Category Archives: AJ News

News from Adnalms Järnvägar

November 2021 News

Our News

A running commentary of new models is not really what we wanted with this website, even in the current situation. It makes it seem as if we’re collecting trains. We’re not collectors, we’re modellers. So, we are going to steer away from that sort of news, except when there is something extra special to announce. (Also, we try to avoid buying models in November! This is because their annual service is based on the month in which they were delivered, and November has traditionally been a ‘purchase’ month. Once we’re back into the regular schedules, we have a lot of work to do every November! Once the new FLMJ is functional, we will investigate a different schedule.)
There are a few items of news that are suitable here, this month, however. First, we have obtained from Byggsvenskt, a new chassis for one of our X10 units, number 3149. This is a heavy and powerful drive system for the model, and it will be perfectly capable of working the four coach train (so X10 3148 will not be powered at all). We actually arranged for three drive-chassis units, the other two for friends of the former FLMJ who also have models of the X10 from UGJ. Secondly, and from the same supplier, we have obtained the decals required for the Yd railbus and both trailers, the UF2 and the UF6. The supplier has also agreed to make especially, some decals for the UGJ F4F baggage carriage which has the wrong number. The only numbers that seem to be available as decals are for the F4F which had the office at the end of the carriage, not the few where the office was in the centre. Guess which version ours is!

We’ve also acquired some interesting road vehicles which are worth a mention. Two Volvo Amazons and a PV544 (the last with a caravan) are Wiking models, not Brekina or Praliné/Busch. So they do not duplicate what we already have (in storage), but they give us something to use for a diorama if we can get one built! The buses are really too modern for our epoch; but these are really for a private collection, a sense of nostalgia relating to the last 30 years as a tourist to Stockholm; so although they might appear on the FLMJ from time to time, they are more likely to be used on a separate static diorama! The Checker cab respects the fact that many Swedes import and restore old American cars, and this is a classic!

Manufacturer News

HNoll advises that the next passenger carriages (B4) are likely to appear in March-May, depending on shipping options. Some carriage types are completely finished with the supplier and the BC4, WL4, WL6 and R4/R12/S12 are a closed chapter, subject to any remaining stocks with retailers. However, a small series of brown R4s will be manufactured as demand allows, and the RB11 in Blue-X/IC-11 will be supplemented if there are not enough at the release of the A11 and B11.

PCX87 has announced four new versions (colour options) of their Saab 99, but of greater excitement, a new model, the Volvo 164, in 1968 condition; again, in four colours. Many years ago Kniga Modelle made a kit of the 1973 version of this car (of which we have assembled three), so it will be nice to have one (or more) ready made!

There is little news regarding Minichamps’ proposed models. Expected during December are the Volvo 480 coupé, 740 estate, and 850 sedan. Their Volvo 240 (sedan and estate) is expected in January and both of the Saab 900 versions in February. But, the Volvo 740 sedan has been put back to September 2022.

Other News

The Modelljärnvägsmässa in Uppsala on November 13th/14th was attended on the Sunday, and took place in just one hall, even though the advertising said, “Fyrishov Hall C & D”. The fact is that the two rather small halls can be opened up to make one larger hall. Upplands MJ had their modular layout there, which incorporated a model of Uppsala station before it was modified. Whilst this is a work in progress, it was certainly inspiring, and it would be interesting to see the progress at next year’s show – they are hoping that it can become an annual event. Being a DCC layout, they seemed to spend a lot of time fiddling with it, trying to get things to work, but not universally; there was plenty of activity and some nice train rakes to admire. In addition to this, there were some train sets for children to play with, and quite a lot of traders – most of whom had stock-loads of Märklin products. It was quite refreshing to find a stall with some other brands! One wagon was purchased, but nothing else!

Hjulmarknaden in Solna on November 27th was just as big and impressive as it usually is. Cancelled last year due to the pandemic, it was good for this event to be back. This is not a model railway exhibition, and although there was one small H0-scale layout on display and a live steam track, the event was really a gathering of railway model manufacturers, and heritage railway groups. For the FLMJ, this is where we purchased the chassis and decals. Research and reference material was limited to two books and two DVDs. One mishap was a trader who had some locally produced models of the ‘Kalmar Tjorven’ post car, but asked us to come back to see the right person who could accept a non-cash payment, and then suitably distracted, we forgot! Travel to and from the event was with the Uppsala—Stockholm Pendel, but it was disappointing that both outward and homeward journeys were in modern X40 units, not the favoured 1980s carriages topped and tailed with Rc-locomotives! This journey almost didn’t happen because SJ’s App didn’t function properly and an alternative online process was used instead, which actually produced cheaper tickets. So, we’re not complaining about SJ’s App not working; its failure did us a favour!

