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’.
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.
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.
There are no updates regarding our models. We expect this to remain so during the summer.
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.
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.
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.)
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)!
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.)
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)!
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?
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 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!
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).
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.
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 , and two wagons; Ep-V Car carrier wagon , and Ep-VI Sliding wall wagon, grey with GC markings . 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.
T45 328, whilst not seeing any progress, is newsworthy in that a suitable chassis c/w motor has been identified for it; produced by SV&LV (Skultorps Vagn & LokVerkstad). This is likely to cost in the region of £175. However, we have been in dialogue with a modeller in Sweden who hinted at having a chassis by ‘AH Mässingchassis’ available. [Photos from SV&LV website.]
N 1304 is coming along slowly. The tanks and cab were attached to the chassis with contact adhesive (one of the recommended methods), but not an extension piece to the rear buffer-beam, because it was not clear how it should be fitted. This can be ironed out later. The exhaust steam pipe was fitted (having identified what it actually is—the drawing is unclear) and the front running plate was attached to the boiler. The smokebox door was loose-fitted (a ‘tight’ loose fit) in case we need access to it for the installation of the working lights, later. Phase One (five phases in all) was completed 8th January.
Phase Two began the following day! The phases are generally set out in accordance with the five assembly drawings, but with suitable adjustments where necessary. We started by fitting the chimney, steam dome, sand dome and some other boiler-top fittings; then moved onto things such as buffer-beam (including the rear one, which could now be correctly fitted), the buffers, steam pump, brake pump, jack, and a few other fittings (including etched brass) before preparing the superstructure for painting.
Phase Three followed soon after. Painting has been postponed until the handrails have been fitted, and the handrails were postponed until we had obtained better tooling for them. So, this phase is actually the fourth brought forward: the chassis! The two main frames are easily different as one has the motor mount, but with a ‘revised’ motor supplied, we needed to remove the mount. The spacers for the frames also provided a headache which was solved when we discovered that they both had faulty threads at one end, and we were grateful that we had brought our 2mm tap from the UK. Thus, the frames went together quite easily once the faults were corrected, and tried up to the body—a tight but perfect fit—even with the motor attached. We completed Phase Three in one day with the fitting of the wheels, axles, bushes, motor and gears; and one cast piece (part of the brake plumbing), but with the exception of the balance weights for the wheels and the ‘decorative’ trims for the axle ends, because they ought to wait until the rest of the loco has been put together! Where the model has been modified since drawings were created, we realised that there were tabs for electrical contacts on one side only. So, using off-cuts from the etched brass sheet, we made some tabs to mount on the other side in corresponding places, glued at first, but strengthened with solder soon after. We then found the ‘difference’ between wheels part numbers 64 and 67—64 are conducting, 67 are insulating! Thankfully the only remedial work was to turn around the gear on the third axle! We were now ready to think about Phase Four.
The first paint went on in the middle of the month. We needed to remove the wheels so that we could paint the frames, and this seemed the logical time to do it. Whilst this was being done, the matt black first coat was applied to the loco body also. (The top coat will be satin black.) Then, ‘oily steel’ was applied to the coupling rods, connecting rods, and a few smaller details.
Phase Four primarily concerned the ‘motion’; the valve gear and all the linkages. Thankfully, some of it was already assembled, but we still needed to work with brass nuts about 1mm a/f and various other equally tiny parts! We were not satisfied with the design of the feeble attachment for the motion bracket to the chassis, but in the cramped space, all we could do was pack a little extra glue! As we came to put it together, we found that it might have been a bit easier if these parts had been assembled after we fitted the motion on both sides, but it has gone in OK. One small job that took almost a day to do was to fit the brake shoes. These are very tiny pieces that go onto 0.5mm rods between the wheels, and even with tweezers (or ‘especially’ with tweezers), which were so essential, this was not an easy job. We feared that we had lost one brake shoe, but it was found on the floor (sadly, there are no spare parts with the kit). We returned to the motion, and struggled to fit it. One of the fixing brackets on the motion bracket broke away, and one of the crossheads had a blob of solder preventing it from engaging with the slide bars! We also needed to put a blob of glue on the nuts holding the connecting rods to the crossheads, and the expansion links to the radius rods and motion bracket. Curiously, there is nothing to stop the return crank from coming off its stud, so we used a blob of glue as a temporary measure, but a scrap of offcut will be used when the job has been finished. The lights were fitted at this stage; working ones intended for the Jeco/Liliput E-loco, but we needed to order resistors because the E-loco has them mounted onto the PCB, which the N-loco does not have!
