- Swedish Railway Models
- Swedish Scenic Models
Four line voltages – many countries With the more modern locomotives, references are made to different power systems. Different countries have different systems, some having more than one. The four types of electrical systems in the main part of Europe are given in the table below; multi-system locos can handle a large part of continental Europe’s electrified railway network with a normal gauge (Hector Rail’s 441 can be used on all four systems). The different line voltages are as follows:
|Country||AC: 15kV, 16⅔Hz||AC: 25kV, 50Hz||DC: 1.5kV||DC: 3kV|
When new electrification is provided in these countries, alternating current 25kV, 50Hz is often chosen. Curiously, this includes Denmark, where electrification started as recently as the 1980s, but instead of matching their two immediate neighbours’ systems (Germany and Sweden at 15kV, 16Hz), they went for an isolated 25kV system. Interestingly, the five operating at 15kV do not operate any other systems (on their main lines); all others (except Poland) have more than one system! (Finland & Spain not included as they have different track gauges; UK not included because these locos cannot work within the small UK loading gauge.)
During the 1920s, the electrification of the Swedish railways accelerated. SJ’s first electric locomotive was the two-part Oa locomotive built for the Malmbanan. On the main lines farther south, the locomotives were not suitable and therefore new types of locos were needed. SJ put together a group that studied various proposals and types of varieties abroad, including in the USA and Switzerland. Finally, they settled on a connecting rod locomotive with three drive wheels and one ‘pony’ at each end, and in 1923 SJ ordered 50 locomotives from ASEA. ASEA had the main responsibility and was responsible for the electrical equipment, while AB Svenska Järnvägsverkstäderna, Nohab and Motala Verkstad (Falun) manufactured the mechanical parts of the locomotive. Thus, most of the Swedish locomotive industry was involved in the deliveries. The first locomotives were delivered in the early summer of 1925 and were tested on the Malmbanan before being placed in Stockholm in 1926 when the electrification of the Western main line Göteborg-Stockholm was completed. The first locos were delivered with wooden bodies, but later ones were metal; a few of the wooden ones were later converted to metal, some just receiving metal cabs whilst retaining wooden bodies over the machine room! In the 1930s, two private railways, Dalslands Railway and the Berglagernas Railway, also purchased some D-locomotives.
When these railways were nationalized in 1948, the locomotives were taken over by SJ. The look of these locomotives differed from the SJ locomotive in that the upper part of the front leaned slightly backwards. Locomotives that were not modernised were scrapped in the 1960s and 1970s, while the last Du2 locomotives were used until 1988. Several different D-locomotives are preserved as museum locos, including the first locomotive D 101.
For more info on the ‘D’ series, see our special feature.
- Märklin has produced the ‘D’ as a limited edition wooden body version, and has real wood veneer, though this has proven, in many cases, to have not stuck very well. It is no longer available.
- Brimalm has produced a Du2 (multiple-working version of the Du).
- Jeco has recently produced a ‘Du’ as a ready-to-run model.
Da series (The modern D-locomotive)
The last D-locos of the older type had been delivered in 1943. In the late 1940s SJ began to discuss new locomotive orders. More railways were in turn to be electrified and thus SJ needed more locomotives. After thinking about bogie locos for a while, it was decided to invest in the tried-and-tested coupling rod type. The basic design was the same as for previous D-locos, but the changes were still quite numerous. For example, the locomotive got a new engine type, new bearings in the drive wheels, rubber-framed windows and the cooling air intakes were placed on the roof. The Da-loco was also equipped with multiple coupling so that up to three locomotives could be combined.
The 93 Da locomotives became SJ’s new universal locomotive in the 1950s used in both passenger and freight traffic, but the type was never quite as appreciated as its predecessors. The running properties of the locomotive were improved in the 1970s by the replacement of the spokes with rubber-sprung SAB wheels. The cabins were also rebuilt on some locomotives so that they got so-called Norrland cabins which were better insulated. In the late 1980s, the locomotive began to be taken out of traffic. By the mid-1990s SJ had withdrawn all its locomotives, but some were acquired by other operators.
On the Luleå-Narvik Malmbanan, the Of-locos, which pulled the ore trains, began to grow old during the 1950s. In connection with the creation of the Da locomotive, SJ therefore also ordered a two-part variant with the axle sequence 1’D+D1′ and type Dm.
Each locomotive was built like a Da-loco but had an extra drive wheel and cab at just one end. The first series of 6 locomotives (12 locomotives) were put into service in 1953, followed by 8 locomotives (16 locomotives) in 1956 and 1957. Since the Malmbanan’s westernmost part (Ofotbanen) belongs to Norway, the Dm locomotive got a Norwegian equivalent, El12. Four El12 locomotives were built for NSB 1954-1957. During the 1960s, another 25 Dm locomotives (50 locomotives) were delivered. A Dm locomotive could pull trains weighing up to 3400 tonnes. Therefore, in order to further increase capacity, 1960-1970 intermediate locos were built for 19 of the Dm locomotives so that the train weight could be increased to 5200 tonnes. The intermediate locos were built as a standard locomotive but without a cab or ‘pony’ wheel-set. They became Dm3 and were permanently connected to the Dm locomotive. The term ‘Dm3’ came in daily speech to be the designation of the whole three-part locomotives and not just the intermediate parts, although the end parts were still formally type Dm. In the 1980s, most of the 20 Dm locomotives were moved south to the Bergslag area. There they hauled freight trains on, among other things, the Gävle-Borlänge line until the early 1990s when the locomotives were withdrawn. The last Dm3 locomotives were taken out of traffic in 2013 after serving as a reserve for the last time. Two complete Dm3 locomotives have been preserved.
