After many discussions on the subject with local friends, we are about to embark on the construction of a small diorama that will include the possibility to run trains. It will be smaller than Köpingsvik, but not the proposed Byxelkrok layout, because we want overhead cabling. With two weeks vacation, we should be able to make a start…
Despite the problems in China, Dekas has been able to deliver the ‘Kö’/‘Ugkkpp’ wagons. Overall quality is up the standards previously enjoyed with Dekas models, and these were well worth waiting for. Sadly, there are two mistakes, common to the Danish manufacturers: the NEM coupling pockets are not correctly set so there is a risk of buffer-locking; and all four with UIC numbers (which have arrived here,) have incorrect ‘control’ digits!
Noch is a name that doesn’t often appear here, but one of their new items for this year is a news kiosk, which, probably by coincidence, looks very similar to the kiosks outside Skansen; article 14320.
The Swedish midsummer is celebrated, it seems, with more vigour than Christmas! This seemed an opportunity to take stock of the transition so far, and with a couple of weeks booked off work, some intensive research is planned for about the time that this update goes live! So, we’ll have more on this, next time.
The first of our outings has already occurred, and it was an opportunity to see (and climb aboard) E 1189, of which we have the Jeco model!
Behind the Scenes
Mini-Series about the FLMJ, 7: Signalling
Last month, in our review of control systems we mentioned Signalling. As an Epoch-IV secondary line, we were blessed with a simple, yet effective signalling project. There was a time when the route from Ålunden to Lövhöjden was double track, and the whole railway was to be the subject of a CTC (Centralised Traffic Control) from a computer program. This had been developed by one of the team members, and it contributed nicely to him getting a university Degree. But, that is too modern and too ’busy’ for anything that we desire now.
First, here is a very simplified description of the development of Swedish signalling layouts.
The ’T’ semaphore signal would stand in the middle of the station and had an arm pointing both ways perpendicular to the track; the driver of an approaching train paid attention to the one pointing to the left. There was a board outside the station which the train must not pass if the arm is horizontal (at ’danger’). Often, the arm would be operated by a crank-handle at the base of the post. The station master would give a hand signal regarding permission to proceed from the station.
Then, the signals were moved to where the boards had stood, thus proper ’home’ signals. They were soon joined by ’starter’ signals for departures; but the station master would still give a hand signal within the station area to confirm that the starter signal had been cleared, and to which train (if there were several) the signal applied.
Now, all signals are given by fixed signals; except where radio block or other dubious systems have replaced them. And of course, they are colour light signals, now!
For the FLMJ, given that it is a secondary route reflecting the Epoch-IV period (more about that next month), we are going for the ’home’ and ’starter’ signals (or ”Infartssignaler” and ”utfartssignaler” in Swedish) option. Maybe a small station on a branch line can have an historical ‘T’ semaphore (as we have one in stock and would like to use it)! But otherwise, colour light signalling would be appropriate. (Well, we always fancied the idea of semaphore at Fjällnäs; but we’ll see!)
Operationally, there are a few considerations that would help make this sort of system function well on a model railway. Very basic interlocking would be good for the starter signals at each end of each section. Using DC analogue for the trains, polarity in the track contributes to part of this interlocking. Home signals can give a few different proceed aspects according to line status ahead (so-called “Speed based signalling”), and this can be influenced by the setting of points, and to a lesser extent the setting of the track isolation switches.
However, it would be pointless describing a proposed signalling system for any new railway, because the technicality of it is very involved, and it would be a waste of time to go into that sort of detail before we know what we have available. But the point is that it will be thorough, authentic and simple; and of course, interlocked!
Next month, we’ll look at “Epoch-IV” and what it means for the FLMJ.