SJ’s X2000 is to run for many more years yet, with the first having just received a major overhaul and minor facelift; it still has an unimaginative livery, but some sort of effort has been made! It does now have a third level of comfort, the Second Class Calm, where you pay extra to have a so-called “quiet carriage”!

October 2021 News

Rolling Stock Updates

Three Rivarossi wagons arrived (as a boxed set) of type ‘Gbs’, except that two of them are labelled and numbered pre-UIC, as type ‘Gre’. These are the former Lima wagons, taken over by Hornby, and resold under the Rivarossi brand. Quite why two different epochs appear in one set is something only Hornby can answer. Nevertheless, they are a special set, so we didn’t want to miss the opportunity to obtain them, even though they are weathered – something that we usually try to avoid at the FLMJ.
Not rolling stock, but modelling material at least. Two buildings were acquired via Tradera. One is another copy of the standard Pola Swedish house, but the picture on the box suggested that it was a different version. It is not the seller’s fault that it isn’t, rather Pola’s fault! But this is not a disappointment, and it’s assembly shall take place soon, The other is a little more generic, but quite typical for a house in Sweden (and one that we do not already have), so that will be just as interesting.

Manufacturer News

HNoll reports that production problems continue in China; now a lack of electricity means that future deliveries will be delayed. It is not possible to say with any certainty when any carriages can be delivered. HNoll says that we have to be realistic and count on delivery not before 2022. Revenues from these products will therefore be delayed, which affects the models planned for 2022. It is very sad that this is happening and nothing can be influenced. The only positive right now is that HNoll can spend even more time on details during the design stage for future models.
Tågkompaniet and Connex sleeper and couchette carriages have sold so well that they have made a profit. The series has been produced in 120 copies of each model. However, there are still too few sold to justify a continuation with more running numbers, which will be a disappointment to people wanting to create scale length trains. No more will be manufactured in this series. However, the remaining carriages in the TKAB and Connex series will still be manufactured.
Brekina has, not by surprise, issued the Daf 66 kombi in a selection of colours. This means that both Daf 66 and Volvo 66 are available as sedans and kombis.
Wiking has released the Volvo 850 kombi in a metallic copper colour. We wondered how authentic this colour is on this model, and the nearest 1:1 version that we could find on a rather thorough internet search, was in this picture from Poland! This model remains Wiking’s most modern Volvo.

Winterzone (https://shop.winterzone.se/index.php?) is constantly releasing new items in its 3D-printed range. Of particular interest for the railway scene, are the loose air intakes and cab walls to mount on NMJ’s Y1 and YF1. See their catalogue on the website. Other items of interest are a gritting sandbox, park benches, traffic cones and other lane markers, cable drums, entry barriers, pallets, assorted types of skips and recycling containers, sausage kiosk, platform switchgear (the next epoch up from the TeknoBygg one; see image), assorted seats to put in models that have no interior fittings, and so on!

Other News

MJ-Hobby had a special event at the beginning of the month, where, inside the shop, all of the Radio Controlled modelling was moved away to make room for a modular model railway layout and a couple of other displays; and light refreshments were served from a tent outside the store. This was arranged instead of a full exhibition as this is a busy time of year for such events, and too much competition! The store seemed very busy on the day, but no purchases were made on behalf of the FLMJ.

September 2021 News

Rolling Stock News

Three Jeco tank wagons arrived at the beginning of the month, one each in Gulf, Mobil and Nynäs liveries. Unfortunately, the running numbers have been changed from the ones advertised and all three have incorrect UIC control digits. (They would have been correct with the original numbers!) We now have seven of this style of tank wagon, and unless something especially interesting is produced, we don’t intend to get any more. We look forward to the time when we can run them as a train (all seven).

Manufacturer News

HNoll reports that the motor vehicles (motorvagnarna) are ready for tool making. But, we do not know what this refers to (we were aware of the Ma-loco, but that is something else). Of the Ma loco HNoll has said very little other than that it is coming along nicely and maybe some photos will be available before the end of the year. Deliveries of the next passenger carriages can hopefully take place at the end of 2021. The Blue X carriages (IC-11) A11 and B11 have been moved to 2022 (March-April-May) together with the B4 carriages when they will make a tool for the extra window panes on B11. The special carriages (type S1) will take a while longer due to a production and costing misunderstanding! They are not removed but paused for a short time.

