Author Archives: Adrian

Våra nyheter på Svenska – Slutet av 2020

Z69 659 anlände i december. Klassificeringen Z69 tillämpades på en sortiment av växlingstraktorer, så vi har använt denna klassificering för att gälla för Roco-modellen. Precis som med cateringvagnen R5 används denna lok för att fylla en lucka, en alternativ växellok till Z65 / Z70. Roco producerade modellen redan på 1980-talet och den fanns endast tillgänglig i ett tågsats som Z66 000.

F 1207 är nu redo för fullständig testning. Den nya motorn anlände den 1 december efter att ha hållits upp i Storbritanniens postsystem. Den nya motorn monterades den 7 december. Vi började med att lödda på två långa kablar och ansluta dem direkt till en styrenhet, vilket visade att motorn fungerade OK. Nästa jobb var att försiktigt hamra på svänghjulet och lämna exakt 4 mm spindel utsatt mellan det och motorhöljet. Sedan föll allt på rätt plats, snyggt uppradat och säkert. Ledningarna anslöts sedan direkt till styrenheten igen, och med bara en liten kraft kröp loket framåt och sedan tillbaka. Nästa jobb var att sätta ihop allt igen, och sedan ”Heljans syndrom” startade; en elektrisk kontakt längre fram bröt och vi var tvungna att separera loco och anbud igen (ett jobb som också riskerar elbrott)! Men detta var allt gjort och i slutet av dagen var loket i körklart skick, smidigare än det någonsin hade kört tidigare. Följande dag monterade vi tillbaka ångröret som bröt sig under dagen och den nya visslingen. Den nya visselpipan är inte en äkta artikel eftersom Heljan inte levererar dem; så vi har monterat närmaste alternativ; en 4 mm skala Markits LNER ‘Pacific’ visselpipa. En irritation för att lösa senare är belysningen; den tänds korrekt framför körriktningen, men den tänds också vid halv ljusstyrka på baksidan av körriktningen; förmodligen en back-EMF-fråga.

En Jeco/DJH-sats för N loco har anlänt och efter att ha arbetat mycket på F 1207 är vi ganska säkra på att kunna bygga den. Satsen är en blandning av etsad metall och gjuten metall, och det verkar som att den bara behöver färg för att kunna komplettera den. Vi köper dock också ersättningsnummer; 1304 har inte bevarats och är därför mindre benägna att kopiera besökare till den nya järnvägen! (De andra tillgängliga siffrorna är 576 (Ängelholm), 641 (Gävle) och 1173 (Stockholms Ånglokssällskap).) Vi tog med sex färger från Storbritannien; tyvärr läckte en av dem på vägen!

Under december började vi med att montera en fästmutter på chassit! Vi upptäckte att satsen (efter design) saknar en Bellcrank, så vi har gjort en från en offcut! Vi målade sedan delarna som blir för svåra att måla när pannan, tankarna och chassit är monterade och arbetet fortsätter i januari.

Trots att 1990-talets leveranser verkligen är för moderna för större delen av vårt lager, introducerades den första av den blå / svarta färgen ungefär vid den tidpunkt då vår epok slutar. B5FKRT 5017 gick med i flottan i december och ger oss större flexibilitet med tågformationer.

Fv1 (fd-F5-L) 25786, vår första vanliga SJ-bruna Fv1 kom äntligen i december. Det här är en Heljan-modell och vi har alla tre av deras ‘speciella’ livery-versioner redan (TGOJ grön, “Pressbyrån” brun och SJ service grå), så det här är ett särskilt välkommet tillskott! Den behöver en buffert reparerad / bytas ut och en låda, men den är annars i gott skick.

Frilansbagaget (FM4 55420) sattes slutligen ihop i december. Det beslutades att lägga till en plog i slutet under hytten, så en extra Roco-plog monterades på boggin. Vi hade förbisett behovet av buffertar, och även om vi hade mycket tillgängligt hade vi bara två lager tillgängliga, så vi var tvungna att improvisera i hyttänden – och det ser bra ut. Vi hittade också några Rc-loco-speglar att lägga till som en sista minuten-idé, så dessa kommer att målas senare tillsammans med alla andra hakningar som kan behövas.

(NOJ) Gs 761 hade en koppling justerad eftersom den pekade bort från horisontell!

Efter det nedslående slutförandet av Tekla (se novemberens nyheter) har en låda gjorts och den har tagits bort. Kanske en dag i framtiden kommer vi att bygga en bättre proportionerad från grunden.

December 2020 News

Z69 659: The classification Z69 applied to an eclectic collection of shunting tractors, so we have used this classification to apply to the Roco model said to be a Z66 (which it certainly isn’t).  As with the R5 catering carriage, this loco is being used to fill a gap, an alternative shunting loco to the Z65/Z70.  It was purchased, second-hand, during December.  Roco produced the model back in the 1980s and it was only available in a train set as Z66 000.

F 1207: The new motor arrived on December 1st, having been held up in the UK’s mail system (the shop had wasted no time sending it out).  Then, a chance meeting with a friend and a trip out to a model shop procured some better wire for the loco… and a new whistle (the home made spring-loaded one didn’t work out)!  The new motor was fitted on the 7th.  We started by soldering on two long cables, and connecting them directly to a controller, which proved the motor worked OK.  Then, using a modellers’ power tool, we cut away the spindle protruding at the ‘contact’ end because it isn’t needed and is in the way.  Next job was to gently hammer on the flywheel, leaving exactly 4mm spindle exposed between it and the motor casing.  Then it all dropped into its correct place, nicely lined up and secure.  The wires were then connected directly to the controller again, and with only slight power, the loco crept forward and then back.  Smooth performance such that we had never seen before with this model!  Satisfied this far, the next job was to put it all back together, and then “Heljan Syndrome” kicked in; an electrical contact further forward broke and despite our best efforts we did now have to separate loco and tender again (a job which also risks electrical breakage)!  But, this all done and by the end of the day, the loco was in running order (pending proper running in), more smoothly than it had ever run before.  On the following day, we refitted the steam pipe that broke away during the day, and the new whistle.  Job Done!  (The new whistle, by the way, is not a genuine article because Heljan doesn’t supply them; so we’ve fitted the nearest alternative; a 4mm scale Markits LNER ‘Pacific’ whistle.)  An irritation for solving later is the lighting; it comes on correctly at the front of the direction of travel, but it also comes on at half brightness at the rear of the direction of travel; probably a back-EMF issue.

