Swedish Railway Models – Diesel Locomotives

T21

A number of diesel locomotives of various types were purchased during the 1950s for shunting or local line work, but including a series of locomotives that functioned as both shunting and line locomotives, namely T2 (which in the 1960s became T21). The T21 locomotives were German-made and came from MaK in Kiel. With minor modifications, the locomotive was one of MaK’s proven standard types and similar locomotives were also built for railway companies in Germany, Denmark and even Cuba.

The main construction was based on connecting rod drive with a blind shaft between the four drive wheels. The cab was surrounded by hoods of different lengths. The SJ locomotive was given a characteristic colour scheme in brown-red with yellow decorative lines that formed a ‘V’ at the fronts. The locomotive, like many other smaller diesel locomotives and locomotives, received a gearbox with two different gears, one for shunting service with a maximum speed of 50 km/h and one for line service with a speed of 80 km/h.

Six of the T21 locomotives were manufactured under license by AB Svenska Järnvägsverkstäderna in Falun, which also built four more locomotives with a different Swedish-made gearbox. The latter locomotives got the letter T3, later T22. Unfortunately, the gearbox did not hold up and two of the locomotives were immediately rebuilt to T21. The two remaining T22 locomotives were scrapped in the 1970s.

Nora Bergslags Järnväg (NBJ) also bought four T21-type locomotives, manufactured by MaK. The locomotives were designated T21, T22, T23 and T24 where T stood for diesel locomotives and the numbers were the locomotives’ own number and thus not a ‘type’, despite the similarity with SJ’s ‘type’. The locomotive got a colour scheme that was similar to the SJ locomotive, but the base colour was instead red. The last two locomotives that were delivered in 1963 had different bodies and differed in a small number of ways. NBJ used the locomotives on its lines Otterbäcken-Nora-Ervalla and Bredsjö-Gyttorp. They were withdrawn in the early 1980s in connection with the liquidation of the NBJ. Two of the locomotives, T22 and T23, are preserved at Nora Bergslag’s Veteran Railway.

SJ initially deployed T21 mainly in line service. The locomotives had multiple equipment and, if necessary, two locomotives could be connected, but only ‘B’ end to ‘B’ end! In latter times, they were increasingly used as shunting locomotives. The T21s were located all over the country and many locomotives served especially in Stockholm and around Nässjö and Kristinehamn. During the 1980s, SJ began to withdraw the locomotives and the last ones were taken out of service in 1991. Many of them were set up as emergency locomotives and some were sold to private freight companies such as Shortline Väst and Österlentåg. In 2003, Banverket sold most of the emergency locomotives and the T21s were sold to museum associations and scrap dealers. One of the last places you could see T21 locomotives in operation was at Falköping Terminal in Falköping, where T21 was used until the early 2000s. At Qvick Entreprenad in Ljungaverk, they used T21 in their switching until around 2016.

  • Heljan released its T21 at the beginning of 2010, available with three running numbers, each as DC or AC.
  • Hobby-Teknik produced a kit for the “T21” (and similar “T23”) to fit a Piko chassis, from 1982.

T43

In the early 1960s, Nohab in Trollhättan received the first major order for diesel locomotives from SJ, who were satisfied with the experience from the previously delivered T41 locomotives. They were commissioned to deliver 50 T43 locomotives for line service. Since Nohab collaborated with General Motors (GM), the locomotive received many American features, the engine (EMD 12-567D1) came from GM, for example. The locomotives were initially used in both passenger and freight traffic, and T43 locomotives periodically ran the passenger trains on, for example, the Blekinge coastal railway and the northern coastal railway lines during the 1970s and 1980s. Today, the locomotives are usually only used for freight trains and shunting.

