News from December 2023

Our News

The only work carried out here was to retrofit 25 models with Roco close couplings. We bought a pack of 50 couplings, enough for 25 items, but hadn’t realised just how much new stock we had acquired over the last three years, here in Sweden! We’ll need to buy some more. Our Piko Bo14a carriage wouldn’t accept the couplings and it seems to be due to a design fault with the Symoba coupling, which we will investigate later. It was curious, however, that some Roco models had difficulty accepting Roco coupling heads! Also, some Hobby-Trade wagons needed the ‘standard’ couplings to be cut out because there seemed no other way of getting them out!

Manufacturer News

During a conversation with MJ-Hobby/Jeco, just before the new year, it was revealed that the T23 diesel locomotive is probably only a couple of weeks away from production. (Get your wallets out…!) The Rc-series electric locomotives need a little more work yet, but ‘during the spring’ is the hopeful estimate. The railbus trailers are coming from the same source as the Rc-locos, so they will wait until the loco is in production. We also enquired about the possibility of reissuing certain models that had sold out and were fetching gross figures on the second-hand market (thus indicating interest and demand). There is an intention, but until the above models have been produced, it is agreeably unwise to make any plans or speculations as to what or when.

Frykmodell is a name associated more with N-scale, but is no stranger to H0. For both scales they are about to produce a model of a car that is both hated and loved, depending on your viewpoint: the Volvo 740 as an A-traktor! (This is probably a bit too modern for our epoch, but for anyone interested in the current scene, these are sadly, essential! There, now you know this writer’s view on them!)

Other News

Trains along the Malmbanan (Iron Ore Railway) have been suspended again following another derailment with an ore train, on December 17th. The line is not expected to reopen until the end of January! The damage is colossal, as it appears that a wagon derailed ‘partially’ at Tornehamn but didn’t bring the train completely off until 15km farther at Vassijaure. A significant part of a snow shed had to be demolished in order to recover the train, and roundly 25000 new sleepers are required to repair the line (as well as repairs to contact wires and so on) before any trains can safely run!

Behind the Scenes

Mini-Series about preparing the new Railway

Over the next few updates/months, we are going to look at the vague plans for a new railway. They have to be vague because there are many obstacles to overcome, and any could affect the final projection. Also, there is the well known saying, “Never announce your plans, there is no surer way for them to go awry!”

Mini-Series about the new railway; 1: “Projekt Jakob”

During construction of the FLMJ, a target date had been created; a date by which the Railway should be in a presentable state for the running of trains, for the enjoyment of us and our invited guests. Whilst the actual year is, in this context, irrelevant, the date was July 14th; and this, according to the Swedish Almanack, is Folke’s name-day. Getting the railway ready, became known as “Projekt Folke”.
For our new project, which has the added burden of getting the basement ready to accommodate the railway, no such date can realistically be projected. We could be very generous and look far ahead, which has the risk of losing sight of the objective. Pushing ourselves to a short timescale could risk cutting corners. Instead, we have taken the date of the opening of the original KRBJ (which, as you should know by now, is what the FLMJ emanated from), July 25th, “Jakob” on the Almanack. This year, the date falls on a Thursday, which is awkward if we did want to mark the date. Next year, however, being on a Friday during the Swedish summer holiday; could lead us to the temptation of saying that we will try to get a ‘significant part’ of the railway in operational condition by that date, for a week-long open-event the week after. Well, it’s just a thought. But we’ve adopted the name, “Projekt Jakob”. For now.
So, what does Projekt Jakob encompass? Strictly speaking, it is the construction of a Railway that will bring the spirit of the FLMJ back to life. So, to have a railway diorama (H0-scale, of course) where trains can arrive to and depart from; even if it is just between two stations, or station and ‘fiddle-yard’, that is what Projekt Jakob encompasses. Where we go from there is another story; and over the next few months/updates, we shall describe the vague plans, knowing full well that some of them may have to be changed or abandoned (rather like the originally planned narrow-gauge extension to the FLMJ).

Next Month: The Rickbacken—Töjnan Järnväg (RTJ).