N 1304: A Jeco/DJH kit for the N loco has arrived, and having worked extensively on the F 1207, we’re reasonably confident of being able to build it.  The kit is a mixture of etched metal and cast metal, and it seems that it only needs paint to be able to complete it.  We are, however, also purchasing replacement numbers; 1304 has not been preserved and is therefore less likely to duplicate any visitors to the new railway!  (The other available numbers are 576 (Ängelholm), 641 (Gävle), and 1173 (Stockholms Ånglokssällskap).)  We brought six paints from the UK; unfortunately one of them leaked on the way!

For ore train shunting, eight eight-coupled (D / 0-8-0T) tank locomotives were procured for the Ore Line in 1900.  However, it was quickly found that the locomotive type was also suitable for heavy shunting on southern and central Swedish railway yards and until 1920 the number was increased to a total of 64 locomotives.  However, it was appropriate to also supply shunting locomotives with superheaters and in 1922-32 superheating was introduced in 44 of the locomotives which received new identity Na.  Other locomotives were scrapped or sold in the years 1925-37 to GDJ, TGOJ, JLJ, HHJ, SSJ and NBsJ, including N 578, 641, 645 and 1167 which returned with the nationalization of Gävle – Dala Järnväg in 1948, which were then also superheated.  From 1942, the locomotive type was again called N at SJ, when all locomotives (including the nationalised ones) were now superheated locomotives and equal.  The N locomotives became popular and indispensable shunting locomotives at railway yards and in ports around the country until the end of the steam locomotive operation. They were set aside as standby locomotives, but were not scrapped until 1973.  Most were scrapped, but a handful remain as museum locomotives.

We made a start late December by fitting a securing nut to the chassis!  Then work stopped whilst we investigated the kit because a problem had been identified.  One of the bell cranks (comprising lifting arm and reversing arm) was missing.  Even though the drawings indicated that there should be two, the etched sheet had only one.  So, we improvised; the supplied one went on the side of the reversing rod, and a lift arm was made for the other side from brass off-cut!  These were fitted in place, and then the housing for them fitted also; but work stopped here due to the need to paint some parts before proceeding, and we had no brush-cleaner/thinner to hand!  After the Christmas break (with shops closed), the thinner arrived and we were able to continue.  The parts painted at this early stage are ones that would be difficult to get at once the model has been built; boiler sides and adjacent tanks sides, and chassis area under the boiler.

B5FKRT 5017: Although the 1990s liveries are really too modern for the bulk of our stock, the first of the blue/black livery was being introduced at about the time that our epoch ends.  This second class coach joined the fleet in December, and allows us greater flexibility with train formations.

Fv1 (ex-F5-L) 25786: Our first plain SJ-brown Fv1 arrived in December, at last.  This is a Heljan model and we have all three of their ‘special’ livery versions already (TGOJ green, Pressbyrån brown, and SJ service grey), so this is an especially welcome addition!  It needs one buffer repaired/replaced, and a box, but it is otherwise in good condition.

FM4 55420: The freelance baggage carriage was finally put together in December.  It was decided to add a plough to the end under the cab, so a Roco yellow plough (which was certainly surplus) was repainted red and fitted to the bogie.  We had overlooked the need for the buffers, and although we had plenty available, we only had two stocks available, so we had to improvise at the cab end—and it looks OK.  We also found some Rc-loco mirrors to add as a last minute idea, so these will be painted later, along with any other snagging that might be needed.

(NOJ) Gs 761: There was an issue with the coupling height with this retrofitted wagon, and we found that the actual height was correct, but the ‘stalk’ was not 90° from the horizontal, so the coupling was pointing down.  This has all now been corrected (with a bit of packing), and is fit for service.

Tekla: Following the disappointing completion of this model (see last month’s news), a box has been made and it has been put away.  Maybe one day in the future, we’ll build a better-proportioned one from scratch.

Manufacturer News

HNoll: Unfortunately, there was not time to produce the proposed carriages (A7 etc, B7 etc, R4R etc,) before Christmas.  There were simply too many carriages and other customers in line.  There is a belief that they can deliver before the Chinese New Year, which means delivery in February, but don’t hold your breath.

Jeco: The X2000 is to be reissued as a four-car set, both SJ liveries and in AC and DC varieties.  A second set would be welcome here (but our funds may preclude it)!

August 2020 News

As already known, the D-loco needed some post-delivery (to traffic) adjustments and so on, and during August, the transfers/decals were lacquered; and then the loco was finally put away in its box, ready for traffic (or new pantographs)!

T21 64 broke-down during the old FLMJ’s last year, and it was found that the motor had simply stopped working. It also needed some cosmetic repairs.