Brekina has released models of the Volvo 66 sedan alongside the Daf 66 version. They note that the Daf is a 1972 year model, and the Volvo is 1975. As usual, there is an assortment of liveries. The kombi (estate) version is also offered in post livery and for Sweden’s neighbours, in Norwegian police (“Politi”) livery. The post version should of course have the steering wheel on the right, but the model doesn’t!
You won’t need many of either for a Swedish or other Nordic diorama; being produced in Holland, in the Daf factory, they never did become at all popular, and the same dislike was shewn to the Volvo 343, which also came from the Dutch factory, despite being designed by Volvo. But plenty were made!

Other News

We had planned to investigate a model railway event at Kårsta at the beginning of the month (and which was on our forthcoming events page), but public transport to the event was terrible. Kårsta has a railway station (the northernmost point on the remaining Roslagsbanan), but it was closed due to engineering. Instead of providing a rail replacement bus to serve the route, SL provided an assortment of busses to serve different parts of the route, and some to serve also areas not even reached by the railway! At least two changes would have been necessary; so we decided to give it a miss. Hopefully, next year will be OK; and we’ll get to sample a ride in a new X15p train at the same time. Well, maybe!

Stockholm’s Cultural Society for Steam and Railways (or correctly, Stockholms Kultursällskap för Ånga och Järnväg) – SKÅJ had an open event at Krylbo locoshed, and a special train was run from Stockholm with electric loco F 701, of which the FLMJ has a model. So, we went out to catch (film and photograph) the train whizzing through Häggvik on its outbound journey. You can see it here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=psVK3o0JMV0 in a video from the mobile phone because we forgot to fully charge the Go-Pro!

Do check our events listings; especially if you happen to be in Sweden. MJ-Hobby is having an open day of sorts on October 2nd, and there is a two day event proposed at Uppsala. And then at the end of November, there is the Hjulmarknaden, which was often visited from the UK because it is such a worthy event!

Finishing on a personal note, the former Director General of the FLMJ secured employment during September, and this means that the light is in sight for the process to restart searching for a new home for the Railway. A lot of expenditure needs to be recovered first, so it will not be before next year. However, we intend in one way or another, to ‘mark’ the 30th anniversary of the opening of the original KRBJ (from which the FLMJ emanated) on 25th July next year. Maybe just an announcement (to be realistic), but who knows?

August 2021 News

Rolling Stock Updates

We have no stock updates this month, but there is a fair possibility of some news here, next month!

Manufacturer News

A number of new items have appeared on MJ-Hobby’s website as items commissioned by them (MJ-Hobby in the manufacturers’ lists).  These are train heating posts (old type and current), train heating transformers, TBFH cabinets, ATC balises, and modern point motors.  They are also available on Tradera under a different seller’s name (at the same prices).

Train heating posts are used to supply stationary railway vehicles with electricity for heating and battery charging. They are often found alongside preparation tracks at each end, but can also be on station tracks. Both carriages and locomotives are connected to train heating.

The transformers are used to convert the 16kV AC of the overhead contact line to 1000V into train heat posts. One train heat transformer can supply several train heat stations. They are often found in relative proximity to the train heating stations that they feed.

A TBFH cabinet is used to control signal boards, request train paths and more. These are set up at platforms at both large and small stations and are available in several designs. MJ-Hobby’s version is inspired by the cabinets available at Stockholm Centralstation. Depending on the length of the platform, there may be several cabinets in each direction distributed along the platform. TBFH cabinets are often mounted either on the platform roof pillars or on overhead line poles, but can also be free-standing on their own pole.

ATC balises are found at each signal and speed board. The balis transmits signal image / speed message to the train’s ATC equipment, which has the purpose of monitoring and preventing the train from running too fast or passing a signal at a stop, applying emergency braking if necessary.

Point motor gear drives are found at electrically driven points and contain a gearbox, electronics and mechanics to be able to determine if the point’s tongues have assumed the correct position and an external electric motor. This is the most common modern version and can be found everywhere in the country. The iconic design with the yellow lid makes it an easily recognisable detail.

NMJ has released a Snälltåget Restaurant car R7 in two version, one in red, one in blue.  These are too modern for us, but should be popular among current epoch modellers.

Other News

One of our PCX87 Volvo 740 models is now a Volvo 760!  To achieve this, we had to paint some black parts in chrome; front grille, door trims, bodyside trims, window frames; and the mirrors in body-colour.  Having chosen the metallic beige estate model for this conversion, we matched the body colour by mixing one part brass metallic with one part ‘crème-gul’ – the yellow used on the SJ railbuses.

To break the monotony whilst waiting for a suitable opportunity to build a new railway, a small building kit was purchased and assembled.  It was good to keep the skills relevant, especially the little alterations that we usually adopt to make the models better for internal lighting (a layer of matt black paint inside)!  The shop name is one we created ourselves, very Swedish and quite local!  But the whole construction was completed too quickly, and we’re bored again!