- Fleischmann produced the ‘Da’ for a number of years but is now obsolete
- Märklin produced the ‘Da’ at about the same time as the Fleischmann model. It is no longer available. More recently, Märklin has produced the Dm / Dm3 locos, which are also available in 2-rail format from Trix.
- Roco has produced the Da in brown, and at least one modern livery. Roco has also produced the Dm in original condition and the ‘Dm3’ in Epoch-IV and later versions.
In the 1930s, the standard on the western main line Stockholm-Göteborg was improved so that the highest speed could be raised to 120 km/h. However, SJ did not have suitable locos for this and therefore began an intensive work on developing a suitable type of union in collaboration with ASEA. There was a battle between the tried but older coupling rod type and the newer framework or bogie locos. It ended with SJ trialling three framework locos with the shaft sequence 1’Do1′, ie with four driving axles. Unlike the D-loco, the locomotive was fully welded but otherwise resembled its appearance. In the three test locos delivered in 1942, different types of power transmission and shaft designs were tested. After the tests, another 21 locomotives were delivered during the 1940s. They differed, among other things, in that the previous three wind-shields became two. The test locos were later rebuilt to become like the newer ones. The locomotives were put into the fast long-distance trains on the routes Malmö-Stockholm, Malmö-Göteborg and Stockholm-Göteborg, and was also used in the Stockholm-Oslo trains. When the Rc locomotive arrived at the end of the 1960s, the locomotive was relocated to the Ostkustbanan and Göteborg-Kalmar, among others. The locomotives were withdrawn in 1978-1983 and the very last service had been in local trains in the Stockholm area.
For more info on the ‘F’ series, see our special feature.
- UGJ produce a white-metal kit of this locomotive, designed to fit a Roco Chassis.
- Jeco has produced a ready-to-run model of the F electric loco.
During the 1930s SJ began to electrify smaller side railways as well. These had lower standards than the main lines and thus required lighter locomotives. ASEA and SJ therefore jointly produced the H-locomotive, which in several ways differed from previous electric locomotives, which were usually two-cabin locomotives with connecting rod operation. The H-locomotive was like the Öc/Öd-locomotive bogie locomotive and had a single cabin in the middle of the locomotive with a hood on each side. The series of H-locomotives began with 40 Ha-locomotives delivered 1936-1939. The locomotive soon turned out to have quite poor running characteristics as the bogies were not sufficiently sprung. Despite this, a second series of locomotives were ordered, but the design changed slightly, and these 22 locomotives were given type Hb.
The experience led to several improvements in the Hc and Hd locomotives. These locomotives were made longer, got better suspension and were rebalanced by moving the cab a bit so that the hoods were different in length. This look came to give the locomotive the nickname “strykjärn”. The final and superior development was the Hg locomotive where the engine and the drive were reinforced (types He and Hf were skipped). A total of 65 Hg locomotives were delivered to SJ in 1947-1951, but this sum also included some private railway locomotives that were taken over by SJ shortly after delivery when the routes were nationalized. ASEA also built seven Hg locomotives for TGOJ. The (SJ) locomotive was used in lighter passenger and freight trains and in shunting. In the Göteborg-Alingsås local traffic, passenger trains were driven with B6 carriages and a Hg locomotive at each end, and the folk humour gave these trains the name “Humle and Dumle” after a few figures in a children’s TV program. The same arrangement was also used on the Örebro-Svartå line. The Ha-Hd locomotives were all withdrawn in the 1960s and 1970s, except for three Hd locomotives which were converted to Hg. During the 1970s, 36 of the Hg locomotives received multiple equipment and a new type Hg2. Two multiple-coupled Hg2 could also pull heavy freight trains. The Hg and Hg2 locomotives continued to operate throughout the 1980s, and the last locomotives hung on until 1992. TGOJ’s last Hg locomotive was discontinued in 1993.
- Skanex has produced a kit of this loco.
- Jeco has produced the Hg and Hg2 (the latter fitted for multiple working) in SJ brown as well as TGOJ orange and green liveries.
A friend of the FLMJ writes:
In the 1950’s, I remember that I frequently saw them in passenger service on the trains Charlottenberg-Laxå. At that time most trains carried through-coaches to Stockholm that were attached to the rear of the Göteborg-Stockholm trains (thus attached at Laxå).
As late as 1982 I did see one in a freight train together with a Da loco just outside Karlstad. I also know that the NKlJ line purchased at least one of these for use on the dual gauge line (1435 & 891mm) between Karlstad and Skoghall. I do not remember if I ever saw that particular loco. I think SJ eventually did buy it from NKlJ*.
Last time I did see one of these in person was in 1984. The loco was parked outside the roundhouse in Vännäs in Northern Sweden when I came over on the ferry from Finland to Umeå, then the shuttle from there to Vännäs. The loco appeared to have been completely renovated and painted including the “Lollipops” marking the A end. It is probably a loco that is preserved.
*NKlJ had two locomotives, which became SJ numbers 786 & 787, the latter now as a model at the FLMJ!