  1. We contacted Heljan to ask about getting a new motor, and one would cost DKK 500 including P+P (about £60), but the payment method that they wanted would have added £25-30 in bank charges! We then found a supplier of ‘replacement’ motors to fit Heljan’s 00-scale models, but they were unhelpful regarding our enquiry about dimensions—the T21 is not a 00-model; but Howes in Oxford did respond favourably, so they got the order—and we paid £15.50 for the perfectly fitting replacement!
  2. Connected to a 9v battery, the motor runs beautifully. So, it was mounted into the lower portion of the chassis and tested again, running beautifully and turning the wheels. Then we joined the two halves of the chassis, and there was no movement at all! But when we took it apart again, the motor was fine. So, more investigation is necessary (for next month).
  3. Whenever handling the model, bits have fallen off, and it seems that Heljan just didn’t think this one through. The chassis (in two halves with a running plate sandwiched between) is obviously metal, but the steps are soft plastic, and the handrails for the steps are metal. So, the steps are easily nudged, causing the handrails to drop out. The tanks under the running plate are plastic, and these fall off at every opportunity. There are very small indents on the metal chassis and running plate for these plastic artefacts, not enough to properly grip them. So, additionally, brake shoes and hoses, and hooter, all came off. We found, when we took the chassis apart, that the steps were now vulnerable in that they supported the weight of the running plate.
  4. We found that Heljan’s instructions for taking the loco apart were wrong. It says in Danish, “Løsgør forsigtigt kabinen, sådan man kan forsigtigt kan løfte kabinen op ved et let tryk på siderne”; or in Swedish, “Montera försiktigt av hyttan genom att trycka försiktigt på sidorna”. In either language, we are told that one needs to gently press on the sides of the cab. In reality, the sides need prising out, not pressing in! Whilst battling with the wrong instructions, parts of the loco were getting damaged, including the fibre optics to the lighting!
  5. We started by simply repairing what was damaged, but after three days’ work, it became apparent that the loco needed a more thorough rebuild, including metal reinforcement behind the steps, proper fixing tabs for the other artefacts, and even a better way of fixing the buffers (which had also come off)! Everything that hadn’t fallen off needed pulling off.

Tc 306 entered service a few years ago, having been built on-site as a Modellproduktion body on a Roco chassis; and then there were issues with the gears not meshing properly! However, all sorted, we simply overlooked the fact that we had also bought a bag full of accessories from Entec to paint and fit to the model, so it was now time to do it. This also proved challenging! The instruction sheet is not at all clear (bad printing) and a lot of guess-work was necessary!

  1. Being a sheet of etched material, the flat steps needed gluing on to the rungs of what is best described as a ladder. The ladder includes the handrails, so it needed to be bent to shape! Whilst the main part of this required a 90° turn, some handrails needed different angles and in all cases, holes needed to be drilled in the chassis for them. The etched sheet was not clearly labelled, and we were to find out that the ‘A’ end steps are the ones that actually go in the middle!
  2. We used the last of the plastic strip that we had available to make two large steps at the ‘B’ end for the handrails to attach to (it really does seem that they should have been part of the original mould)! Suitably painted, these blend in nicely, but the top step on the ladders at the ‘B’ end is possibly too high—there were no clues about how to fit them.
  3. But the difficult part was the windscreen wipers, which were too big and etched incorrectly. The armature that pokes into the body needed bending through 90°, but the wiper-blades also needed bending through 90°, but not from the same perspective! Armed with suitable pliers and initiative, we managed to get them fitted, suitably trimmed, of course. Comparatively, the mirrors and guards for them were very easy to make and fit!
  4. Finally, its box was modified to make room for the fitted attachments, and the whole loco looks much nicer, now.

UF6 1576 is a model of a short baggage car of the type built by Hilding Carlsson. It would have been type UF2, and gone into trains with similar styled railbuses. But a few were modified to work with the newly delivered YCo6 variety, so this is the case with our model. It was purchased from a fayre in Stockholm, and we think it is a Lokstallet model. It needed three jobs to be done.

  1. The first of these was the fitting of stabilisers to reduce sideways play. The mounting blocks for the wheel-sets seem to have H0e if mounted one way, and H0 if mounted the other; this model has then set for H0e, but has H0 wheel-sets in! For stabilisers, we used plastic strip between the blocks and the wheel-backs.
  2. The second job was to fit couplings, to make it compatible with the YCo6 railbuses. This meant using standard H0 couplings, but lower down, and therefore with the ‘tongue’ cut off. We had brought Y7 1136 from storage as well, to use as a test match vehicle!
  3. The third job was the decals, which really needed to be purchased from Sweden, so instead, ‘temporary’ number plates have been made (so that the model can be legitimately used) until we are able to get the correct decals.

We have a Yp railbus on the workbench at the moment; but more about that, and one that we passed to a Friend, next time!

The three SMJ carriages have received lacquer over their transfers, but also some SJ brown paint has appeared on the etched end panels where appropriate. The final job here was to make an ‘interior’ for each of their boxes so that they could be safely put away. They’re all the same and a bit strange, but they make the most of the materials that we had available!

Two NMJ RB1 carriages have arrived into store, and these will go into InterCity trains (already designated). Sadly, HNoll continues to have production issues with the R4R (which seems to be tooling and then a production queue at the Chinese factory), but they at least have the kindness to keep modellers up to date with the situation.

Back in March, we advised about the proposed production of Swedish model cars from Minichamps, Saab and Volvo models. We are now aware that PCX87 is proposing a 1989 version of the Volvo 240GL estate. It would be interesting to compare this with the Minichamps 1986 model. (We would prefer, of course, late 1970s versions!)

In Website news, we have taken down the “Forthcoming Events” page because in the current climate, events are few and far between, and when things do get up and running again, we are going to be in a different place in different circumstances. Recognising the big changes taking place (and changing technology), we are working on the creation of a new website also, which we hope will look better and be more relevant, yet just as informative as now.