Thus, on 28th August, a trip was made to Malmköping, to the tram museum there for their end of season open weekend, when it seems that everything that could run, did run.  The adjacent bus museum also provided a few buses for rides, all included in the 100:- day ticket.  Even though the weather was not conducive to an outdoor event (the curse of the FLMJ, perhaps?), the event seemed to be well patronised and was most enjoyable.  It was also the day of the first run with a newly restored tram from the former south Lidingö line (SSLidJ), clad in timber planking and fitted with a whistle in addition to the traditional bell!  A cab-ride in their electric loco HRRJ 2 was particularly enjoyable, and the last part of the journey southbound towards Malmköping can be seen in a videoclip, here: https://youtu.be/hN20Rp0UQ30.

July 2021 News

Rolling Stock Updates

TGOJ van ‘Gre’ 11003 arrived during July. This is the fourth and final wagon in this series, and will run in the set with the other three. This model had been searched for, for a long time, until being found on ‘Tradera’, the Swedish ‘eBay’.

Manufacturer News

Halling (www.ferro-train.com) has produced a model of the Göteborg type M33 tram; static for €379 or fitted with a motor and drive (analogue with NEM 568 decoder) for €439. Minimum curve permitted is 180mm.

Linie 8 GmbH (www.hoedl-linie8.de) in cooperation with Rietze (www.rietze.de) has produced a static model of the Adtranz GT6 tram marked for use in Norrköping. The model costs €90, but a driving kit is available for €40.

Modeltech (www.modeltech.uk) has produced a ‘pro-track rail aligner’ for gauges 9, 16,5, 21mm for use at baseboard joins to ensure that the tracks line up. Four pairs come in a pack for ±£10. Whilst these seem excellent for flat alignment, it does assume that you have the heights standardised! (Obvious to many, but third-party experience differs!)

Brekina has announced models of the Daf 66 sedan in four colours. We wonder if the chassis is interchangeable with the Volvo 66 estate (for the larger bumpers). If it is, then we’d only need to add the diagonal bar on the grille to get a Volvo 66 sedan! Or, maybe we should wait – just in case!

PCX87 models seem to be very limited editions, produced in single batches. Their Volvo 240 and 740 models came and went very quickly, and it was only by chance we found that the 740 had been produced. It had been our intention to get a couple of each model when they were produced and then ‘top up’ once funds were more readily available. This will not be possible. We have been able to complete the intended Saab purchase (four 900 coupés and one 900 cabriolet), but not the Volvo 240 or 740 ranges. (We have enough to not be totally disappointed!)
It seems that virtually nowhere in Sweden is advertising these models because traders don’t seem to know about them. Maybe PCX87 doesn’t want to survive the pandemic-induced downturn in business? These models have a great sales potential, if only they were more widely known about and available.

We commented on a faux-pas with the Volvo 240 estate in our March update, but both versions of the 740 don’t look quite right, and therefore needed a closer look. The boot on the sedan is a bit too low, and the rearmost pillars on the estate are too straight (but not as badly as on the IMU version) and not tapered! Nevertheless, they are nice and very welcome models.

Other News

We have seen at Stockholm City station and Stockholm Odenplan station, train location boards, giving an indication of approaching trains, as well as the ones that you’ve missed. It is a ‘real-time’ indicator, similar to one in use on the Great Cockcrow Railway (7¼” gauge), but not known elsewhere in the UK.

18th July was the 150th anniversary of the opening of Centralstation at Stockholm (from 1871). Sadly, its owners ignored this milestone and it was not commemorated in any way; a poor show Jernhusen, for one of Europe’s most significant stations! (It is not unfair to speculate that if SJ still owned the building, then there would have been a fanfare-worthy event organised!)

There is a new train operator in Sweden; FlixTrain is a subsidiary of FlixBus, operating mostly in Germany, but now in Sweden also; the trains are on the route between Stockholm and Göteborg, with a low-budget fare. Unfortunately, their timetable seems fictional because several attempts were made to see the trains to take photos, and not only were the trains not there, but there was no mention of them on the arrivals or departures boards at the station (not even shewing as ‘cancelled’). We did find one on a Wednesday, and that is the subject of a few photos that we captured.

June 2021 News

Rolling Stock Updates

There are no updates regarding our models. We expect this to remain so during the summer.

Manufacturer News

HNoll has advised that work is now in place regarding the B4/B4R, BF4 and BF7 carriages. It is too early to predict exactly what the availability will be, but it is refreshing to note that these are in the pipeline. Just as we closed for press, the article numbers and running numbers were given on their website. The FLMJ is interested in two of the brown versions!