In the 1990s, the Dm3 locomotive began to age at the same time as it was wanted to increase the capacity of the trains on the Malmbanan. The mining company LKAB’s transport company Malmtrafik in Kiruna AB (MTAB, now LKAB Malmtrafik) therefore ordered a new type of ore train locomotive by Bombardier. The locomotive was developed especially for MTAB but received many similarities with other electric locomotives from Bombardier’s TRAXX family. The locomotive consists of two parts that act as individual locomotives and one part can thus be run as its own locomotive, although this does not normally happen. In addition, up to four parts can be run in multiple if required. The paired locomotive is 46 meters long, weighs 360 tonnes and can pull trains weighing just over 8000 tonnes. To handle the train weight, the locomotives have been made extra heavy by making the locomotive body 4 cm thick – on a regular locomotive, the walls are 4mm.
The first locomotive arrived in Sweden in August 2000 and was run the same autumn. The locomotive was put into regular traffic in 2001 and all the first 18 locomotives were delivered in the three years following. In the summer of 2007, an additional eight locomotives were ordered. The first locomotive in the second series – No. 119 – arrived in Kiruna in the autumn of 2009. A third series with eight locomotives was ordered in April 2011 and these were manufactured in 2012-2013. MTAB gave the loco the name ‘Iore’ to the dismay of some railway enthusiasts. If you follow the accepted designation rules, a designation starting (or ending) with ‘M’ would be the correct one. ‘Iore’ refers to “iron ore” (in English) but also gives associations to the stubborn donkey in the books about Nalle Puh (Winnie the Pooh). MTAB has also named the locomotives individually after different locations along the Malmbanan.
- Roco produces a model of this very special locomotive, initially as 101+102 in ‘as delivered’ condition, then various versions subsequently. Experience has shewn that the two halves of the model should not be regularly separated, as the electrical coupling is prone to breaking!
In the late 1940s SJ needed more new locomotives for heavy traffic on the Norrland lines. It was decided to start development from the Mg locomotive that was built a few years earlier. Like Mg, the result was a locomotive with three-axle bogies, but faster and stronger. ASEA built 32 locomotives for SJ between 1953-1960, which were used as traction in both passenger trains and freight trains in central and northern Sweden. The private railway company TGOJ also ordered Ma-locos for the Grängesberg-Oxelösund ore traffic. Nine locos were delivered 1954-1958. They differed by having round machine room windows on the sides, rather than rectangular ones. They also had multiple equipment so that two locomotives could be coupled. In 1990, SJ’s remaining 25 locomotives were transferred to TGOJ (which had been nationalized and served as a subsidiary of SJ, later Green Cargo). Many of the SJ locomotives were withdrawn, but several of them were put back into traffic. TGOJ therefore came to use about ten SJ locomotives in addition to the original nine TGOJ locomotives. Some locomotives were later sold to Inlandsgods and BK Tåg (later acquired by Railcare and Netrail). The Ma-loco quickly became popular for its strength and reliability. The robust construction meant that many of the locomotives achieved more than 50 years in service.
For more info on the ‘Ma’ series, see our special feature.
- Jeco has produced the Ma as a metal ready-to-run model at a prohibitive (to many modellers) price, but has more recently released it as an affordable but high quality plastic-body version.
Mg – The powerful freight train loco
After the Norrland lines were electrified in the early 1940s, SJ needed a strong electric locomotive that could pull the heavy freight trains, especially the Långsele-Boden section. It was decided for the first time to invest in a larger bogie locomotive, the H- and Ö-locomotives that were built earlier were intended for easier, lighter service. In cooperation with ASEA, the M-locomotive with three-axle bogies was developed. The M-locomotive got a distinctive appearance with a protruding part in the ends. The loco bodies were fully welded, but because the welding technology was not fully developed at that time, problems with cracks occurred. Therefore, in repair, traditional riveting techniques were used. The two sides of the locomotive looked different as the passage through the engine room was on one side only. The 17 locomotives were delivered during 1944 and 1945. The highest speed was modest 80 km/h since the locomotives were primarily intended for freight traffic. However, it appeared that they were also used in passenger trains; among other things, they pulled passenger trains Ånge-Boden during their first years. The locomotive was changed to Mg when the Ma locomotive arrived in the early 1950s. The Mg locomotive served until the end of the 1970s when they began to be withdrawn. The last locomotives were withdrawn in 1981. Mg 620 is the only Mg locomotive preserved, at Stockholm’s Cultural Society for Steam and Railway (SKÅJ).
- Hobby-Teknik produced a kit for the “Mg” in 1995, but without a chassis.
- J-E Nilsson produced a kit for the “Mg” in 1987.
SJ realised in the 1940s that a new electric locomotive was needed for the fastest passenger trains. The coupling-rod loco was still dominant and had many supporters within SJ, but the interest in bogie locos was large enough to order two test locos from ASEA in 1953.
ASEA set out to construct a light and fast locomotive. The weight was lost through, among other things, a new engine and more efficient power transmission. Great effort was put on the bogies so that the locomotive would go as well as possible and used calculations and formulas to arrive at the right design, instead of “testing and seeing” as before.
The high speed of the locomotive, for then a staggering 150 km/h, made it desirable to have a speedy appearance. Following the design of American diesel locomotives, the fronts were rounded with a bulge that would suggest the locomotives’ speed and protect the locomotive driver. The first four locomotives were initially light orange in colour, but subsequent locomotives were painted in darker orange with a broad white band around the locomotive basket. They were named “Rapid” and each locomotive was marked with “Rapid” and a number.