July 2020 News

The D-loco 174 was dedicated to traffic on 24th July. To wait until all snagging had been completed would delay this indefinitely, and we learned from the construction of the UGJ carriages that there should come a point where the models are fit for service—subject to minor adjustments! At the beginning of July, the D-loco had the cab-end handrails fitted. These were completely new and made on-site; Jeco had been unable to complete the order and we wanted a matching set all round. Each handrail goes around the corner of the cab, and then up at the front, alongside the end door. Scratch-building these was an interesting challenge and at the first attempt only one out of four fitted properly. But after some effort (and one replacement), they all went in. Then, the outstanding Jeco ones arrived, so we have fitted them in, instead (because they look much better)! Next job was to take the door handrails off to paint them black. During re-fitting, one of them went ‘ping’, so we needed to make a new one (and then paint it again)! We have also put a little glue on the loose pantograph—only a little, of course, because we do intend to replace it whenever possible. Mid-July, the ‘174’ was applied to the buffer beams, and the metal plates were painted and fitted—the ’wrong’ number stayed black and we used transfers to apply the correct ’174’!

Slightly ahead of the D-lok, the three SMJ carriages were dedicated to traffic on 20th July. Again, to wait until all snagging had been done would probably result in them never entering service. July’s work on the SMJ carriages started with a blip! Before we could apply the decals to the C3g or CF3, we found that the sole bars needed painting black. On the C3d (the SJ model), these are part of the chassis and already the right colour. On these two (ex-OKB) models, they’re part of the bodies, and were therefore, the wrong colour. Whilst we were making this correction, we also painted the rooves (and on the C3d because it was too light)! The decals were applied during the month and now the carriages really do look the part! New handrails have also been made for these carriages (all three) because the first attempt was not really satisfactory. With poor drawings and few photos, we could see that the SJ carriage has a different style to the ex-OKB ones, and this has been reflected! Using our new method of locating the handrail in the lower hole and just gluing the top seemed to work well; we used a super-glue with brush or nozzle; the former making the job remarkably easy! Last month, we commented on the C3d being reverted to its originally proposed number, 1984 because we had found the number on the decal sheet. The same has now happened with the C3g, so it is 2994 as originally proposed! But, here’s another change; the CF3 is 3015 (instead of 3017). This is so that we could pinch the ‘17’ (and the ‘4’ from 3014) on the sheet to make up the buffer-beam numbers for the D-loco (see above)! But, job done.

Now that these models have been ‘signed off’, some more have arrived from storage, the Tc-loco (to be fitted with all of its extra detailing such as handrails and so on), T21 diesel (to have its chassis repainted and then all the fallen-off bits glued back on; then an investigation as to how to get it to work again seeing that Heljan doesn’t seem to want to supply a replacement motor for it), and a small Hilding Carlsson goods vehicle type UF6 (which, as a modification from UF2, will be made compatible with our YCo6 generation railbuses). We’ll provide more details about all of these, next time!

Brekina has said on their website, that their new Saab 92 was originally produced exclusively for Märklin, to go onto a wagon, in pairs. Now, it is becoming available in its own right, but better detailed. (This is no offence to Märklin; they needed a basic model in order to make the wagon affordable!) Now, Märklin is advertising a wagon with two Brekina Volvo 66 cars on, but as the Sedan, not the Kombi. Maybe, this means that we can look forward to these without the wagon in the next year or so? The wagon type would not appeal to many modellers (it certainly isn’t of Nordic origin), and Märklin models are of course only suitable for three-rail systems.

Still with cars, we had heard that a new (to us) firm called Minichamps would be producing models of the Saab 900 (1987 version), Volvo 240 and Volvo 740 (both as 1986 versions). Their website hasn’t given much information, but a recently received catalogue from them shews six cars, each in four colours. They are the Saab 900 coupé (3-door), Saab 900 cabriolet, Volvo 240 sedan, Volvo 240 estate, Volvo 740 sedan and Volvo 740 estate. Recent examination of another model by Minichamps suggests that these cars are worth looking out for when they arrive, and we (the FLMJ) could slightly loosen our load of IMU, NEO and Wiking models to make room!

Back to the Saab 92, we have found that BoS has also produced a model of this car in 1:87 scale (H0)!

And finally, just as this month’s news was rounding to a close, pictures emerged of NMJ’s new 1960s catering carriage in four versions, one as B1c-L (original condition, but with ‘post-stamp’ logo), one as RB1-L (same but post-1970), and two as RB1 (with the dining ‘logo’ on the corners). Priced at 895:- SEK (roundly £80), these should be as good as their previous 1960s carriages, and indeed the FLMJ is interested in the RB1-L and one of the RB1. These should be a perfect compliment to the existing 1960s carriages that NMJ produce, and it is quite likely that more liveries will emerge in due course (well, it makes sense, some remain in service today as type R12). But, as with the Y1 railbus, we await delivery!


June 2020 News

We’re reaching the stage where there is not much more that can be done to the D-loco! It will be dedicated to service before receiving the replacement pantographs or proper number plates, but the remaining jobs to do before then are fewer in number. Handrails have been made and fitted to all of the doors. Presently, they are silver in colour, but a later job is to repaint them black. The handrails around the cab ends will finish this model. There is a technical job that requires further investigation, that of the faulty lighting. The likely cause is one of two possibilities, faulty diodes or feedback; but we need a proper workshop in which to fully investigate.

