News from January 2022

Our News

A lucky opportunity saw the purchase of a copy of the model that we have used at Lövhöjden station, Heljan’s model of Åmål station building. It is a good representation and very typically Swedish, but our model was very weather-beaten, and we had wanted to replace it for some time. Done!

We have also used our spare time without a railway for research, and will clarify an irritation with certain wagons. We purchased a ‘Kbps’ last year, thinking it was the ‘missing one’, but in fact we had recorded one with a completely wrong number onto our database with the correct number as it should have been, with the intention that we would correct it later on. So, the duplicate will either be sold or renumbered completely. NMJ’s ‘Kbps’ wagons have either 335 or 370 as the fifth to seventh digits. 370 is completely wrong, it applies to the ‘Os’ wagon. Interestingly, the latest wagon has the usual incorrect UIC control check digit, but it would have been correct if NMJ had printed 335 instead of 370; so arguably it has the correct control digit, just a wrong wagon type number! Our duplicate wagon is article 602.107, but the one that we need is 602.106, which the advertising suggests also has the incorrect 370! It does seem a shame that after all the effort that NMJ went to, to produce these wagons, they failed at the last hurdle, in not getting the number right! (We have made a list of 24 of our wagons with incorrect control digits, and 15 of them — yes, more than half — are NMJ!)

Manufacturer News

HNoll is increasingly frustrated with the Chinese production lines. It seems now that the A7/B7 carriages will not be produced before the Chinese New Year, and with the delivery schedules as they are, we may not see them this side of midsummer! As for the B4/BF4, photos of a prototype model have circulated on social media, but it would be foolish to make any estimates for a date to arrive into the shops! We certainly appreciate HNoll keeping us informed; we have quite a few on order, not just for the FLMJ, but for friends, also!

This is the time of year when there is a bit of a frenzy of announcements of newly proposed models. Here are the ones that we know about — obviously many of these new items are too modern for the FLMJ, but we thought maybe some of our readers would like to know about them!

  • An Rc4 in SJ blue with Green Cargo branding is proposed from Roco (a revised livery on a standard product).
  • A black liveried Rc6 is proposed from Märklin/Trix as a completely new model, digital, metal, and even gets heated mirrors!
  • The BR 185.2 is to come from two manufacturers, but different in detail. From Piko, it will be DB-AG red livery but branded for “Green Cargo”; and from Roco it will be in Green Cargo’s green livery (the 185.2 is the same as the ‘Re’, a TRAXX loco).
  • The Hector Rail G6 diesel loco (a very modern looking V5, in essence) is to be produced by Piko. As with many modern diesels, it is a standard European design, so it is easier (and cheaper) for the model manufacturer to produce than before.
  • A replacement motor for the NMJ Y1 and YF1 has been announced, using the Faulhaber 1624 with specially made flywheel, and a new engine mount from Winterzone. Construction description in Swedish is included. We are unsure of the producer of this ‘kit’ but hope to know more, soon.
  • Sadly, in order to give Märklin’s black Rc6 a train to pull, Märklin is also releasing a set of four black carriages of their standard 1960s designs, which is totally inauthentic as these carriages were withdrawn before the black livery was introduced!
  • The ‘DV30’ by Märklin is back in Epoch-IV condition. (If, unlike the previous one, it comes in a box that will accommodate a close-coupling head, then one could be procured for the FLMJ!)
  • The ‘Eaos’ wagon will also be produced by Märklin/Trix, in a set of three with a scrap load.
  • The ‘Sdggmrs’ articulated container wagon is to be released by Roco, labelled for DB-AG, but carrying two “Bode Spedition” containers.
  • A set comprising two ‘Zacns’ bogie tank wagons in “Pure Performance” (Green Cargo) livery is proposed from Roco.

Brawa does not produce Swedish models, but they are to produce the VTG Gigawood XXL, a non-Swedish timber wagon that is used by Hector Rail in Sweden, today. But it is not due until 2023.

Behind the Scenes

Mini-Series about the FLMJ, 2: Lövhöjden, Månstorp and Ålunden

Lövhöjden, representing the central area of Sweden, was naturally the centre point on the Railway. (At least it would have been, once the projection to Fjällnäs had been completed!) But it was designed to be a major station with several passing loops and three platforms, two of which were later split into halves by a crossover in the track. The control panel was designed so that the local controller could control the whole railway (well, maybe not the industrial sidings). Lövhöjden also had the most developed scenery, as much as we could manage given the weather damage (and cat damage)! Naturally, Lövhöjden became the most photographed location, and in the final days, the most was made of this. Even with forthcoming closure confirmed, development continued until the very last day.

Månstorp, representing the southern area of Sweden, needed a more modern look, and the buildings could be more European in style. Unfortunately, it became very modern in respect of being truncated, losing passing loops and becoming just the essential layout for passing trains. This had become necessary due to the vulnerable location of the station; at the front of the garden, near the gate, where things could be ‘uplifted’ by unwholesome people! Nevertheless, we made the most of what little we could have here. The track sections were switched from Lövhöjden, and a CCTV overlooked the area. The crossover points here were the first to be remotely controlled. An almost amusing fact here is that the model cars on this area of the layout were of the ‘toy’ Eko brand; no great loss.

Ålunden was our shadow station. This was the encouraged location for placing models on the track and removing them. It gave the railway a sense of purpose; the trains arrived onto the FLMJ through a tunnel (hole in the wall) from anywhere on the SJ network. Ålunden therefore, determined the length of the trains, and the tracks would accommodate seven carriage trains (so they were seldom used to capacity). One track was set aside (by virtue of a point midway, and then a long curved section) for extra long goods trains. As a secondary line; longer passenger trains would be out of place.

Next month, we’ll look at the Siljansbanan and the areas that it served.