News from December 2022

Happy New Year!

Our News

A suitable weekend was found in which to renumber the duplicate grey ballast wagon; a job that went reasonably well. However, placing the wagon (and it’s ‘mate’ – a pack of two wagons) on the track revealed a dark irritation in the form of a short circuit! Both wagons, like the ore wagons mentioned last month, had ac wheel-sets and needed changing. Fortunately, the odd-one-out with the ore wagons had dc wheel-sets already so we had a head start (spare sets) and were able to change them on one wagon immediately; but the other has to wait until we can buy some more. We seem to be slowly collecting useless ac wheel-sets!

During December, we conducted a review of coupling types on the FLMJ’s rolling stock, and decided that the present system needed updating and some coupling types removed; others added. We will continue to use Roco close couplings for the majority of stock, despite their weak points. Both Fleischmann and Piko close couplings are more robust than Roco, but they have poor availability. Nevertheless, some trains are likely to be fitted with them (fixed rakes, for example; see below). We no longer need to identify H0 standard couplings fitted to chassis (as we now use Roco/Symoba conversion kits), or British pattern 00 couplings, or a few others; so these will go. We have decided, however, to retrofit the Dm3 loco and all Uad/Uadp wagons with Roco’s imitation SA3 coupling, and to phase out Kadee because that is too dependent on service and maintenance to be reliable (two Mas are out of service presently for this reason). The Dm loco and Mas wagons would not have SA3 couplings so they will probably be changed to Piko (or Roco). We are also considering experimentation with NEM mounted Scharfenberg couplings for the unit trains (X10, Y1/YF1, Y6/Y7, etc).

Manufacturer News

HNoll is a little more upbeat now that carriages have finally arrived from China, some 24 months behind schedule. With horrendously rising utility costs in Sweden, it is not certain if people will still be able to afford them, but we hold our thumbs for a good result (and therefore more models). As we understand it the A7, A8 and B7 models have arrived, but not the A11 or B11 due to a fault in manufacturing (mainly wrong colour). We will be collecting the FLMJ’s order during January.

Last month, we mentioned that MJ-Hobby had some interesting new trailers to go with the Y6-series railbuses on display. We now know that they are types UBF7Z and UDFo15 and there will be three different numbers offered with each type, and there will be dc and ac versions. The UBF7Z is a driving trailer, with second-class seating and cargo space, adapted for running with X16/X17, and of which there were 31. They were previously type UBFo7ye. The UDFo15 was a non-driving trailer for mail and luggage, for running with diesel or electric units, and of which there were 25. None survived late enough to receive the later type designation (which would have probably been UDF15). They are not quite the same as the UDF20 (UDFo20) nor UF (UFo6); see our article on this website for more information [General Articles > Dateboxes (The Y6 Railbus)].

Other News

A little heads-up for Bachmann UK (from whom there are no Swedish models), for their very quick and informative response to our enquiry about a pack of buffers that they produce (we were needing to know the dimensions). These are suitable for replacing the glued-on-over-studs buffers fitted to the T21 diesels, which protrude too much! Bachmann responded in fewer than 24 hours!

Recently, we had the opportunity to speak with a representative from Dekas, and in praising them for the quality of their ‘Ugkkpp’ wagons especially, we asked if they would accept feedback in the form of constructive criticism, which they would. We commented on all four of these wagons having incorrect UIC control digits. In reply, it was thought that the wagons imitated some in photographs, but Dekas would investigate. (They are fully aware of how the system works.) So, we have wondered if the wagons could be incorrectly marked in 1:1 scale? For example; the first two digits are changed from time to time (not sure why), and maybe the check digit was overlooked in the process? Human error which raises the question of how effective the whole point of having the check digit really is! The digit exists to prevent human error, but if the error is there to start with…

Behind the Scenes

Mini-Series around the FLMJ
Over the next few updates/months, we are going to look at how the FLMJ was promoted, with a special look at the publications that have been produced over the years.

Mini-Series around the FLMJ; A: The beginning
For many years before the Railway existed, there had been other railways, the two most significant ones being the 00-gauge Grove Central Railway and the 00-9/H0e gauge Herpham and District (Light) Railway. Being brought up in a house where an old manual typewriter and Rex–Rotary duplicator were in frequent use, an interest in producing documentation of some sort was naturally kindled. Further to this, was the connection with the Great Cockcrow Railway, and therefore its owner, Ian Allan, a well known transport book publisher. Imitating IA’s so-called ‘ABC’ range of stock lists, one was produced for the Grove Central Railway in 1979. Then came a news book, and eventually, the regular “Grove Rail News” journal; produced in bound magazine format. For many years, stencils were ‘cut’ for the duplicator before the advent of widespread photocopying; but still started on a typewriter, admittedly now, an electric ‘golf-ball’ one! Progression to a so-called ‘daisy-wheel’ typewriter was ruled out because there was not enough torque to ‘cut’ the letters into the stencils!

By the time that the KRBJ was started, a typewriter and photocopier were the tools of the trade. Photocopying was with black ink only, and whilst the option of colour laser printing was desirable, the poor quality of the images (at that time) didn’t justify the extortionate expense. We were quite late at getting into the computer era; but when we did, the so-called “Publisher” program seemed to enable us to create small miracles, and was found to be more adaptable and flexible than the more common “Word” program. Third Party programs were also tried, but the ready-installed version shone through and is still used to this day, even if physical printing has all but disappeared. (The current updates are produced in “Publisher”, and are available as PDF prints, or uploaded by ‘copy-and-paste’ to the website.)

Considering the role of ‘Adnalms Förening (Järnvägar)’ (the name that we use for our printed publishing), in relation to everything connected with the FLMJ, we will spend the next few months looking at our journals, printed and otherwise, online presence, and various other means of communicating with you, people who are interested in our development and progression. Naturally, with the closure of our main asset, the FLMJ, big changes have become apparent; but maybe it was time for some of these changes to happen anyway? It will be seen, that we are thinking about a new format to take us forward, but quite how we create and present that format, is still being considered.

Next month: the journal that found its way around the world!