We have discovered a little fax-paus… our loco number1304 would not have had the separate domes (one for steam, one for sand); this applied only to the ‘earlier’ samples. Later locos had a very large combined dome. We have decided to overlook this detail and not change the fittings nor the number. As a caveat, our resource does not confirm from which number the change was made, and our one photo of 1304 is at such an angle that it is difficult to tell! Furthermore, we have a photo of one with the two domes fitted the ‘other’ way around.
Fv1 (ex-F5-L) 25786 has a new buffer (to replace one that had been broken off before purchased), and this is ready to enter service. The Kadee couplings have been taken out of the NEM pockets, but we have no supplies of Roco couplings here in Sweden, so they will be fitted at a later date. Also for later, is the manufacture of a box for it; currently it remains in the box that it was shipped in, with bubble-wrap for protection.
Uh 20 74 070 0 651-0, a BP tank wagon arrived at the end of the month. This is a Dekas model made in Denmark, and quite limited in availability. It will be interesting to compare this with our Piko model of the Uh wagon in BP livery (thankfully with a different running number)! The number shewn here is the number carried on the new model, though the box suggests 21…-4.
Two interesting model cars have arrived, a Volvo 444PV as a deluxe version with extra trims and detailed interior; and a much older Volvo PV56 with ‘wartime’ Gengas trailer. Both are by SMJ.
HNoll is inspecting samples of the Brown R4 and Black S12 carriages. If these are OK, they will be sent from China shortly afterwards and for delivery to the stores in the next few weeks. It is a very small part of the order that is ready. It may take a while before these carriages can be produced again as there is a lot of queuing in the factory. Work on B4, BF4 and BF7 has begun, which they hope to be able to deliver in the autumn, but there is no update about the A7/A8/B7/B8/S1 models. However, another setback has occurred with the air freight costs (which the supplier has blamed on Corona) which have gone up from 29kr per unit to 62kr, so now they are being sent by sea at a cost of 13kr, but delivery will be a bit later.
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.
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)!
Rc3 1027 is getting more ready to be used in double-heading and for testing new track before being connected to controllers.
Modifications were made to the superstructure so that coupling mechanisms could be retrofitted. The loco is of no use without couplings, so it was a necessary job! Fitting Symoba 111+107 was straight forward, and the only extra work was to make the cut-out in the ploughs so that the couplings could poke through.
We found some 13.5mm Ø wheels in stock and have fitted these into the bogies. We also found some weights which have been fitted inside the loco, to the chassis. Thus, it is now ready to run (notwithstanding repainting into an earlier livery at a later date).
T21 64 returned to service (for proper running-in) at the beginning of the month.
A small control panel on the chassis was repainted later (it was too bright!), and a better way of fitting the handrails has been devised. The new handrail work will be for a later date.
T45 328 also made progress.
The ploughs were painted matt red, but the first coat was cleaned off so that they could be cleaned with fibre brushes and reapplied; and this has certainly made an improvement.
Other painting included the bogie sides and bolsters, but of course these cannot be fitted until we have obtained a drive package for the model.
With the arrival of a ‘tap’ for M2, we were able to properly tap the holes for the screws to hold the body to the chassis.
We suffered a slight hiccup when we intended to apply the number decals to the buffer beams. We had failed to notice that the red does not go all the way up to the running board! So, this part of the red has been painted over, and then the number applied. This loco has now gone back into storage until a motor and drive-train can be sourced for it. In all other respects, it is ready for service.
F 1207 had some significant progress during November. The biggest breakthrough came on the first weekend of the month, which some would argue is a little ironic: remember that this is an important Swedish locomotive, made by a Danish manufacturer… that weekend was the 500th anniversary of the Stockholm Bloodbath; we’ll leave it to you to look up the historical relevance!
With some technical advice, we were able to separate the motor from the fly-wheel, and the same from the old T21 motor assembly. Under test, we found that by inserting the ‘F’ core into the ‘T21’ casing, there was no magnetic resistance. Reassembled with this substitution, the motor turned freely under power—one way only; completely ‘dead’ the other way! Remembering that this is a Heljan model, we rewired and re-soldered connections and it started to work properly, but clearly needing running-in.
Refitted to the loco, all was not well. In fact, the newly assembled hybrid motor seemed to work the wrong way (easily corrected by swapping the wires over), and then not at all. Then smoke arose from where smoke should not arise and the controller cut out! So, a new motor needs to be fitted. There is also a temptation to remove the PCB completely and fit our own suppressor (capacitor) and resistors, but that will be only if all else fails. A new motor is on order, but it seems to be taking a long time in coming (from Sheffield).