The first two locomotives were delivered in 1955 and quickly became a success. SJ therefore ordered an additional eight locomotives that had the same design except that the pantographs were moved closer to the centre of the locomotive so as not to be so sensitive to the wind speed.
The locomotives were put into express trains, mainly on the Stockholm-Göteborg route and later also Stockholm-Oslo. The express train speed was a maximum of 130 km/h and the locomotives’ maximum speed of 150 km/h was therefore rarely used.
When the Rb and Rc locomotives arrived, the Ra locomotive was moved to more regional service, including in the passenger trains in Bergslagen, on the Oskustbanan and around Mälardalen. The locomotives were rarely used in goods traffic, but it appeared that they pulled local goods trains on, for example, the Stockholm-Nynäshamn section.
In the 1970s, minor rebuilds of the locomotive were made and the large headlights were replaced with smaller Marchal headlights. In the mid-1980s, six of the locomotives were further modernised by, among other things, moving the door on the driver’s side so that the working environment in the cab was improved.
All ten locomotives were used until the end of the 1980s when they began to be withdrawn. Two locomotives, 990 and 993, continued to operate and pulled a series of exhibition trains before finally being withdrawn in 1996.
Several locomotives, including the first, are preserved at the Swedish Railway Museum (Ra 846), Nässjö Railway Museum (Ra 987) and Stockholm’s Cultural Society for Steam and Railway (Ra 994). In 2006, Ra 846 was renovated to the original appearance at the Swedish Railway Museum.
Ra 847, which belongs to the Bergslagarnas Railway Society, was rented from the beginning of the 2000s and up to 2009 for runs of the National Rail Administration’s dynamometer car. The train could be seen all over Sweden, and was modelled at the FLMJ at that time!
Although the Ra can be regarded as an expired loco type, occasional locomotives have been used not only in museum trains but also in other uses. The Swedish Railway Museum sold Ra 988 to the company Svensk Tågkraft in 2012 and this Ra-loco is now used in regular traffic. It has been used, among other things, as a ‘tractor’ in anti-slip trains.
- Lima produced a mid-series model of this loco in two versions. The differences are the lights. A conversion kit was available for a brief time with a new Jeco chassis and Roco bogies; giving the model superior running qualities and NEM couplings!
- Jeco produced the Ra-loco in original condition with a choice of first or later livery.
The Rc locomotive is not only one of the most well-known Swedish locomotives, but also the type produced in most copies, a total of 366 locomotives. ASEA began supplying the Rc locomotive in 1967 after extensive testing of the Rb locomotives. Electricity to the motors in the locomotive was controlled with thyristors, a novelty that reduced the risk of slipping and made step-less acceleration possible. The design was a success and various versions of Rc locomotives were built for SJ until 1988. Similar locomotives were also exported to Austria, Iran and Norway, among others.
The Rc1 was the first series and consisted of 20 locomotives. The locomotives were manufactured by Motala Workshop and Nohab, so as often as before, the Rc was a collaboration with several subcontractors. Initially, the first delivered locomotives were only Rc, and not until the Rc2 locomotives were ordered did they change to Rc1. The locomotives were used in all kinds of service, both passenger and goods trains, but at first they were used mainly in express trains where they replaced the Ra and F locomotives which were given less prestigious duties. Rc1 1007, one of the last Rc1 locomotives in traffic, was sold in December 2014 to the Swedish Railway Museum, where the locomotive was then renovated to the 1978 condition with orange colour and the typical “SJ stamp” on the front.
The second series of Rc locomotives for a total of one hundred was delivered in 1969-1975, as the Rc2. Like Rc1, they were put into all kinds of traffic. ASEA also made ten locomotives with approximately the same design as Rc2 for the Austrian state railways (ÖBB). The Swedish goods company Tågab bought nine of the locomotives from ÖBB in 2001 and they are now operating in Sweden, as Rc2 ÖBB; there are subtle detail differences from the SJ version. Most Rc2 are now Rd2 (heavily rebuilt), but 1045 and 1052 remain as Rc2.
To get Rc locomotives at a higher speed than normal 135 km/h, ten locomotives were built with gearing for 160 km / h in the early 1970s. The locomotive was the Rc3. The higher speed was mainly intended for use in passenger trains, but the locomotive was also used to pull goods trains. During the 1990s, when the need for fast locomotives increased, 23 Rc2 were converted to Rc3 by increasing the speed to 160km/h.
The fourth series of Rc locomotives began to be delivered to SJ 1975 and until 1982, 130 Rc4 locomotives were manufactured. Like Rc1 and Rc2, maximum speed was 135 km/h. The locomotive was used during SJ time in both passenger trains and goods trains throughout the country, but now, belonging to Green Cargo, only pull goods trains. Rc4 1166 was lent to Amtrak in the USA in 1976-1977; as X995, the locomotive was tested, and led to the development of the AEM7. Norwegian NSB also tested an Rc4 locomotive, which also resulted in an order. Several Rc4 locomotives have been rebuilt during periods with gearing for 160 km/h for mail trains, and became Rc4P. Rc4 1290 is the only Rc locomotive in regular traffic that still has orange colour – the colour that the Rc locomotives had at delivery, thanks to the anniversary year 2006 when the Swedish Railways celebrated 150 years.
