News from April 2023

Our News

It’s been a low-activity month, again. We won’t bore you with the saga of finding a suitable home for the Railway, because it is just about buildings. But this has taken up a lot of time recently. Desperate to do some model-related activity, it was decided to open some of the housing kits, paint matt black on the insides to block interior lighting from shining through the plastic; and then fit things such as windows and doors. Stopping at this point means that the kits can be put back in their boxes, for assembly once in situ in the eventual location. But we can also use a very low-tack adhesive if we want to put them together for photography or other reasons! During this month, we also took advantage of some good prices on Joswood laser-cut kits, and two have been purchased, ready for the same treatment.
We started with the Heljan model of Åmål, as used at Lövhöjden. Our existing model is quite badly weather-damaged, so having found an unbuilt kit on Tradera (the Swedish ‘eBay’) some time ago, we decided that it would be good to replace it. In addition to the insides of the walls and rooves, we painted the gutters and downpipes, chimney tops (and insides), and small details on the main base plate.
Looking further ahead, we are intending to not use the printed paper curtains, because the interior lighting shines through the curtains but not the space in-between. Instead, we intend to fit home-made interior walls, basic interior details suitably painted, and have a more authentic appearance. Quite how well this goes will be determined as we do it!

Manufacturer News

HNoll continues to keep modellers up to date with developments, and despite all the problems being experienced, Rickard remains up-beat, which is good to know. The problems are of course, the delays in China due to Covid; and an enormous hike in interest rates and utility prices, affecting people’s ability to buy the models, and subsequently HNoll’s ability to produce the next round of models.
a) The B4/BF4/BF7 are expected late summer.
b) The remainder of the A7/B7 and the Special carriages are expected soon after.
c) The A11/B11 would be next, but currently there is not enough revenue from existing models to pay for their production. HNoll fears that people will give up waiting and retain their Roco models, but once HNoll’s superior quality is appreciated, we think that most modellers will choose to change them.
d) First Generation A7/B7 and the BFS9 are on the drawing board / CAD.
e) Other than a mention of the B2/B10, there is, wisely, no further development schedule.
(As a point of interest, we are hoping for the following models; A7 (first series), B7 (first series), B2, B4 and UAF7, all in brown, two of each except the UAF7 (one). If HNoll were to produce the R4 in brown without the InterCity chevrons, one of those would also be nice.)
There are however, mentions of other, non-1980s carriages; either to accompany the proposed ‘InterCity’ concept train or as requested by modellers. These are the 1940s/1970s BC2 couchette carriage, 1960s R1 catering carriage, and 1960s WL1 sleeping carriage. All of these would suit the FLMJ very well. They would be pricier than existing models because they have very few design details that can carry over to/from other models! (Neither the R1 nor WL1 are in NMJ’s 1960s carriages range.)
HNoll still plans to produce a top-of-the-range Ma-loco, despite Jeco’s existing model; and we fear that this would end up in the Brimalm pricing category and attract so few buyers, that it would not be a wise investment. (Why not build an acceptable model of the Mg-loco; that would be much more useful and popular?) And on top of this, HNoll wants to produce the X10 unit and all of its derivatives. Fair enough; the only current models are the kits from SWB/UGJ, but with a Byggsvenskt chassis, these work fine; would the X10 attract enough buyers to be worth producing? We’d prefer the X9; never made r-t-r before, but a good representation of SJ’s rolling stock history.

Other News

We’re delighted to re-establish a link to the UK-based Scandinavian Railways Society, now that their website is back under Society control, and looking much better; tidy, readable, relevant, etc…!
We’ve also added a link to Model Train Prices on our website. Prices of models are compared between shops, including 20 in Sweden; but it is not just for Swedish models. Try it and see. As a rule of thumb, there is very little price competition between the shops for Swedish models. (Customer service says a lot, here in the Nordic territory.) Swedish models are produced in small batches to match the smaller demand than for other countries like the UK, Germany, US, and so on. Smaller quantities lead to higher prices, so there is very little margin for shops to compete, knowing that the prices have to be low enough to attract customers, but without putting themselves (or the manufacturers) out of business. Look above at the problems being experienced at HNoll, for example.

Behind the Scenes

Mini-Series around the FLMJ; E: The Stocklist

Additional to the Year Book, and with a similar cover photo, we have produced a printed Stock List every year. Its purpose was simply to catalogue all locomotives, units, carriages and wagons that we have here. Even after a computer program became more relevant, this provided a good back-up, quick and easy to read. But only one copy was ever printed, and kept on file. This has been maintained, but this year’s list (as always, correct to January 1st,) could be the last. We also have this information in other formats, formats that are more useful to us with regards to operating the railway; such as a service schedule in Excel. A simplified list is produced in Word and is taken to all events and places where there might be an opportunity to acquire desired models; its purpose is to ensure that we can avoid duplicating existing models! And this copy is sufficient for our insurers. In our previous updates, we considered the future alternative for the Year Book. It could include elements from this book; if we feel that it makes interesting reading.

Next month: the Calendar.