During the 1990s, some of the locomotives were scrapped and the rest were transferred from SJ to Banverket (which named the locomotive DLL, diesel line locomotive) and TGOJ. Several locomotives were sold to private freight companies such as Skånetåg and Tågåkeriet in Bergslagen (Tågab). From the beginning, the colour scheme of the locomotives was divided into three; blue, white and red fields. This was replaced during the 1970s with SJ’s usual colour scheme in orange and dark blue. Another change in appearance that has taken place over the years is the removal of the so-called skirt that the locomotive had around the upper part of the chassis. Some locomotives still have this left. The skirt was removed to facilitate maintenance. One of Tågab’s locomotives was painted like a TMY locomotive in 1999 in an American-inspired colour scheme in orange and black for participation in Lars von Trier’s film “Dancer in the Dark” and has been allowed to keep this painting.

BK Verkstad rebuilt in collaboration with Bombardier and Banverket T43 257 in 2001. The locomotive got a new environmentally friendly engine, better muffler, locomotive computer, etc. It was also repainted in a colour scheme in green and grey with the letters RPE on the sides (standing for Repower and Engineering ). The purpose of the conversion was to show that older diesel locomotives can be adapted to today’s requirements for noise and emissions. Svensk Tågteknik (formerly BK Verkstad) rebuilt another locomotive in 2005, T43 215. It was hybrid-powered, and powered by a diesel engine that charges a number of batteries. Diesel consumption can thus be halved.
Many of the locomotives have changed owners more than once. After TGOJ Trafik merged with Green Cargo in 2011, the company’s T43 locomotives were sold to other operators. Inlandsbanan’s three locomotives were sold in 2015 to the leasing company Beacon Rail. T43 240 and 258 were sold in 2015 to Guinea in West Africa, to be used as a tractor of ore trains. The freight company Hector Rail has bought four T43 locomotives and these have been registered 841. The Swedish Railway Museum owns T43 235 and has restored the locomotive to its original appearance with red / white / blue colour scheme.

  • Lima produced a model of this loco, but with body-side errors (so that they can accommodate their standard motor) and hopelessly balanced – it can manage only two or three wagons at the most, and does not sit on the track straight! Cheap, but overpriced.
  • Jeco has produced the T43 as a ready-to-run model in both original and later conditions, and in an assortment of liveries.

T44

The successor to T43 was T44, of which 123 were built for SJ during the years 1968-1987. With the exception of the last sub-series built by Kalmar Verkstads AB, Nohab in Trollhättan was the manufacturer. The T44 is slightly stronger (the engine comes from General Motors and is of the type EMD 12-645E) and the cab is more modern and better soundproof, but the locomotive otherwise has many similarities with the T43. In appearance, the T44 differs by more angular shapes. Up to three locomotives can be driven in multiple. The locomotives have always been used mainly for freight trains and switching, but have also occasionally pulled passenger trains, for example in the 1970s on the then unelectrified railway Borlänge-Mora and during the 1990s on the Inlandsbanan. To facilitate switching, in recent years some of the locomotives have been equipped with radio control.

A T44 locomotive, with the number 131, was manufactured in 1989 as a test locomotive for Israel Railways. However, no orders followed and the locomotive thus became the last manufactured T44 locomotive. It was used in Israel until 2019 when it was sold to BLS Rail in Sweden. In the late 1990s, Inlandsbanan AB (IBAB) leased five locomotives from SJ, but these were returned after IBAB bought TMX locomotives. Norwegian NSB has also leased T44 locomotives in several rounds. Four locomotives were sold in the 1990s to TGOJ (which has now merged into Green Cargo) and two to Malmtrafik in Kiruna AB / Malmtrafikk AS (now LKAB Malmtrafik).