The penultimate series of Rc locomotives consisted of 60 locomotives delivered to SJ 1982-1986 as Rc5. The locomotive had gearing that produced a top speed of 135 km/h. In appearance, they differed from previous Rc locomotives by greater air intake. The Rc5 locomotive also got a new type of stronger windscreen. As the locomotives had more electronic parts, an indication and troubleshooting system was needed and Rc5 got the first Rc locomotive computer. The computer shewed indications on a display in the cab and the driver or repairer was able to get information about errors that occurred both recently and farther back in time. The increasing need to be able to drive above all passenger trains at higher speeds led SJ to rebuild the Rc5 locomotives to Rc6 in 1992-1995. One locomotive, Rc5 1377, never got the orange colour but was painted in two experimental liveries – first in white and silver, then in blue. The colours gave the loco nicknames “John Silver” and then “Discoloket” (disco-loco).
In 1985, the last series of Rc locomotives began to be delivered, Rc6. In 1988, the last Rc6 locomotives were rolled out of ASEA’s workshops in Västerås, and thus the era that started in 1967 with Rc1 ended. A total of 366 Rc and Rm locomotives had then been delivered to SJ. The locomotive was used like other Rc locomotives in both passenger and goods traffic. From 2001, the Rc6 locomotive ended up at SJ AB and they are now normally used only in passenger trains. Two Rc6 were for a time converted to Rc7 at higher speed (180 km/h), but this was short-lived.
(Six Rc-derived locomotives were built during the 1970s for traffic on the Malmbanan. Among other things, they got lower gears, ore train brakes and automatic torque for the ore wagons. The locomotives were also ballasted with weights to increase traction. Like other Rc locomotives, they received multiple-run equipment, which came in handy in the heavy ore trains where three locomotives were often used together. The locomotive was Rm ((‘m’ = malm (ore))and became a complement to the older Dm / Dm3 locomotives. However, as early as the early 1980s the need for traction on the Malmbanan was reduced and the Rm locomotive was instead placed in Ånge. Subsequently, they have operated in and around Malmö and back up to the north.)
For more info on the ‘Rc’ series, see our special feature.
- Fleischmann introduced their model in 1973 as Rc2 1091. The only major change to the model was a new “drive” fitted from 1994 onwards. By 1970s standards it is a very fine model. Running performance is good.
- Jeco introduced their Rc2/Rc3 in 2012 in a number of versions, each as a limited run. There were only two orange versions with original roof profile, but only one of them had original window surrounds. SJ Blue, GC Blue and GC Green versions were also produced along with SJ Black and SSRT Grey, and a few more.
- Lima introduced their model in 1974 as Rc2 1035. It has had a number of cosmetic changes over the years, the most notable being the new blue livery in 1991. It is a very basic model (more akin to a toy) even by 1970s standards. Performance is poor to middling!
- Märklin introduced their model in 1968 as Rc 1010. In line with all Märklin products, however, this model was designed to operate on their 3-rail system. It has undergone a number of cosmetic alterations, but it is only recently that the roof profile has been modified to current standards (but it retains the non-heated mirrors!). Starting in 1969 Märklin licensed Hamo to produce 2-rail versions of their model, though this agreement no longer exists.
- Roco introduced their model in 1984 as Rc5 1323; but it actually came with a sheet of transfers so that the purchaser could apply one of four numbers. Roco’s model is the only one to represent the newer roof profile (Rc5/Rc6). Different versions of the model have been issued over the years in several liveries and with a selection of more numbers. A major alteration to the model was to make it DCC-ready. More recently, Roco has introduced the Rc2 version in original condition and a third technical specification which is much more up-to-date.
- Editions Atlas has produced a static model of Rc3 1027, mounted on a plinth. It is a moderately accurate representation of this former Rc2, and is presented in SJ blue with the modifications to represent a loco fitted with radio-control (for shunting purposes). Modifications to make it into a running loco would require Tenshodo ‘spuds’ as the easiest option (or something more substantial), couplings, adjustable pantographs (those fitted are non-movable mouldings), and lights.
In connection with the planning of the D-locomotive in the early 1920s, SJ concluded that some kind of shunting locos were also needed and in 1925 therefore ordered three locomotives from ASEA. The locomotive, type U (changed to Ua when the Ub locomotive arrived) was a connecting rod loco with the cab at one end. The rather small wheels and the large gears made the locomotive strong despite its small size.
The sight ahead turned out to be quite poor in the Ua locomotive and when SJ ordered more, the Ub, the cabin was moved to the centre and the hoods made lower. Otherwise, much of the construction was retained. A lot of the electrical equipment was the same as the one in the D-locomotive so you could use the same spare parts. The first four Ub locomotives were delivered in 1930 and were followed by a further 86 locomotives until 1950. In addition, TGOJ purchased five locomotives manufactured in 1950-1954. ASEA also exported locomotives of the same type to Norwegian NSB.
In the early 1930s SJ was very interested in accumulator locomotives, locomotives that could run both via contact line and batteries. SJ therefore ordered in 1932 a version that could also run on batteries. The locomotive had the same design as the Ub locomotive, but since it did not contain the accumulator equipment, it had to be placed with a special tender that was connected to the locomotive. It turned out not to be as smooth and the tender was withdrawn in the 1950s. However, the solitary locomotive, Uc 275, was used as usual electric locomotive until 1991.
The Ub locomotive had proved to be a good design and when SJ needed additional shunters in the 1950s where many parts could be reused. However, the new Ud locomotives got a higher speed, 60 km/h, and a slightly different power transmission with both connecting rods placed horizontally. In appearance, they differed by rounded cabin windows. Because of the higher speed, the locomotive could also be used in local goods trains.