Following the arrival of the HNoll catering carriages, reported last month, they (and the various other versions) have been reviewed in the latest edition of Modelljärnvägsmagasinet. Here is an overview. The models are presented as the original R4/R4R café and restaurant carriage, the S12 cinema and bistro carriage, and the RB11 bistro carriage. Each version has a different interior layout according to the prototype. As the interior of the toilet cubicle is not visible, this is where small tubes exist for cabling from the wheels to the roof for interior lighting, should the modeller wish to instal that. The underside and bogie details are very well picked out, as is all the bodyside and top detailing (setting this model very much apart from the Roco A7/B7 models which have not been developed since their introduction in the 1980s). Our image montage is taken from Modelljärnvägsmagasinet.

Other News

We have added some content to the Events page, in the wake of restrictions being eased in many places. We are focusing on events in the UK where the Scandinavian Railways Society is understood to be participating, or where there is likely to be a Swedish model railway; and events in Sweden that are reasonably well known and/or which we will be investigating. The events page will be updated whenever there is something to be updated, rather than at preset intervals.

May 2021 News

Rolling Stock Updates

The Dm3 was fitted with replacement mirrors and windscreen wipers in May. There is some confusion about the part number for these Roco items, the number given on the instruction sheet seems to be for different components (if website searches are anything to go by), and Roco’s own website is not very helpful! So, we have modified and fitted Jeco components instead. We also need to fit new handrails, but we may need to make these here. The 0,5mm rod would be very suitable for most applications, but there are some items that need stanchions between the ends, and that is where it gets tricky! We’re still investigating that one.

N 1304 lost one of its buffers during recent work, and it is a very flimsy piece of metal. A repair was made at the beginning of May, by drilling a 0,5mm hole in the stock and buffer head, inserting a rod, flanked by a tube (from the materials bought last month), and then gluing it all together! It looks messy, but if it holds, then we’ll leave it alone. Otherwise, we shall replace all four! An order has been placed for a replacement set, but the items is not in stock, and we don’t know for how long.

Catering carriages R4R 5441 and 5447 arrived in early May. These are such limited items from HNoll, that they were not to be missed at any cost. One will go into the existing 1980s InterCity train; the other will be a reserve until more carriage types arrive from HNoll, and then it will go into that set. (The next models hinted from HNoll are the series-2 A7 and B7; two of each of these would go with the ‘extra’ R4R to make an InterCity train. Then, longer term, one each B2 and B4 would be added to make a seven-carriage train. At this time, a second B2 and B4 would be added to the existing set, and one of the (Roco) B7 replaced by a HNoll AFM7! That’s the intention, anyway! If HNoll produces series-1 A7/B7, then that could see the withdrawal of many of the Roco carriages.)

Manufacturer News

HNoll has advised that delivery of the remaining catering carriages, and the Connex/TKAB couchette and sleeper carriages are expected to Sweden early June. The earlier sleeper and couchette carriages are starting to sell out. Some carriages are already out of stock; there is an increase in demand for these mainly abroad, accounting for about 50% of sales at the moment.
PCX87 (Premium Classixx 1:87 scale) has now advertised Volvo 740 sedans and estates, of the 1985 year model. This raises even more questions about the proposed Minichamps 1986 year models, which have production dates advertised for early 2022!

Koenigsegg specialises in full scale ‘sports’ cars, hand-made, and a good production run will see about 20-30 vehicles! We’ll say nothing about the price! And now, the ultimate H0-scale model car for your Swedish diorama… from the Koenigsegg website, you can buy a 1:87 scale model of their Agera RS (from 2015). Only 25 (1:1-scale) units were made, so a diorama would be closer to average with a Volvo P1900 than one of these! Nevertheless, despite being too modern for our epoch, one has arrived! Koenigsegg is based in Ängelholm (home of the Swedish Railway Museum)!

Other News

In recognition of a particular trend in Sweden, and wanting to do something with the four abandoned model car conversion projects (Saab 900i, Volvo 544, Volvo 240, and Volvo 740), they will all be rough-finished to represent the infamous ‘A-Traktor’, which is a common sight. (A-Traktor is a motor vehicle consisting of a converted car, which is designed to tow other vehicles or work equipment and must be equipped with a coupling device. The maximum speed of the A-Traktor may not exceed 30 km/h, and they carry a large red triangle on the back. They can be driven without a full driving licence and without attaining the age for a full driving licence! They are more popular with teenagers than with their intended users! Try selling that idea to the British DfT.)