When SJ split in 2001, Green Cargo took over the T44 locomotive. They continued to be stationed all over the country and the T44 was for a long time the most common type of diesel locomotive in Sweden. For the time being, most of the locomotives were allowed to retain the orange or blue colour scheme from the SJ era, but repainting to Green Cargo’s green colour began after a couple of years. In the spring of 2007, Green Cargo decided on a comprehensive upgrade of some of the T44 locomotives. The locomotives received, among other things, new, more environmentally friendly engines and an improved cab environment. They can also be driven in multiple with modernised Rc locomotives, Rd2. A total of 62 locomotives were rebuilt at Bombardier’s facility in Randers in Denmark in 2010 and 2011. The rebuilt locomotives are now type Td. Green Cargo’s remaining T44 locomotives have gradually been used less and less, and in 2014 some locomotives began to be decommissioned or sold. Railcare, Svensk Tågkraft and Swedtrac, among others, have bought locomotives from Green Cargo. In 2015, Inlandsbanan AB bought two locomotives to be rebuilt and run on rapeseed oil on a trial basis.

  • Modellproduktion produce a plastic model of this loco as a kit (at a very reasonable price) or r-t-r (obviously dearer).
  • Jeco produced a metal model of this loco as a kit, in conjunction with DJH; but have also produced a ready-to-run model (with plastic body) also, in an assortment of liveries and an assortment of technical specifications.
  • Märklin and Trix have produced the T44 diesel locomotive to celebrate Märklin’s 70th year selling models in Sweden (Märklin produces the model for 3-rail in a few liveries, some of which are also produced by Trix for 2-rail).

T45

ASEA, which for a long time was Sweden’s largest manufacturer of electric locomotives, also tried to build diesel locomotives in the early 1970s. The idea was to challenge Nohab in Trollhättan, which until then had dominated the Swedish diesel locomotive market. A bogie locomotive was constructed where, among other things, bogies and parts of the electrical equipment were the same as in the Rc electric locomotives. The diesel engine was of the SEMT-Pielstick system and was manufactured by Hedemora Verkstäder, while the Norwegian Thune was responsible for the mechanical parts. In terms of appearance, the locomotives were quite similar to the T43 and T44 locomotives and became T45. Up to three locomotives could be multiple driven.

In 1969, SJ signed a contract with ASEA to lease the five locomotives that were manufactured. They were delivered 1971-1972 in an orange/white colour scheme similar to Rc locomotives. The locomotives were placed in Borlänge and pulled both freight trains and passenger trains on the then still unelectrified line to Mora. In 1976, SJ returned the T45 locomotives to ASEA. Reliability had not been so good, mainly due to problems with the diesel engines and SJ did not want another type of diesel locomotive. ASEA tried to sell them abroad but interest was low. Only one locomotive was sold to the mining company A/S Sydvaranger in Kirkenes in Norway. The remaining locomotives became shunting locomotives in various Swedish industries, including the ironworks in Avesta and Hofors. The investment was thus not a success and ASEA did not build any more diesel locomotives.

Today there are no T45s left in traffic and all but one of the locomotives have been scrapped. T45 327 is preserved at the Museum Association Gefle-Dala Jernväg in Falun.

  • Modellproduktion produce a plastic model of this loco as a kit (at a reasonable price) or r-t-r (dearer).

Tc

Between 1969 and 1971, Nohab manufactured 10 bogie locomotives type Tb and 20 two-axle locomotives type Tc for SJ. The locomotives were built as combined freight train and snow removal locomotives. The Tc locomotives are weaker than Tb and are diesel-hydraulic instead of diesel-electric. The engine in the locomotive is from Deutz. The cab is located at one end and has large windows that provide good visibility to the front and sides. Between the wheels there is a lifting plate that allows the locomotive to be turned when needed so that the cab can always be forward. At the front and on the sides, the locomotive has large ploughs that can be removed when not needed. Two Tc locomotives can be run in multiple. SJ used the locomotives in freight trains and track work trains in summer and for snow removal in winter. In 1984, the locomotives were transferred to the company vehicle fleet and they were then mainly used for track work trains. The new ‘type’ was Qaz, but many of the locomotives retained the original label. After Banverket was formed in 1988, the locomotives were transferred there and they were only used for track work and snow removal. They first became QTC but this was later changed to DLL (diesel line locomotive). Most were also repainted in yellow. Upon delivery, the locomotive was orange with a grey chassis and roof. In 1994, Banverket sold a locomotive to BK Tåg, which repainted it in its blue / white colour scheme. This locomotive was later sold to DVVJ, which in turn sold it to Strukton Rail after a couple of years. Later, Strukton bought another locomotive. During the early 2000s, the use of Tc locomotives decreased and many of the locomotives were scrapped. Today, there are only three locomotives left in traffic; in addition to the two locomotives at Strukton Rail, there is also one locomotive left at Infranord. (Infranord is the name of the company that arose when Banverket Produktion was incorporated in 2010.)