Some of the Ub and Ud locomotives were modernized at the end of the 1980s with, among other things, radio control and multiple equipment and then became Ue and Uf. The refurbishment to Ue/Uf meant that the locomotives were given equipment for multiple working and radio control. The locomotives that were not rebuilt were scrapped in the early 1990s. Already in the mid-1990s, the need for shunting locos decreased, and the locomotives proved to be maintenance-intensive; so SJ decided that the last locomotives should be withdrawn in 1997. As a replacement, the Rc1 locomotive was rebuilt for exchange service. However, a shortage of locos meant that the withdrawal plans were delayed and some U-locos continued to remain in traffic in Stockholm until the early 2000s. The last remaining Ue locomotives in Stockholm were scrapped in 2005 and 2006 after being terminated for several years. The last locomotive in traffic was Ue 649. The younger Uf locomotives turned out to be even tougher and a few locomotives were used for a few more years. However, three withdrawn locomotives still remain at Euromaint in Notviken. Three other Ub locos are preserved.
- Perlmodell produce an expensive brass kit, to fit a Roco chassis.
- Jeco have also produced a model of this loco as a kit.
- Märklin & Trix produced ready-to-run very limited edition models of the Ub in brown livery and Ue in both orange and blue liveries. Märklin’s model was for three-rail and Trix’s for two rail.
SSLidJ 200 was manufactured by ASEA in 1929 for Stockholm-Södra Lidingöns Järnväg. Withdrawn in 2004 and sold in 2012 to NetRail AB, subsequently plinthed at Påarp 2012-17. (SSLidJ 201 was manufactured by ASEA in 1939 for Stockholm-Södra Lidingöns Järnväg. It went to Saltsjöbanan 1981, but withdrawn 1988 after a fire.) Number 200 looks remarkably like a German (DB) “BR169”. There are a number of differences, but modification of a model shouldn’t be too difficult. Photographs here (from elsewhere on the internet) shew both locos in case you should want to model either.
- Fleischmann has produced a model of the German BRE69, which would need some modifying. Cab-side windows need filling in, buffers removed, and a complete repaint!
- Piko has produced a model of the German BR169, which would also need modifying, but it has a slightly different profile.
- Roco has produced a model of the German BR169. It is a poor runner (badly designed), but is also suitable for working on in the same way. The FLMJ’s former model had the buffers retained to make it suitable for authentic shunting duties with normal rolling stock.
In the 1970s, Norwegian NSB bought 17 ASEA locomotives with the same construction as the Rc4, but with stronger engines and electric resistance brakes. They also got pointed fronts and reinforced windscreens to cope with overcoming icicles and other snow obstacles. The locomotives were used on, among other places, the Bergen line, known for its harsh climate in winter.
In Norway, a simple type system is used: “El” means electric locomotive and “Di” diesel locomotive. The ASEA locomotive was NSB’s sixteenth type of electric locomotive and consequently became El16. When NSB put more and more motor-units into the passenger trains in the 1990s, locomotives became redundant and in 2003 Tågkompaniet bought six of the El16 locomotives. They had to keep their old Norwegian title in Sweden because the El16 locomotives had previously been in service to Sweden and were therefore already approved for traffic there. TGOJ bought four of the locomotives from Tågkompaniet after renting them for a while. The remaining two locomotives were used by Tågkompaniet for its passenger traffic on Mittbanan (to/from the border at Storlien). The locomotives were repainted in TGOJ’s and Tågkompaniet’s colour schemes in green/blue and red, respectively. When the locomotives came to Tågkompaniet, they still had NSB’s painting in red and black.
Like SJ, NSB has been split into various companies and the remaining Norwegian El16 locomotives went to CargoNet (formerly NSB Gods) and are used in cross-border freight traffic between Sweden and Norway. These locomotives can thus be seen in Sweden. CargoNet’s locomotives have a grey colour scheme. Both TGOJ and Tågkompaniet sold their El16 locomotives to CargoNet in 2007 and the locomotives returned to their old homeland. As CargoNet also runs freight trains in Sweden, the locomotives can still be seen there, today.
- Roco has produced a fine model of the ‘El.16’ in various liveries, Norwegian and Swedish.
The 13 Co’Co’ EG locomotives were originally delivered to Danish DSB Gods for freight traffic between Sweden and Denmark via the Öresund line. The locomotives are equipped for two-current operation because the voltage in the overhead contact line differs between Sweden and Denmark for historical reasons. In Sweden and Germany 15 kV, 16 2/3 Hz is used; in Denmark it’s 25 kV, 50 Hz. The locos also have Danish, Swedish and German safety systems.
To cope with the climbs on the Öresund and Great Belt connections, the locomotives were made particularly strong and they have an output of as much as 6,500 kW. The EG locomotives pull freight trains all the way up to Hallsberg but usually has Malmö as its end point. For several years, there were no other multi-system locomotives for freight traffic over the Öresund connection, but more recently the EG locomotives have received competition from, among others, types 185 and 441, both Bo’Bo’ designs.