Work resumed on the SMJ carriages at the beginning of June with the painting of etched parts and then the fitting of the handbrake columns, fall plates and awning brackets to the two ex-OKB models. Unfortunately, after all this time in storage, one of the handbrake columns was damaged, but not beyond repair. The brackets were secured to the walls, but not the rooves; this is a later job for after when the rooves have been painted. (Rather than wait indefinitely, we have now ordered the paints!) A more technical job was the work on the couplings—all of them drooped to varying degrees. The solution was to remove them, insert the NEM extensions into very hot water, bend them slightly, and cool them in cold water. Problem solved. (We needed to do the same to the D-loco couplings (as indeed we did on our standard Jeco models).) In mid-June, the handrails were fitted to the carriage ends, a rather tricky process as they needed to be bent to shape, and the best fitting ones ended up on the CF3 where they poked into a locating hole at the bottom, but were glued to the body at the upper end. As the month drew to a close, the decals were applied to the C3d; a job that took over three hours! Bizarrely, we found number 1984 in small digits on the decal sheet, and this number did apply to a steel body C3d, so we’ve gone back to that originally proposed number for this model.

Our two CM Laser models of the B6G carriages arrived out of storage, following failure in service in the last days of the old FLMJ. It seems that the carriages, which we purchased second-hand, each have the same two faults:

  • It had been found that the bogies had been modified to make room for the NEM coupling mechanisms, and in so doing, their frames had been weakened so that the wheels drop out;
  • Having fitted the steps to the underframes, the bogies don’t turn freely enough to negotiate even ‘generous’ model railway curves.

There seemed to be one solution to solve both issues, in that the steps could be mounted on the bogies (as seems to be the case with the På Spøret models of the same carriage type) allowing them to turn with the bogies, and their cross members being used to provide the extra strength that the bogies need! Well, that is in essence what we have now done, but it was not as straight forward as that. The NEM coupling mechanisms were still in the way! However, because the steps are made of thin etched brass, we have been able to slide that between the mechanism and the chassis, allowing the bogie to sit beneath the mechanism. This means that if we need to remove the bogies, we first need to remove the wheel-sets and the coupling heads, and having released the bogie from the pivotal screw, to slide the bogie over the end of the NEM mechanism, gently prising the brass away from the plastic! The intention to do the two carriages at the same time was withdrawn so that one could serve as a test model; and it also needed a buffer gluing back on. Gluing the buffer was also quite a challenge because the main material used in these carriages is not plastic, but resin, so the regular poly glue was not as successful as we would have liked! Furthermore, one of the screw-holes for a bogie pivot had worn away, so the screw needed to be glued back in. We also found that one of the carriages was missing part of its NEM mechanism, but with the bogie in place, its absence is unlikely to cause any problems. But, job done, and these carriages can be returned to service—whenever we have a railway to run them on!

The newly arrived Märklin RBo2 ‘byffé’ carriage has seen some work also, with the removal of the Fleischmann couplings, and fitting some Roco couplings, glued to extension arms from the bogies (thus not NEM-compliant, but compatible with our other models)! We also ought to fit later-style gangways and extended buffers, and find some glazing for the windows in the gangway doors. It’s number has been modified to 4833. We also tried in vain to find a reference number for the interior fitting for the almost identical carriage, Märklin 4378, so that we could obtain one and adapt it to fit! Finally (for now), we’ve made a new box for it; it did not arrive in an original box.

A few new models are creeping out, despite the global mess, and among them are a few cars, including a few that we didn’t know about until we happened to stumble across them whilst browsing!

  • The Saab 99 by Brekina/PCX has been produced in two colours, white or black; we understand that more are to follow.
  • The Volvo 66 by Brekina has been produced in three colours, then two more very soon after. The ‘66’ is of course the development of the Daf 66.
  • A Volvo Sport (P1900) has been produced by BoS (Best of Show) in two colours so one has arrived – there were only 67 of these made, so one is enough for us!
  • A Volvo 264TE (stretched limousine) has also been produced by BoS, in at least two colours, a plain dark blue, and a black one with diplomat flags – these were very popular in the former DDR as government cars!
  • A Volvo 7900 electric-hybrid bus has been produced by MotorArt, none that we could find in Swedish service liveries, but as a technological development, we have turned a blind-eye to the fact that it really is too modern for the FLMJ’s epoch!

HNoll has advertised the A7 and B7 models, along with a few S1/S4 versions, all due for release in probably November. The R4R and derivatives have been further delayed due to a tooling issue, but HNoll is confident that they will still arrive before the A7/B7 etc.

May 2020 News

A few new models arrived in May. One is an old Märklin RBo2 restaurant car (later known of course as the R1R), a 1960s design, which will be used in a rake with NMJ 1960s coaches until NMJ (or somebody else) produces something more reasonable. The Märklin model does shew its age, and of course, it is 1:100 scale length instead of the correct 1:87. But, it gives us a dining carriage, and we have often complained about the lack of dining (and sleeping) carriages for SJ in H0-scale! (We have also changed the wheels, of course!)

Of four goods wagons arriving, three are Dekas ‘Hbis’ wagons; very high quality and very nice. The other new wagon is a TGOJ F6 bicycle van made by NMJ, and replaces one that we sold ages ago, but later wished that we hadn’t!

Z48 711 departed the FLMJ in May. This was a freelance diesel shunter based on a German design, and intended for use (at the FLMJ) with track testing before the power cables were wired up, but the Triang Z65 locos often took this duty (and now Rc3 1027 or X10 3148 can do it), so it was seldom used.

Our workshop models had a little more work done during May; the headlamps on the D-loco were refitted and fit much better now, and new couplings were fitted, now NEM compliant. Also, the SMJ carriages had some adjustments to the steps, couplings and assorted other bits between them. The C3d also had its roof ‘plumbing’ put on! The buffers were fitted to the C3g and CF3 (they are a tight fit, so don’t need gluing), and Roco couplings were inserted to the NEM boxes. Unfortunately (and curiously) they are too low (despite having the same chassis as the C3d), so further investigation is necessary. We had hoped to use the close coupling facility to push the buffers in to the right depth. We also found that the D-loco NEM boxes need adjustment (or the buffers need trimming)! Not much more could be done without paint—so we ordered some matt black and satin black! With this we were able to paint the etched brass parts, and then the end gates and fall plates were fitted to the D-loco, with more work on the carriages to follow in June.