  • Modellproduktion produced a plastic model of this loco as a kit (at a reasonable price), which easily fits onto a Roco chassis – but without the in-built turntable! A third-party produces extra parts for the model, such as handrails, etc.

TMX / TMY

The Danish MX and MY series locomotives have been reduced in number, being sold to other railway administrations, including some in Sweden. They are similar in appearance (and are both Co-Co designs) but have different engines and certain other differences.

  • Heljan produce both versions, and these are very high quality models. There is no comparison between these locomotives and the earlier X2 or Y2.units.
  • Märklin have produced the ‘MY’ for some time, but new for 2001, are two Swedish liveries. Performance and detail is not at all up to Heljan’s standard.
  • Roco has recently produced a model of the ‘MY’, but not in Swedish liveries.

TMZ

The TMZ is another Danish design (MZ), but very different in appearance to the TMX/TMY, and are beginning to see service in Sweden with various operators.

  • HobbyTrade have produced the TMZ in a couple of Swedish liveries.

V5

A three-axle locomotive, developed from the V4, and in use in many areas.

  • Märklin produce a model of this locomotive, which is mostly accurate, though the model uses the standard body for other European countries.
  • One:87 has produced the V5 as a highly detailed model (in two liveries) with a price tag (±£700) to match.

TGOJ V

A three-axle shunting locomotive used by TGOJ, all withdrawn now.

  • Lima produced this model in early TGOJ Green – probably the best Swedish locomotive that they have produced, in terms of looks and performance – but it is their most modern in this respect.
  • Märklin have also produced this model (in TGOJ Orange), but although more expensive, is not quite up to the quality of the Lima model.

TGOJ V10

Almost identical to the V5, this had the older more rounded body before refurbishment.

  • Märklin produced this locomotive in TGOJ orange, and it has been available again recently as a limited edition in newer liveries.

Z65/Z70

A common shunting engine introduced in the 1960s, some were modified into class ‘Z70’ with radio control during the 1990s. Originally 102 locos were delivered to SJ, but now many are in service with other operators, IBAB, TGOJ, TÅGAB to name a few. Therefore the loco has more recently appeared in many liveries. Probably the most elegant of Swedish shunting locomotives.

  • Jeco introduced their model in 2016 as initially the Z65, and then the Z70 version followed soon after. Their Z65 is in the orange+blue livery and the older red+white+blue; the Z70 is in orange+blue as SJ or GC, and blue+grey as SJ or GC; but more versions are planned.
  • Tri-ang produced a model for three years from 1969 in a scale somewhere between H0 and 00, in a train set only; and they do turn up on the second-hand market from time to time. They were never marked as Z65 nor gave any impression that this is what they were based upon; and the chassis and wheels with their coupling rods are totally wrong, but check the photo for authenticity!

Z67

2-axle shunting locomotive in declining numbers, but popular with a number of operators.

  • Fleischmann produced a shunting locomotive that could be Nordicised to represent the Z67.  The repainted sample that visits the FLMJ is article number 1306 and originally had British 00 style couplings

Z68

A less common shunting engine.

  • Modellproduktion produce a plastic model of this loco as a kit (at a reasonable price), which easily fits onto a Tenshodo chassis.