DSB Gods was sold in 2001 to Railion, where German DB Schenker was the main owner. In 2007, DB Schenker and Swedish Green Cargo created a joint company for cross-border traffic, Railion Scandinavia, where the EG locomotives ended up. After a couple of years, they changed their name to DB Schenker Rail Scandinavia and in 2010, repainting of the EG locomotive began to a red DB colour scheme. The locomotives were then marked with both DB’s and Green Cargo’s logos. In 2016, the company changed its name once again, to DB Cargo Scandinavia. After Green Cargo left the collaboration in 2018, their logo has been removed from the locomotives.
- Heljan produce a rather fine model of this locomotive with an assortment of numbers and in both liveries.
In the spring of 2007, Hector Rail bought three Austrian electric locomotives of the type 1012. In Sweden, the locomotives have been registered as 141. The three locomotives were built as prototypes for the Austrian state railways, ÖBB, by Siemens in 1996. However, the construction proved to be too expensive and ÖBB decided to invest in standardised Taurus locomotives instead (see 242). In Sweden the locomotives were rebuilt and supplied with Swedish ATC. They have been used in both freight and passenger traffic and are designed for a top speed of 230 km/h but have only been approved for 160 km/h in Sweden. However, this speed also gives them a place among the fastest locomotives in Hector Rail’s locomotive fleet. We understand that Hector Rail is looking for a buyer for them.
- Trix has produced the 141 in Hector Rail livery.
In December 2005, Hector Rail bought three Austrian electric locomotives of the type 1142. The locomotives in Sweden have been registered 142. They were built during the 1960s and 70s for ÖBB (the Austrian state railways) by SGP (Simmering – Graz – Pauker AG). The locomotives were used in both passenger and freight trains. In Sweden, the locomotives were equipped with ATC, repainted in Hector Rail’s colour scheme and also named. In terms of performance, the locomotives can be compared to Rc locomotives, but they have a slightly higher power. In August 2006, Hector Rail decided to purchase another five locomotives. These were equipped with radio control and have mainly been used in timber train traffic for the forestry company SCA. Later, additional locomotives were purchased so that the number now amounts to 12. Locomotives numbered in the 100 series have radio control, while the 200 series are equipped with equipment for the new signalling system ERTMS, which in Sweden is located on the Bothnia Line, among other places.
- Roco has released a model of their Austrian 1142 in Swedish 142 Hector Rail liveries (original and revised).
Hector Rail operates a fleet of class 143, which are Rc3 and details can be found under the Rc heading.
Based on the Swedish ‘Rb’ locomotives, ASEA designed a more powerful locomotive at the end of the 1960s, which was exported to several countries. One of the buyers was NSB, which ordered six locomotives for traffic on the Ofotbanen / Malmbanan, where they usually worked in pairs. The locomotive was the El.15, had three-axle bogies and with an output of 5400 kW, only the Dm3 locomotive was stronger. The El.15 locomotives were taken out of service at the end of 2003 and sold in 2004 to Hector Rail, which used them in its freight trains in Sweden and Norway. The locomotives have been given new numbers by Hector Rail and classed 161 according to the same system used by, among others, the German railways. They have also been given names inspired by movie characters. Most of the locomotives have been repainted in Hector Rail’s colour scheme, but are now stored awaiting a buyer or disposal.
- Amintiri Feroviare based in Romania produces the Romanian CFR 060-EA which is very similar to the 161/El.15, and with a bit of work could be modified to comply!
- NMJ produced the El.15 as a very expensive ‘Superline’ model, but no 161 version is known.
241 (HR) / Re or Br (GC) / 119 or 185 (other operators)
This type of locomotive is a standard locomotive designed primarily for freight traffic, which has so far been produced in over seven hundred copies for several European transport companies. The locomotive is part of the manufacturer Bombardier’s TRAXX series. The largest operator is German DB Cargo (formerly Railion) where the locomotives have the designation 185. The locomotives can be operated with both German / Swedish / Norwegian (15 kV, 16 2/3 Hz) and Danish (25 kV, 50 Hz) line voltage. Hector Rail started traffic in 2008 with direct freight trains between Sweden and Germany. At the beginning of 2007, ten new electric locomotives were ordered for traffic and they became the first in Scandinavia to invest in this type of locomotive. In line with their principles, the Hector Rail locomotives were designated 241 (2 for two-current locomotives, 4 for four axles). Type 241 was equipped with safety systems for use in Sweden, Denmark and Germany. In the spring of 2007, the competitor Railion (now DB Cargo) announced that it would adapt 17 of its 185 locomotives for traffic in Denmark and Sweden to avoid locomotive changes in the Germany-Sweden traffic. They also began collaborating with Swedish Green Cargo and formed the joint company Railion Scandinavia (now DB Cargo Scandinavia). The locomotives began to be delivered in December 2007. 16 largely similar locomotives were also delivered to Green Cargo in 2010. However, these, Re, are intended for domestic freight traffic and have Green Cargo’s green design. After Green Cargo and DB Cargo Rail Scandinavia went their separate ways in 2018, Green Cargo has repainted the six 185 locomotives they still use; they have also been given the letter Br and were used, unlike Re, in the Sweden-Denmark-Germany traffic. The rental company Angel Trains (later bought by Alpha Trains) bought 10 Scandinavian-adapted locomotives of the same type (as type 119). The locomotives were leased for a period by CargoNet for traffic, primarily in Norway, two of the locomotives are now leased by Hector Rail while the rest are used in other countries. Another rental company – MGW Service – also offers 185 locomotives for Scandinavia and one locomotive is used in Sweden. Another rental company – Railpool – has gradually since 2010 built up a fleet of locomotives for traffic in Sweden and Norway. They now amount to just over 30 and are used by CargoNet, among others. Although the 185/241 locomotives are mainly used in freight traffic, they have also been seen as pullers of passenger trains. With such a convoluted short term history, this information was probably out of date by the time we published it!