Following several hours research into the model’s internal wiring, the new smoke-box door headlamp was fitted and brought into use. It is correctly a so-called ‘warm-white’ and thus contrasts with Heljan’s ‘ice-white’ lamps. The latter will be dyed accordingly.
Boiler cab fittings have been painted with brass, copper and steel coloured paints.
K24 1775 returned to the Railway during November. There was only one K24, and its number was 1776, so we shall see about getting ours corrected. Curiously, when Liliput first produced the model, they got the number correct; but they later issued it as 1775 and 1772, both incorrect, yet only 1772 came with etched numberplates!
The model has NEM coupling pockets, but removal of the couplings requires the chassis to be taken apart, so close couplings were retrofitted later in the month!
Whilst we had the loco apart for checking over, we painted the cab fittings brass, copper and steel where appropriate, and a red regulator!
The NMJ wagon, G 1000 of the NOJ (Nässjö Oskarshamn Järnväg) has been purchased to support this loco, as has an old Piko Gs 761, also of the NOJ. The latter did not have NEM pockets, but these have now been retrofitted (Symoba, again), and all three vehicles (loco and two wagons) have close couplings inserted! (More about the Piko wagon below…)
Before SJ took over the K24, it was owned by the NOJ as their loco number 29. For more information, see our Available Models section.
Yd 343 came in for a little more work.
The ‘A’ end markers were fitted to this model. A small job, but makes the world of visual difference!
FM4 55420 has been painted. The decision was taken to reject the Orange “Mätvagn” livery for this model, and instead to paint it the same way as the R5, old SJ brown, but with black at window height. It is, after all, another ‘freelance’ carriage.
Because this model has had several livery considerations, it really needed sanding down first, then grey primer. The model was sanded again between two coats of primer, and when the first coat of SJ Brown went on, it went on very well! Obviously, its overall appearance is still a little compromised—best viewed from a distance!
The gloss black at window height is now matt black. But we have decided against repainting the roof, light grey is authentic for the brown livery.
An ASEA bogie was repainted (from light grey) to match this vehicle. This bogie is a temporary measure until the designated MD bogie has been relinquished by the T45 loco, which is borrowing it until a motor-bogie has been fitted.
Extra weight was required, and we have therefore found an excellent recycling exercise for Märklin AC wheel-sets; held in with ‘gorilla-glue’ four wheel-sets provide enough weight!
The number transfers have been applied, and we have used 55420, which is labelled for type F24K presently. We will, at a later date, change the ‘24K’ to ‘M4’!
R5 2602 has continued, following the collection of some old parts in store, spare parts from former UGJ models!
A bolster was fitted to each end of the chassis to serve as a buffer-beam, and for good measure, reinforced with ‘L’ section extrusion. The buffer centres are a scale distance of 6’ apart (easier to measure in scale than actual), so marking the bolster was easy from a width point of view; getting height right was a bigger challenge!
Symoba 111+103 couplings have been fitted to this model (requiring much of the new buffer beam to be cut away), and it was nice to find a use for the #103 standard pockets!
End gangways were made up (the X2000 pattern was quite unsuitable), and end lights (non-working) were fitted using British ‘Replica Railways’ products designed as headlamps for 00-scale diesels! Painted black with red lamp sections, they look quite the part!
Final assembly was conducted near the end of the month, and we now have an extra catering carriage, quite freelance, but useful until more suitable models are produced.
The Tekla (aka Strömavtagarvagn) was recovered from storage, and some effort has been made to get that kit completed. A plan of action was for a whole week, with one job each day. Although the jobs were all quite small, this is a delicate kit, and should not be rushed! Of equal urgency was a box for it to go into because it is rather lightweight and prone to damage!
This device is used at loco-sheds that house electric engines but were built before electrification, thus no cables go into the sheds. With the loco’s pantographs lowered, the Tekla provides power to the loco; one end slides onto the lowered pantograph, the other end makes contact with the wire outside. LEG’s film “1435 Elloksveteraner del 2” shews one in use.
Naturally, we started with the easier jobs; painting the wheels and fitting them using thin ‘piano wire’ for the axles. Super-glued into place (wheels onto axles), we now have a device that can be moved along the track—all wheels turn!
The ‘stretchers’ on the top required more intensive work, however. We didn’t have all of the required drill bits available (0.4mm, 0.6mm 0.8mm) and neither of our pin vices could hold the 0.4mm that we did have! But using an old dentists’ drill (kindly donated years ago), we were able to create 0.7mm holes and fill with glue or solder where necessary! Despite the precarious nature of this, it seems to have worked!