April 2021 News

Rolling Stock Update

N 1304 is ready for full testing and running in.  With some assistance from a friend who has experience of valve gear, many alterations were made, including tightening up loose connections so that they don’t rock so much.  Many parts needed further trimming, including the studs on the wheels that hold the coupling rods.  Much to our delight, the ‘lost’ brass nut was found and refitted to the Expansion Die Block, and that is now a much more encouraging fit!  Once we had got the loco (chassis) running on the test track, we were ready to fit the body, and then it wouldn’t work at all!  After lengthy investigation, we found that part of the body was ‘only just’ touching the copper contact strip on the ‘insulated side’ causing a short circuit.  The easiest fix for this was insulating tape, but to ensure its longevity, its application was supported with a little Loctite Superglue!  Job Done!

We were so encouraged by this progress, that we soldered on the connections so that the lighting would work also, and then fitted the cab roof.  The motor makes quite an awful racket as it trundles along, but we are hopeful that this will settle down during running in.  The work did not end here, however.  In the process of all the remedial work, the flimsy plastic brake rods got damaged, so they were removed and needed refitting (see below).  We also decided not to fit the front coupling until a replacement for the broken part had been obtained.  There is also a desire to remove the cab-side deflectors and replace them with transparent ones (to be more authentic), but that is not urgent.  And maybe, we will obtain and fit the gas cylinder for the lighting; until then we will have to argue that the loco has electric lighting!

We made another attempt with the brake shoes.  The 0.5mm plastic had been too flimsy, and didn’t last long.  Sadly, one of the brake shoes got lost during this time.  Replacement 0,5mm brass rod was procured, along with 0,5mm (inside) tube.  With this, we were able to reinforce the rods between the frames, and thus the rods protruded exactly perpendicular to the frames in front of the wheels.  The tubes were superglued to the frames, and the rods superglued within.  Then the shoes were superglued, making sure that they were correctly aligned and not touching the wheels or even close.  Then, as an extra detail, and because we still had lots of plastic 0,5mm rod left over, we made some sanding pipes, going down to the wheels, using the brake rods to support them in place (which we couldn’t do, of course, if they were working brakes)!

Manufacturer News

PCX87 (Premium Classixx 1:87 scale) has released their Saab 900 (1986 model) in four colours, as a three-door hatchback.  This is an interesting release in that it follows their Volvo 240, and both models have been proposed by Minichamps, albeit different (but close) year models.  Will the Volvo 480 and 850 follow soon?

Other News

Two extra items this time.  First, the Steninge layout has a new home.  We parted company with it many years ago, and some work was necessary to keep it in useable condition.  We think it went around a few friends, but now it is with another, a friend of the FLMJ, and hopefully it will get a new lease of life.

Not quite a case of Caveat Emptor, but getting close: be very careful if you should choose to use Google Translate for translating between English and Swedish (or any translation).  Once, an excellent tool for assisting with translation, it seems to have become quite a liability.  Recently, a test was made of 25 Swedish phrases (converting to English), and 25 English phrases (converting to Swedish).  We had a 62% failure rate (wrongly translated).

March 2021 News

March got off to a slow start. We were preoccupied with house viewings, a new (second-hand) car (from a dodgy dealer, with some technical issues), and a ‘name-day’ celebration.

Rolling Stock Updates

N 1304 is so near, yet so far from completion! For testing, we purchased a GaugeMaster Combi (a very basic controller with plug-in transformer) from a UK supplier, but we weren’t ready to use it immediately.
The brake rigging was removed in March and cleaned up. Then the metal rods were replaced by plastic rods and the risk of short-circuits across that means was eliminated. 0,5mm plastic rod is a very difficult product to work with and replacing the four rods took over three hours. It is also very soft, so they are easily bent out of shape!
We took a fresh look at the handrails that support the front steps. The design really does suggest a trip-hazard, so by changing the height, and modifying the fixing point, we have been able to fit these without upsetting more of the loco. They have been painted dark grey, so that they are slightly visible against the black background. This has worked so well that most of the other handrails have been repainted in this way.
Fitting the front coupling was also a struggle. We needed a spare offcut of metal that was wider than 5mm and longer than 14mm, into which we could tap a thread for a fixing screw, and turn up each end so that it would fit inside the frames. We had nothing of this sort, so we used a more narrow piece which was quite weak having been tapped. Then, we ‘butchered’ a ‘cap’ for the UK 3-pin plug, and made a suitable brace to fit into the frames, to carry the coupling. The coupling pocket has been damaged, however, and this will be replaced at a later date.
Returning to the Controller; this arrived mid-March and we were able to properly test the loco’s performance, not just the motor, but also (and especially) the valve gear. As expected, the first run was virtually stationary, so several modifications were made. In the process, the driver side motion virtually fell off! The cause was the still faulty top glide on the crosshead, and this had damaged the slide bars. We also found a faux-pas on our part in that on the fireman side, the eccentric rod had been fitted closer to the wheel than the return crank, so the wheels could not go round! The fireman side valve gear was adjusted and corrected and with none of the other side attached, the loco ran under power quite satisfactorily.
The driver side was to prove a little more problematic, however. During the short run under power, the coupling rod fell off, which was not a problem, just amusing. It meant that we could start from scratch, and having learned a few lessons, we were able to do this with more professionalism. Unfortunately, the now-damaged slide bars were really beyond repair (we had several attempts), but after a couple of hours, we had to resign to the fact that they needed to be replaced. Thankfully, MJ-Hobby had a twin-pack of etched parts in stock (giving us a total of four pairs of slide bars and loads of other spare parts). This was of course, very frustrating, but it led to something much better; see our next item!
The new etched sheets arrived quite quickly, and one of the slide-bar assemblies was extracted, shaped, and filed so that it would be an easier fit. Once fitted, a little glue will stop it rattling, but this seems unlikely, anyway! Everything was fitted in one day, but not to the pivot for the connecting rod big end or the return crank. This was because we needed to allow time for the glue to dry where we had used a washer instead of the now-lost nut on the expansion die block. As work continued, more irritations became apparent. The pivotal pin for one of the connecting rods’ big ends unscrewed as the wheels went round and that had to be glued back in. This, in turn had damaged other parts of the valve gear, and a whole day was spent on remedial work. To be safe, we made this modification to the other side, also.
We have lost count of the number of times that we have had to clamp and re-glue the fitting for the expansion die block, or the front of the radius rods to the cylinders (not required on genuine steam locos, of course), or even the slide bars to the cylinders, and these corrections are ongoing as March drew to a close.