- ACME has produced a model of Hector Rail 241 and Green Cargo Re.
- Brawa has produced a model of Green Cargo Re and CargoNet 119/185.
- Märklin has produced a model in their Hobby series of Hector Rail 241 and in Green Cargo Re.
- Piko has produced a model in their Expert series of Hector Rail 241 and MGW 185.
- Roco has produced a model of Hector Rail 241, Green Cargo Re, DB Schenker Rail 185 and Railpool 185.
In August 2010, Hector Rail purchased a Taurus-type locomotive from the leasing company Mitsui Rail Capital Europe. In 2011, four more locomotives of the same type were purchased. The locomotive type belongs to the Eurosprinter family and has been given the designation ES 64 U2 by the manufacturer Siemens (ES = Eurosprinter, 64 = power of 6400 kW, U = universal, can be used in all kinds traffic, 2 = two power systems). The locomotives have a maximum speed of 230 km/h and are thus well suited for pulling fast passenger trains, but since most Swedish passenger carriages have a maximum speed of 160 km/h, the top speed is not used in Sweden. The locomotive type also works well in freight traffic. The ES 64 U2 locomotives are adapted for two different catenary voltages and can run at either 15 kV, 16 2/3 Hz (eg Sweden and Germany) or 25 kV, 50 Hz (eg Denmark). The locomotive type has been manufactured in several hundred copies and has been sold to, among others, German DB and Austrian ÖBB. At ÖBB, the locomotive is called Taurus (“bull”) and this name has since spread so that the locomotive type is often described as a Taurus locomotive. At Hector Rail, the locomotive type has been given the designation 242. The first locomotive came to Sweden temporarily in August 2010 for test runs. (A Taurus locomotive belonging to ÖBB set a new world record for locomotives on September 2, 2006; on a high-speed stretch in Germany, the locomotive reached 357 km/h.) While waiting for the locomotive type to be approved for traffic in Sweden, Hector Rail’s locomotives were used in Germany and several of them have been used there even after the approval. In recent times, however, the locomotives have mainly been used in Germany and only one locomotive remains in Sweden.
- Piko has produced the 242 in Hector Rail livery, but marked as the German 182.
243 (HR) / 193 (other operators)
In 2010, Siemens presented a successor to the so-called EuroSprinter family, which includes the EC and Taurus types. The name of the new series of locomotives became “Vectron” and it is offered just like EuroSprinter in several variants for passenger and freight traffic. The locomotive type has a high performance with an output of 6400 kW and a top speed of 200 km/h. The first order came later that year and it was the locomotive rental company Railpool that ordered six locomotives for traffic in Germany and Austria. In total, more than 300 locomotives have since been ordered by various European operators; the largest order has been Finnish VR with 80 locomotives type Sr3. During the winter and spring of 2012, one of Siemens’ demonstration and test locomotives in Sweden was tested. The intention was, among other things, to get the locomotive type approved for traffic in Sweden, where the locomotives were type 193 (in addition to Hector Rail’s 243 locomotives). In December 2013, two locomotives came to Sweden after Scandinavian Railways (Blue Train) rented them from Railpool. In addition, five new Vectron locomotives have been leased from the company ELL, European Locomotive Leasing. The locomotives have been given a red colour scheme and the text “Snälltåget Snälltåget Snälltåget” on one side, and “Loket Loket Loket” on the other side. The first locomotives were put into service in October 2016. In the same year, Hector Rail ordered five Vectron locomotives themselves with an option for another 15 (which they later chose to use). In addition to the first two, Hector Rail’s locomotives are equipped with radio control and a smaller 180 kW diesel engine to be used for shifting on unelectrified sidings, the so-called ‘Last mile’ function. The locomotives are used in heavy timber trains where the locomotive’s strength comes in handy. The first two locomotives, which were delivered to Hector Rail at the end of 2016, have previously been operated by CargoNet in Norway. At Hector Rail, the Vectron locomotives are type 243. Hector Rail also rents three 193 locomotives.
- Märklin has produced a Vectron for Scandinavian Railways and for Hector Rail, both also in two-rail.
- Piko has produced a Vectron for Railpool and for Snälltåget.
- Roco has announced a Vectron for Hector Rail.
The locomotive type, which at Hector Rail is called 441, is one of Europe’s most modern electric locomotives. The first series-produced locomotives of this type – Siemens type ES 64 F4 – were delivered in 2003. The locomotive is a variant of the so-called Eurosprinter locomotives manufactured by Siemens (the Danish EC locomotive also belongs here). The special thing about this variant is that it is designed to be powered by four different power systems. In addition, it is adapted so that the respective countries’ safety systems can be easily installed as needed. The locomotive type can also be equipped with four pantographs for different countries’ standards – however, these do not fully comply with the electrical systems. The ES 64 F4 locomotives are intended for freight traffic and therefore do not have such a high top speed by modern standards. They are primarily intended as part of streamlining and speeding up multinational freight trains in Europe. Hector Rail’s 441 have been used in the company’s traffic in Sweden and were only supplied with Swedish safety equipment (ATC) upon delivery.
- Märklin has produced the 441 in Hector Rail livery.