Unfortunately, the 0.8mm holes go into 0.9mm plastic, so that didn’t work out. We fitted reinforcers to the top of the frame, into which we have bored 0.9mm holes, and the insulators fit into that easily.
The shape-formation of the stretchers, which needed parts soldering on, was another unfortunate problem! This didn’t work out at all well. The cantilevers for the stretcher that reaches to the contact wire are now made from ‘L’ section brass (instead of 0.5mm round) and soldered into place; but the insulators for the other stretcher have been gorilla-glued instead of soldered.
The model finally went together at the end of the month, a few compromises here and there but not completely ruining the visual appeal. Unfortunately, we have found that it is only a visual model (we had hoped to use it for interesting shunting purposes as designed), but as the photo shews, the stretcher to the pantograph is nowhere near long enough! (Even if we took off our coupling so that the buffer beam could press against the loco buffers, it would still not reach!)
The box should be built in the early part of December.
Rc3 1027 has received some more work and investigation.
It has been fitted with Märklin pantographs of the correct LLXJE-235 type. Unlike the ones fitted to this Editions Atlas model, the new ones can be raised and lowered. There is a minor problem with the rest of the roof detailing, however, in that when lowered, the pantograph at the ‘B’ end rests on an insulator, but that is a job for another day!
As with our Heljan models, things just fall off this model regardless of how delicately it is handled. We have also found that handrails and suchlike are very brittle, so we might look into buying a Roco handrail accessory pack (if still available) and refit this model accordingly. Obviously, the extra handrails and steps for the Radio Control facility will need to be scratch-built!
Other work pending includes replacement wheels (conforming to NEM standards), extra weight, and couplings so that this loco can be used for double-heading! Symoba couplings look most likely.
A great sense of achievement occurred on October 6th; T21 64 ran under its own power! Two days later, it was run-in on a test track at another location. It sounded a little ‘rough’ and more work has been be necessary, but the light is in sight!
There are many electrical problems, soldered contacts just breaking off, for example; and random short circuits. But as October came to close, the loco was ready for testing and running in.
The buffer-beam ‘arch’ at the ‘A’ end prohibited the NEM coupling mechanism from functioning properly, so that has now been filed to a wider profile and the paint touched up.
More attachments have fallen off at the slightest touch, so they are being progressively put back on with reinforcement. The hooter now fits into a hole and is more secure, but although the handrails have been refitted, we’re not convinced they’re going to stay (each one has two pin-size fixings), so another idea needs to be thought up!
A little more white metal has been ground off the interior of the upper chassis, and off the end of the gear; our test with black paint proved that they were making contact, but not any more.
T21 64 with handrails refitted – at the time of publishing, one had come off already, but a new design of handrail and fitting is being developed.
T45 328 also received some more attention.
Plexiglass blocks were mounted to the cab insides, and holes drilled; these will be the primary fitting pieces for the body to the chassis.
Jeco hooters (for another loco) were acquired and fitted to the model, also.
The running plate was painted a very dark blue (in accordance with the instructions) and with a ‘dirty black’ under-chassis, this doesn’t look bad at all. The buffer beams, stocks and buffers have been painted, also.
We have fitted so-called ‘accommodation bogies’ to this model so that we can get a better perception of how it should look.
The body has needed opening out a little, so reinforcing beams have been fitted inside; these will come out when the eventual motor goes in.
Symoba couplings have been fitted (mechanism 111 and pocket 110—if you’re familiar with the range) and with the loco standing on the track, it does look ready to roll, but of course it isn’t!
F 1207 has been the recipient of a lot of work, and as October drew to a close, progress was quite apparent! There is much to write about, but we are providing a summary here, and will do a more thorough account for a special feature, in due course!
Loco and tender were easily separated; the mechanical coupling (a loop over a pin), the electrical coupling (a seven-pin plug and socket, a bit fiddly), and the cardan shaft (sleeved so that it comes apart (and goes back together) easily).
With the coal bunker removed from the tender, we found that it was DCC fitted(!)
On a test track, analogue control produced the usual disappointing results; digital produced better results, but still far from ideal. (This curious running property is explained by the fact that DCC uses Pulse Width Modulation where the frequency of the power supply is varied, not the voltage.) The test was concluded with the DCC chip being replaced by a blanking chip as we have no intention to continue with DCC.
Back to the tender where the motor is, there is a cardan shaft to drive the centre and trailing driving wheels on the loco, and a direct drive to the two axles in the leading bogie on the tender! We removed the poorly glued-on bulkhead and de-soldered four cables, and with little effort, the motor was now accessible.
