagons can be distinguished by 6-digit running numbers on the new and 5 on the rebuilt!
- The ‘Uad’/‘Uadp’ has been modelled by Roco and sold in packs of four, with mostly different running numbers. Some packs have four ‘Uad’, some have four ‘Uadp’, some have a mixture.
- There is also a solitary ‘Uad’ wagon with a grossly overscale working tail lamp!
- The ‘Fammoorr’ has been modelled by Roco and sold in packs of two pairs (four ‘Fanoo’ wagons).
We are still researching these wagons and are curious to know more about the following:
- Roco’s ‘Uad’ has a reinforced top, but photos and images shew versions with slightly rounded tops also. Reference to Mb79 106759 as a photo on the internet should illustrate what we mean. How many of these were there and where do they fit in? Did they have UIC numbers, eventually? They are also seen in LEG’s program about the Dm3.
- More information on the ‘Uads’ which seems to be very different to the Mb79 mentioned above.
- Two versions of the Uadp are known; one with a flat top (as depicted on the Roco model), and one with a bowed top (as depicted on one of UGJ’s kits); and both seen in the aforementioned LEG program! Were they modified at random, or were a number built in this way?
- We also need some photos that we may use to accompany the article!
Behind the Scenes
Mini-Series about the FLMJ, 5: Train Formations
The FLMJ had an intensive passenger train schedule, but the goods trains were more for show whilst we were still developing the railway with facilities for them. There would be goods facilities at Gärde, Fjällnäs, Industriområdet and Jonshamn; the latter two reached only by diesel-hauled trains, often by shunters picking wagons out from an electric-hauled train at Lövhöjden, as described in an earlier review! In fact, the loco-shed at Lövhöjden was ‘home’ to shunting diesel locos of classes Z65 and Z70! See one of the photos in the meta-slider on our homepage! We were starting to get a good schedule going when closure brought everything to an abrupt halt. But we had enough of a start to be able to pick up on it whenever we get going again.
Passenger trains were easier to develop given that many of our members had travelled as passengers on the Swedish railways! With this experience, we created a schedule for InterCity, InterRegio, Local, and Night (sleeper) trains. All trains (except ‘night’) operated on a two-hourly interval, and considering that the InterCity trains would have come from a long distance, they were changed for each service each day! The local trains would come onto the layout from the shadow station, and stay there until the evening; shuttling between the various locations that they served. Naturally, we were limited to the models that were available (which largely influenced our eventual Epoch decision—but that’s for another time), and any new set up will see a few changes.
Our InterCity trains comprised four carriages, one of which would have first class seating. But there were no catering carriages, because none were available as models. Since then, both 1960s and 1980s rakes have had new models procured, and the trains can be five carriages long (RB1 catering carriage in the 1960s rakes, and R4R in the 1980s rake). Even our 1940s set now has the B3S for catering! With new 1980s models arriving from HNoll, we are looking at acquiring a second 1980s rake, and making them both seven carriages long! The X2000 also falls into the InterCity category of course, and that is a fixed ‘unit’ formation.
InterRegio trains comprised three carriages, one of which had composite seating (areas for first and second class). There was no need for catering carriages, and there seems no need to change these rakes. Our two main rakes comprise 1960s carriages (types ‘AB3’+‘B1’+‘B5’), but there are others, including the TGOJ 1940s rake and a 1960s rake in 1990s livery!
Local trains would normally consist of Y6 generation railbuses; but in any new set-up, we have the Y1/YF1, and soon the Dekas Y2 unit should arrive. These are all diesel units of course, but we have a new chassis to put under our X10 electric unit, so soon that will be just as reliable and useable. There were and remain also, some loco hauled local trains, one with the AB4 and BF2 carriages, and one with a set of B6 carriages, for example; but not forgetting the heritage 2-axle models!
Night/Sleeper trains will have changed dramatically since the old FLMJ closed. Then, we had a primary set comprising our two Lima sleeper carriages, Lima restaurant carriage, an often-changed seating carriage, and a Lima baggage carriage. The UGJ couchette carriages were usually run with our international carriages from Russia and Norway, but this ‘second’ set’ had no fixed formation. With the arrival of HNoll’s 1980s carriages, this has changed. A Roco B7 has replaced the often-changing seating carriage, and the baggage carriage has been replaced by three HNoll BC4 couchette carriages. The second set comprises the three UGJ BC1 couchette carriages, a HNoll R4R catering carriage, Roco B7, and two HNoll sleepers, types WL4 and WL6. (We purchased only one of each sleeper carriage because they were never brown, and we don’t want too many things in the 1990s livery!) The R4R could be changed to an R4 if HNoll does develop this. The Norwegian and Russian carriages (and a German seating carriage) are now reserved for special duties.
Special mention should be made of our 1930s rake of carriages, which don’t ‘fit’ into any of the above categories; but they have a special niche in Heritage trains. The rake is four carriages long, plus a 2-axle goods carriage. There is a small area for first class seating in one of the carriages, and there is a catering carriage.
Everything had its place in the timetable. This made the operation of the railway easier, and more organised. The timetable allowed time for getting models out of their boxes and putting them away (as Ålunden had only four tracks); and deliberate brief periods of absolute inactivity were timed perfectly for Fika and Lunch breaks!
Next month we’ll look at how it all worked; without getting too technical!