Dm3 1221+1240+1222 is one of the later versions (Marshall lights, revised position of driver side door, extended roof ventilation openings, etc) and the Roco model in plain brown has been desired for some time. At the time that we needed to order the spare part for the N-loco, we had a casual look at the second-hand models also available, and there it was, the Dm3 loco that we wanted! For us, this is the perfect Epoch-IV version of this loco, others have either older lighting and door layouts, or have more modern LKAB/MTAB logos on (or even more modern (blue) liveries)!
The prototype for this loco, sadly came to an abrupt end on March 19th, 1993, when iced-over points threw it off the track and down the side of a mountain near Katterat. The driver and has passenger (his young daughter) suffered only minor injuries because the snow came through the broken windows and cushioned them from any serious harm! The loco had to be scrapped on site; on the side of the mountain! (We wonder if Roco was aware of this fate when they produced the model?)

SCENIC MODELS are also in the news this month, with the arrival of some new cars and a lorry. Two PCX87 Volvo 240 models have arrived (see Manufacturer News, below), and a Scania lorry in Swedish postal livery. (Our only current Swedish postal lorries are Iveco; not very Swedish!) Ironically, this model arrived in a package covered in no fewer than 31 postage stamps…! We also took delivery of a Wiking Chervolet Malibu, which is the nearest imitation we can find (in H0-scale) of the Chevrolet Impala; the car used by the Jönsson Gang in the classic Swedish films, “Jönssonligan…”! We will alter the appearance of the model to match the film car!

Manufacturer News

NMJ has released the second wave of Y1 railbuses, SJ blue with the air-intake boxes on the sides. We’re a little disappointed that the orange version has not been produced with these intakes; that is the condition that applied in 1990 when Sweden was first identified as the country to model.

BoS has released a Volvo 265 ambulance (stretched chassis), but the livery is not especially Swedish.

Minichamps has added to their range of proposed Volvo cars, the 480 coupé in four colours (1987 year model) and the 850 sedan in four colours (1994 year model). If the latter is produced, it will be probably the most modern Swedish car in H0-scale!

PCX87 has released limited models of the Volvo 240 sedan and estate (1989 year model) ahead of the 1986 ones proposed by Minichamps. One of each has arrived, and close inspection reveals some disappointing details discrepancies. One of the most classic features of the 145/245 estate is the top of the rear passenger door which drops away from the roof-line; this is not recreated on the PCX87 model! Our photos compare this with a Brekina 145 model (which has other faults)! Other discrepancies are less obvious. (Compare the differences, below!)

And finally, if you want to decorate the scenic area of your Swedish diorama with moose, then Preiser produces a set; but they’re males only (with the antlers, of course). For females, the Canadian supplier miniprints.ca has some convincing models (and more males, of course).

February 2021 News

N 1304 continued to be built during February, and after a couple of days fitting the electrical contacts for the wheels, we turned our attention to the handrails and everything else that used the fine brass rod.  We had received from SMJ two handrail bending jigs (“Bockningsmall” on their website, if you want to get some), and these proved to be extremely useful.  Nevertheless, we decided to work on this part of the project only a few bits per day so that we could allow the glues time to dry, and to not get too frustrated with this very fiddly phase!  Some of the stanchions needed drilling out because they hadn’t been made properly, but other than that, it all went in very well.