The motor was found to be faulty. It is (or was) a sealed unit and it offered resistance at 60° increments; which suggested that it was brushless with no ‘escape’ for the back-EMF. The motor is the same shape and size as the one from the T21 diesel, but with different attachments, so as the one removed from the T21 was not working anyway, we decided to investigate with that before working on the F motor. We found two brushes and three poles! Although made by a third party for Heljan, we found that after soldering the cables back on, the actual contacts just broke off, so a completely new motor looks on the cards!
Then we investigated the loco. We were bothered by the fact that everything seems so loose and that there seems to be no safe way to handle the model. We were also annoyed that it does not have a top headlamp. Removing the pony-truck and bogie were simple enough; loosening the front of the boiler (via screw concealed by the bogie) was also easy. We had to be mindful of cables at the front, between the boiler and the running plate for the lighting. These were the reason that we wanted to get the loco apart in the first place, so that we could fit and wire in a top headlamp! But we noticed that the boiler was in two parts, where the grey meets the black, and that the smoke-box door was glued on. With the smoke-box off, and a gentle bit of prising with a screwdriver, we managed to separate the two parts of the boiler and get to the PCB within. It is more like a boiler with cladding, than two halves!
During this investigation, however, we did establish the ‘fitting’ locations for the side running plates, and these have now been secured. This is more significant than could be realised; we now have a means of handling the loco without the fear of it falling apart.
Like their T21 diesel loco, this has flimsy plastic steps on the tender, so these have also been reinforced with brass strip, and painted. We have removed the handrails on the back of the tender; not all locos had them all the time, and on this model they’re just another source of trouble.
With whatever spare time has been available, with the locomotive dismantled, we have painted the boiler bulkhead with all its fittings, and in the cab, the wooden floor and the roof and walls.
We Have done a little work on our new Hilding Carlsson Yd 343.
It was taken apart so that we could re-stick a counter weight inside the body. The model has two weights, one underneath the floor, and one to counterbalance the motor. The latter was loose.
We reassembled the model with the motor correctly at the ‘A’ end, though the A-end markers are missing! (However, with the ‘A’ end leading the fuel intake is on the right, so we were able to identify it!) The model has a rubber-band drive; simple yet effective.
We also adjusted one of the end luggage racks because it was coming loose.
Also, following the study of the few colour photographs that are available, we have painted the cow-catchers red (they’re not really snow ploughs)!
Yd 343 taken apart, shewing its simple-yet-effective means of power and assembly.
Y1 1308 and YF1 1331 have been fitted with Roco close-couplings into their NEM pockets. Fitting of things like mirrors has wisely been postponed until we are ready to start running them on a new layout.
A curious problem was identified by an AJF Friend with the tail lights not working, but the LED did light up under test. It was found that the fibre optics can work a little loose and not put the light in the right place. Worth investigating if you have this problem with yours.
Project FM4 has been rekindled, and whilst actual work has been minimal, a more sensible way forward has been identified.
The carriage is a UGJ F4 body with an X10 cab at one end!
The body has been sanded down a little, ready for new primer and then it will be painted in SJ Orange as if a Mätvagn. We will use some decals that have been found in the box about, but need to research the numbers available to see what is most likely (an ex-F4, now scrapped, would be viable).
Project R5 has also been rekindled, even though it is not so necessary now. We have been converting a Heljan URB2 catering carriage to a loco-hauled carriage in protest at the complete absence of catering vehicles in H0 for SJ. Now, of course, we have the NMJ RB1 available, and the HNoll R4 arriving soon! Our R5 is being completed as we have come so far with it.
It has been painted 1980s brown, but retaining the black band at window height. The roof and chassis are a much darker grey, and the ends are black.
Roco ASEA bogies have been retrofitted. The holes for the original Heljan bogies were too near the ends (because the Heljan bogies’ pivot was not in the centre), so they were unsuitable. Instead, we drilled new holes wide enough for the Roco bogies to be a loose fit, and then mounted a plate beneath the chassis with a smaller hole to retain the catches. For strength, these have been ‘gorilla-glued’ into place!
Symoba couplings seem the obvious choice for this model.
Having mentioned Symoba couplings; we have acquired a Height Gauge to comply with NEM-362, and this has been very useful for this purpose—especially with the modifications that have been made to the T21. It will be particularly useful also, on the Rc3 1027, T45 328, and R5 carriage, all of which are likely to receive this brand of coupling. We have put a link to the German-language Symoba website from this website.
We are considering the possibility of buying back the K24 steam loco (and doing some work on it to make it more authentic—see our recently updated guide to steam locos); there is a faint possibility of it receiving its earlier identity of NOJ number 29, but we’re not certain how easy that would be to do.