Two former FLMJ wagons have been worked upon following structural failure when sold! These are Klein Modellbahn SJ ‘Fas’ wagons labelled for use with SNCB (Belgium), and were a limited edition. They have plastic bodies and a very tightly fitting metal floor (for weight). Unfortunately, the metal has fatigued and actually ripped the plastic bodies! One wagon was easily repaired by filing down the metal (and making a few other minor adjustments) and fitting it all back together. The other wagon’s floor has shattered and is so badly distorted that it will need replacing. The plastic has been found to be very soft, so it’s a poor combination, really (a design fault). They’re quite beautiful wagons, otherwise, and very authentic (the real ones can be seen in an early “Svenska Tåg” film).

We have been looking at dates and anniversaries. Whilst any new railway (FLMJ) cannot be rushed, there is a slight sense of urgency to mark the 30th anniversary of the opening of the KRBJ from which the FLMJ emanated. This would be in 2022. It is hoped that we can run a first train ‘somewhere’ then, but it is too early to plan. Certainly, the 40th anniversary would be the bigger event, so we’re not losing sleep! But the following few years have anniversaries that we would like to acknowledge if at all possible:

  • 2023 will be 70 years since the famous ‘Datebox’ railbuses were introduced. That is worthy of a special event; the FLMJ has a few models of these and many of our guests could bring more to make any celebratory event extra special.
  • 2024 will be 40 years since the Roco Rc5 was introduced! This loco has been a ‘standard’ setter for many years and the original version was probably the best Rc-loco as a model.
  • 2025 will be the centenary of the introduction of the successful D-loco, so that ought to be celebrated. We have two Jeco models and of course we have our Lokstallet/Jeco project under way right now.
  • 2026 will be the centenary of the electrification of the Stockholm-Göteborg mainline; so we ought to have the new FLMJ ‘electrified’ by then! We intend to put up the cables as we build the new railway, but this might not be possible. Like all plans for any new railway, nothing can be set in stone until a location and job/work pattern has been established.

There are further dates to consider, but this is enough to be going on with for now!

We’ve had a peculiar experience recently with a Trader in Sweden whom we won’t name, in the hope that this is a once off! We enquired about purchasing eight wagons without being specific (which ones precisely), and how payment could be made if we did place an order. The payment method was not practicable and only some of the wagons were in stock. (They had received only 30% of their order due to Covid-19 issues, and they had been very popular)! So, we looked elsewhere and found them in stock and payment could be made, and thus ordered elsewhere. The trader in question then advised that the wagons were on their way, so could we arrange payment? We thanked them and advised that we had found them elsewhere, to which the trader responded by declaring that the wagons had been ordered especially for us, and we had in effect cancelled our order for which a fee was payable! The real facts are that we made an enquiry, not an order; we did not specify which wagons we wanted, so how could they have known which ones to order; they told us that 70% of their original order was still to follow (so the order had already been placed), and that the wagons had been very popular (so there was no problem in finding customers for them). They wanted payment by IBAN, which from a Lloyds bank account costs between £20 and £30—quite out of the question. It seems a very strange way to treat a new customer; don’t they want to stay in business? Caveat Emptor!

An unusual model car has arrived for a cameo on the new railway, a Messerschmitt KR200! Anyone familiar with the Swedish comedy character Stig Helmer Olsson will know what sort of cameo we have in mind!

April 2020 News

Under so-called UK lockdown, the opportunity to work upon some of the more challenging kits was seized… the SMJ 2-axle carriages. The etched brass parts will need painting later, so where possible, they will be assembled and fitted with a low-tack adhesive for completion at a later date. Some changes have been made with their identities. SJ C3d 2128 (which would not have previously been from the OKB / East Coast Railway) was intended to be number 1984, but this number is not on the decal sheet (neither is 2128, but this is easier to ’manufacture’). Unfortunately although the C3d is a ‘plåt’ model (metal body), the number transfers are for the timber version, so a spare number 2 will replace the 6 in decal number 2168! SJ C3g 2996 (which would have previously been OKB C3 133) was intended to be number 2994, but this number would also need changing whilst the new number is on the sheet. SJ CF3 3017 (which would have previously been OKB CF 235) was originally believed to be type CD4, but it’s correct identity is on the sheet. The C3d and C3g are standard carriages, the C3d as a standard SJ version, and the C3g is as acquired from the OKB. The CF3 is a former OKB carriage with a luggage compartment. The OKB carriages were taken over by SJ in 1933.

Upon opening the package, it was refreshing to be reminded that the C3d was built and just needed decals (and a few adjustments). The C3g and CF3 are some way behind and it was done in this way so that the C3d could be used as a built sample (having taken a lot longer to build because it involved a dry-run first) and then as reference material for the later two. Unfortunately, we also needed the instruction sheets (but these are in storage), but thankfully, SMJ has them on their website as PDF downloadable sheets, both SJ and OKB versions. (Much appreciated, guys; thanks!) Here’s how it went, not in any particular order (unless stated otherwise, the following applies to both C3g and CF3):