During February, we also worked on the livery; satin black top-coat for the body, dark grey for the chassis (so that it can be seen), red buffer beams, wood coloured window frames on the cab sides, but brass window frames at the front and back.  Touching up with more satin black made the model look very smart, a great boost to the morale.

With the painting done, it was time to glaze the windows.  We used a so-called ‘canopy glue’ which dries clear.  Being of a fairly thick consistency, we were able to draw this across the (window) openings to seal them (thus a white window), and waited for it to dry.  During the drying process, the loco was turned upside down for a while to prevent the tops becoming too thin.

The electrical installation was quite a challenge.  It would have been quite straight forward if we had not added working lights, and these of course, gave us a problem.  They are mounted on the body; the rest of the electrics are mounted on the chassis.  The solution was to glue a contact board onto the back of the cab for the wiring from the lamps (via resistors, of course), and to have an extension wire for each pole of the motor soldered to it.  This means that if/when we need to take the loco apart, we will have to de-solder it, but we’re used to this with our Heljan loco!  Of course, the loco was not designed to have working lights; and running the wires, and connecting it all up was a very challenging job; not helped by not having the ideal tools — they are in storage in England, still!

Putting the loco together was challenging; some wiring needed pushing to one side, part of the floor-plate needed filing away to make room for the extra pickups, and one component was fitted differently to the suggested way and subsequently added strength to where the chassis is screwed to the body at the front.  At this stage, brake pipes, steps and other fittings were attached, but the number and makers plates were the last, after some further paintwork had been touched up.

We used Roco close couplings in the pockets intended for their Rc-loco.  So there is no outward movement, but they are NEM-362 pockets, and they turn.  To fit them, the pins were removed and replaced by holes, and M2 screws were used with the M2 tap making an opening in a cross-brace made from off-cut at the front, and using the rear securing hole at the back because it just happened to be in the right place!

With the attachment of the number plates, the locomotive was technically finished in terms of construction, but some elementary testing would be required before the loco could be submitted for running in and dedication to traffic.  Thus, its completion date is likely to be in March!

“Snagging” started in the last week of February, and found a ‘dead short’ across the wheels.  This was traced to the metal brake shoes which are mounted on metal rods.  As a temporary measure, insulating tape was used to make an extra layer of shoe, but longer term, the rods may have to be replaced with plastic, awkward given that they’re 0,5mmØ and the strength would be questionable.  We also found poor pick-up where the chassis is relied upon, so providing the extra copper contacts where possible was clearly a good idea.

SJ Kbps 21 74 370 4 388-7 arrived in February, and this completes the set of three wagons of this revised version of the Kbps.  Curiously, and not uncommon for NMJ, the wagon and the packaging do not match, but the wagon number was shewn, not the catalogue number, so although a similar number to one of the others, this is not the same.  The ‘370 4’ part of the number suggests that it was rebuilt from a type Os!  Unfortunately, the check-digit is also wrong (also common among NMJ wagons); it should be –8.

Manufacturer News

Dekas has advertised some “Ugkkpp” grain wagons (type Kö, pre-UIC) which will be an important addition to any Swedish layout.

Jeco has advertised some new models recently; all out of our epoch, but interesting all the same.  The X2000 appears in two five-car sets; one in the special livery for the Linx train that worked between Stockholm and Oslo [X2-A310], and the other as the solitary unit that went to China (but is now back in Sweden) [X2-A330].  Also, the Y6 is available in IBAB livery as MT 1086, with some suitable authentic modifications [Y6-A150].  The catalogue numbers shewn here are for the standard DC analogue versions.

Roco is advertising the HectorRail 241 Electric loco (Ep-VI) again [73947], and two wagons; Ep-V Car carrier wagon [76892], and Ep-VI Sliding wall wagon, grey with GC markings [77490].  All are suggested as new items, but only the Ep.VI wagon has not been seen before (we already have the other wagon at the FLMJ, from 2019).

Vagnverkstaden (http://www.vagnverkstaden.eu/) is winding down their stocks and will cease trading as well.  In March last year, Göran Nilsson said, “I have started sketching a model of SJ RB4. The design will be like my cast carriages, and the price is calculated at SEK 1295.” Then, in November, the closure was announced. The closure is for personal reasons, but the RB4 will be the last cast carriage for normal gauge. On the narrow gauge comes the announced VGJ wagons Gssl, Hml, F and C1.  We do not know if somebody else will take on the range.