  • The wheel-set ‘bolsters’ had their brake mechanisms fitted, and were then fitted to the chassis. The wheels have also been fitted, and both carriages are more freely running than the C3d!
  • The battery boxes and gas containers (the latter for the dessous gas lighting) were assembled and fitted to the chassis, and the one-piece compressed air brake with link arms glued into place.
  • The coupling mechanisms were assembled and fitted, then a stretcher between the bolsters to hold them straight when on straight track, and thirdly the springs and stretchers for the couplings. However, it was found that two components for the CF3 were missing, so we improvised with the couplings and they work just as well as on the other two models. We were also able to modify an improvisation that had been made on the SJ C3d regarding couplings, and again, the result is pleasing.
  • The buffer stocks were filed, trimmed and fitted. The actual buffers will be a last fitting because they are very fine and risk being damaged during construction!
  • The weights were glued into place, and now the carriages feel as sturdy as the C3d!
  • The appropriate windows were fitted with grilles (luggage areas) or clouded (toilet areas).
  • From a little research, we found that the luggage compartment doors on the CF3 should not be the same colour as the body, so our paint has been scraped off, and touched up with a permanent marker!
  • The etched brass parts, the end platforms and the steps (including the luggage door steps on the CF3, which had to be made from scratch) have been fitted. The gates have also been fitted, and for this reason, the rooves will remain loose until we have been able to paint them! The platforms on the C3d have been removed and refitted, and are a much better fit.
  • The rooves were fitted with their ventilators, and have been loosely fitted (to be painted, later). Using spare parts from these two models, we fitted the roof ventilators to the SJ C3d, thus virtually completing that model (disregarding the decals—still)!

Aside from these carriages, work was done on the träkorg (wooden body) D-lok, which certainly relieved the pressure of the work on the SMJ carriages. Again, there are some parts that will have to wait until later, but here’s how it went:

  • Hooters and windscreen wipers were glued into retro-drilled holes. Sun-shades were made from scrap brass strip and glued into place.
  • Lamp lenses were glued into their holes, but they’re slightly too small, so will be refitted later with a bit of ‘putty’!
  • The Pantographs were fitted into place, but one needed gluing because the screw thread was missing! It took some effort to obtain a drawing of the roof layout for the HT wire, but a source in Sweden procured the perfect image. The pans will need replacing because they are the wrong type!

The end gates with fall plates need painting (they’re etched brass) so they have not been fitted, and there are no handrails, so they will need making from scratch. But, we’re going to need to think of a way of providing the tail light because it is a raised fitting and very different to the inbuilt design used on the steel bodied version of the D-loco, as made by Jeco.

Moving onto relevant model manufacturer news: Dekas is bringing out a model of the SJ Y2 ”Kustpilen” unit available in either original blue/red livery or current (2020) livery. Delivery is planned for 2nd quarter, 2021; and the FLMJ would be interested in one as it represents the end of the epoch modelled (in the same way that the X2000 does). Dekas has also brought out some ‘Hbis’ wagons (types 712 and 731) at very short notice, and they sold out over one weekend. Hopefully, some more will be made.

March 2020 News

As probably expected, new models from China are delayed due to the current global health situation! Once the situation has improved, there may then be investment issues affecting the ability to produce and pay; so the situation is very volatile right now

Another international issue is that of Brexit, and the need to pay customs duty on imported goods, but also to be able to claim back the VAT. During the transition period, this has already got very messy with traders not yet required to deduct the VAT, but Royal Mail (in the UK) is already charging import duty and handling fees!

There has been some exciting news from Nürnberg, this year!
NMJ seems to have finally acknowledged modellers’ desires by producing a prototype model of SJ cafe carriage type RB1 from the 1960s series. However, if delivery (or lack thereof) of the Y1 is anything to go by, we shouldn’t get too excited!
Dekas is bringing out the SJ ‘Hbis’ covered sliding door wagon in six different versions, for epoch IV and V.
Minichamps has announced models of the Saab 900 Turbo 16S coupe and convertible from 1987, the Volvo 240 GL sedan and estate car from 1986 and Volvo 740 GL sedan (and possibly estate car) from 1986.
Busch is bringing out a Land Rover Discovery of a later-year model, labelled as a Swedish police car.

Considering the exciting news from NMJ, what else would suit the 1960s range?

  • The RBo2 (later R2, then R1 very soon after) dining carriage would be a very suitable model, preferred over the RB1, actually. (Märklin has produced a poor 1:100 scale length model for many years.)
  • The DFo28 (later DF28, then D38, then D48) postal carriage would be very interesting because even during epoch IV they had different liveries. Several of these alone would make an authentic train (so various running numbers would be required).
  • The WLABo1 (later WL1) sleeping carriage is the only 1960s design that SJ has left in traffic, so again, there would be more livery options, but not all-over black—yet!
  • (This leaves the F5/F6 short baggage carriage, but there are many Lima models still available second-hand, and the later ones were of very good quality, complete with NEM couplings.)

MJ-Hobby intends to organise a small model railway event during the Halloween weekend in Västberga, instead of the big event at Älvsjö. They will have some activities and displays in their shop and some on the other side of the road; as it was several years ago. This event has always been popular with the customers!

Modelleisenbahn München GmbH (who owns both Fleischmann and Roco) has announced that the production of Fleischmann Profi-glis track has been discontinued forthwith. This is because a few of the tools for production have broken down and repair is not possible and new production is not considered economically justifiable. Thankfully we did not use this track on the FLMJ, and we have none in store.

HNoll has announced that work is underway to develop a model of SJ´s and TGOJ´s Ma locomotive in all versions (400, 700, 800 and 900 series). It is scheduled for 2021, but with the current global situation this cannot be relied upon. The price is not known either! Contrary to earlier news, HNoll has now said that they will not pause operations. It would have negative consequences in the factory in China and would have a negative impact on Hobby traders. They will instead reduce the volumes and thus create demand with a smaller supply of models. This clearly means that customers should pre-book models at hobby shops to ensure delivery of the first stage of restaurant cars. The Blue-X Concept and InterCity Concept products have been discontinued because the product as it was presented cannot be delivered as intended. Conversations with Roco did not result in anything constructive, not even an answer. There is a possibility of developing a model of the Rc locomotive or having a conversation with another manufacturer on the matter!
HNoll has also advised that due to the circumstances prevailing in China, it has been decided to temporarily close the factories. This means delays in the delivery of the Restaurant Carriages but also future models. One cannot predict how long the delay will be!

And finally … returning to the theme of emergency messages by mobile (see the last paragraph in our news update from 03.01.20): It happened on Tuesday 24th March; many mobile owners received a short text implying that it was from the government. It said very little (nothing of any help), and contained a link; exactly what scammers and spammers do; so most people simply deleted it! (The text read: “GOV.UK CORONAVIRUS ALERT. New rules in force now: you must stay at home. More info and exemptions at gov.uk/coronavirus Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.”) The government had to work with the operators to get the message sent because an emergency alert system, trialled seven years ago, was never put into practice. If it had been, the government could have bypassed the operators and sent messages directly to mobiles, as has happened in other countries and is what happened in Sweden with the contaminated water. The report on the trial said it would be possible to send alerts to the public within 15 minutes of making a decision, but in the event, some alerts took 24 hours to reach the mobiles. It was suggested by the BBC that the system was not put into practice because cost was an issue!

February 2020 News

The D-loco has had its glazing fitted, and was on static display at The French Railways Society “Winter Rendezvous & Exhibition” at Lenham, where the Scandinavian Railways’ Society had a stand! There were no other D-locos there, only a Da-loco, which was in use on the DCC track, so nothing to compare it with! Since that event, the buffers have also been fitted. This required more than just pushing them into place because they were a little wider than the shafts, so some drilling and filing was necessary; but they’re in! The only remaining items that we have and intend to use are the roof insulators, but it is better to wait until we can fit the wire and pantographs at the same time (we have some ‘piano’ wire already in stock). We’re not going to use the headlight blanks, as working lights are more favourable. So, an order is being prepared for hooters/whistles, windscreen wipers, end doors with gates and fall-plates, lamp lenses, handrails, etched plates and number transfers, and pantographs.

HNoll has added a second brown restaurant coach to their proposed range, so the FLMJ will not need to purchase a red one (in order to have two), which would have been slightly too modern!

There seems to be a bizarre situation on the Swedish railways presently, where the Norwegian railway company, Vy (formerly NSB) has won the contract for the Stockholm to Narvik sleeper trains from mid-December. SJ retaliated at this loss by announcing the withdrawal of the Stockholm to Göteborg section for the sleeper trains, and the Jämtland sleeper trains; effectively “throwing their toys out of the pram”! Vy didn’t bid for the Stockholm to Göteborg section because there were already too many trains along that route, but with SJ’s withdrawal, they are going to put in a bid, apparently! Maybe, the Jämtland trains will get a bid, also? SJ, more recently, came to its senses after a petition signed by 23,000 people, and declared that the Jämtland to Göteborg services will remain during high season, but that hasn’t prevented Snälltåget now taking an interest in that route, also!

Having mentioned above, the Da-loco on DCC, it was amusing (in a cynical way) to be able to listen to the sound of the diesel engine ticking over in an electric loco. Long Live Analogue!

January 2020 News

In our update on 01.06.19, we welcomed the HNoll brand into production, with the reservation about the boxes not accommodating ‘close coupling’ heads. HNoll has listened (or read), and subsequent boxes have had their inner trays modified to allow for this consideration. Full marks to them for listening and responding to their customers. (Roco, take note!)

And another follow-up: in response to our question about emergency texting in the UK, a correspondent has said that technically, the functionality does exist, it is just with the politics of how the system is set up in the UK. So, at the risk of being seen as comedians, here’s how it might work… The emergency is identified, and an internal message is sent for the emergency notice to be issued. Naturally, this will be somewhere within the Civil Service, and the authorisation lies with a manager who is in a meeting. Once the manager has been consulted, form XQZ.v1 needs to be completed, but form XQZ.v1 cannot be found. So the form is ordered, and it arrives two weeks later. In the meantime, half of the population has been poisoned … but, good news for everyone else, the emergency has been lifted. So the request goes out for the follow-up text to go out, which requires form XQW.v1 to be completed … you get the picture…? It won’t happen!

The Lokstallet D-loco body and Jeco D-loco chassis were matched in January, and although a tight fit, they went together very well. We have paused in order to conduct a bit more research regarding the placement of the tail-lamp. The chassis comes with working lights, but the body is designed for no lights. Fitting lenses over the open lamp apertures (instead of the ‘plugs’) should be fairly straight-forward, but the body does not seem to have any provision for the tail lamp, and it would be a shame to waste the working lamp. It will not receive the number 597 (as mentioned last month) because loco number 597 never had a timber body, so 174 is more likely. The book on the D-loco doesn’t seem to indicate pantograph type, so further research will be required there. But the book did indicate which way round the body goes; a look at roof shews that the fittings are different along its length, and this of course has to marry-up in relation to the drive shaft.

Brekina has announced some new model cars which are especially suitable for a Swedish or other Scandinavian layout. The Volvo 66 was developed by Daf, and produced by Volvo when they took over that Dutch firm. The Volvo 343 replaced it. The Saab 92 was Saab’s first production car and a model has been available from some time by VV Modelle, and sold exclusively by the Stockholm Model Railway Club. That model is in the original green livery used for the first three years; the Brekina model has later liveries. The Saab 99 was a revolutionary car when introduced, incorporating many features ahead of its time enabling people to take the brand more seriously; the previous model, the 96 was becoming quite dated.