Det har inte varit någon aktivitet på våra modeller under november.
Förståeligt nog kommer det inga RTJ-nyheter på några månader ännu. Källaren där RTJ kommer att byggas ansågs vid besiktning vara fuktig. Innan vi påbörjade någon grävning runt huset utanför (för att förbättra isoleringen) bestämde vi oss för att undersöka möjligheten att bristen på uppvärmning i kombination med en öppen golvbrunn kunde ha bidragit till detta. Vi har kunnat använda en kraftfull avfuktare, och redan resultatet är mest uppmuntrande: den har använts i två rum och väggarna där är nu torra. Uppvärmning kommer att tillhandahållas härnäst (en luftpump måste vänta tills det finns mer “investeringsresurs” (pengar) tillgängliga), och vi är försiktigt säkra på att starta järnvägen under våren, nästa år.
Dekas ska producera fler versioner av sin framgångsrika svenska Hbis-vagn och några nya Ge/Gs-vagnar, några av de senare i ASG-färg.
Roco har annonserat en annan version av deras Dm3 lok; artikelnummer 7500006 är i tidigare skick (nummerserier 834-845, 942-957, 968-986, inte 1201-1250), men fotot är ett montage och de faktiska löpande numren är inte kända. Det finns även AC- och DCC-versioner med olika artikelnummer.
Andra intressanta nyheter
Den årliga Hjulmarknaden ägde rum på Solna i slutet av november, en vecka tidigare än den vanliga ”lördagen samma helg som första söndagen i advent”. På grund av förvirringen om datumet (som också hade citerats fel ett tag) ställdes långdistansbesökare (våra vänner och andra från Storbritannien, till exempel) upp och deltog inte.
Ändå kunde vi köpa en modellbil. En ganska speciell sådan, och modellen byggdes från grunden (så den är lite sällsynt och var inte billig, men inte för dyr heller). Det är en Kalmar Tjorven 441-C; ett fordon som används av Posten. De hade ett Daf-44-chassi och tillverkades i början av 1970-talet, men togs ur drift under 1976.
SJ har stängt alla biljettkontor och tagit bort alla biljettautomater. Detta betyder inte att resan är gratis; passagerare måste köpa online via hemsidan eller deras app. Vissa användares erfarenhet är att varken webbplatsen eller appen är särskilt effektiva; och det har i vissa fall visat sig omöjligt att köpa biljetter. “Chatbot” och kundtjänst är lika ohjälpsamma. Vi känner till minst två andra biljettleverantörer, och om våra undersökningar är framgångsrika kommer vi att länka till dem.
There has been no activity on our models during November.
Understandably, there will be no RTJ news for a few months, yet. The basement where the RTJ will be built was considered, at inspection, to be damp. Before commencing any digging around the house outside (in order to improve the insulation), we decided to investigate the possibility that the lack of heating, coupled with an open floor drain, could have contributed to this. We have been able to use a powerful dehumidifier, and already the results are most encouraging: it has been used in two rooms and the walls there are now dry. Heating will be provided next (an air pump will have to wait until there is more ‘investment resource’ (money) available), and we are cautiously confident of starting the Railway during the Spring, next year.
Dekas is to produce more versions of their successful Swedish ‘Hbis‘ wagon, and some new ‘Ge‘/’Gs‘ wagons, some of the latter in ASG livery.
Roco has announced a different version of their Dm3 loco; article number 7500006 is in the earlier condition (number series 834-845, 942-957, 968-986, not 1201-1250), but the photo is a montage and the actual running numbers are not known. There are also AC and DCC versions with different article numbers.
The annual Hjulmarknaden (“wheel fayre”) took place at Solna at the end of November, one week earlier than the usual “Saturday of the same weekend as the first Sunday in Advent” (first Sunday is four weeks before Christmas (not essentially the first in December), thus 27th November to 3rd December). Due to the confusion about the date (which had also been misquoted for a while), longer distance visitors (our friends and others from the UK, for example) were put off and didn’t attend.
Nevertheless, we were able to buy a model car. A rather special one, and the model was built from scratch (so it’s a bit rare, and wasn’t cheap, but not over-priced, either). It’s a Kalmar Tjorven 441-C; a vehicle used by the Swedish Post Service, with right-side drive so that the driver can put the mail into the roadside mailboxes without having to leave the vehicle. They had a Daf-44 chassis, and were produced in the early 1970s, but were taken out of service during 1976.
SJ has closed all ticket offices and removed all ticket machines. This doesn’t mean that travel is free; passengers must buy online via the website or their app. Experience by some users is that neither the website nor the app are particularly efficient or effective; and it has in some instances proven impossible to buy tickets. The ‘chatbot’ and customer service are equally unhelpful. We know of at least two ‘third party’ ticket providers, and if our investigations are successful, then we’ll link to them.
Behind the Scenes
Mini-Series around the FLMJ; L: That ‘other’ online channel
During the many years in the UK, the FLMJ had a ‘slight’ presence on YouTube; but this was more personal for the Director General who also posted videos from other railway activities, mainly do with railways in 7¼” gauge! In nearly all cases, the uploaded videos were ‘point and shoot’ with no editing. There was a pause function on one of the smartphones, but it was not reliable. Using time off (from having a layout to work on), some video editing resources have been looked at and played with. We think it would be nice if we can present a 5-10 minutes quarterly update video on progress with the new railway, but we have many obstacles to overcome. If we are able to do this, then we will advise, here!
Seemingly consigned to history is the involvement with 7¼” gauge railways. They are very rare here in Sweden, and none have authentic operation or signalling, something that Adrian had been accustomed to in the UK. But our ‘channel’ can still include other videos of more relevant interest!
Starting Next Month: We are going to say more about the new railway during next year’s “Behind the Scenes” in our monthly updates.
A few new models arrived in May. One is an old Märklin RBo2 restaurant car (later known of course as the R1R), a 1960s design, which will be used in a rake with NMJ 1960s coaches until NMJ (or somebody else) produces something more reasonable. The Märklin model does shew its age, and of course, it is 1:100 scale length instead of the correct 1:87. But, it gives us a dining carriage, and we have often complained about the lack of dining (and sleeping) carriages for SJ in H0-scale! (We have also changed the wheels, of course!)
Of four goods wagons arriving, three are Dekas ‘Hbis’ wagons; very high quality and very nice. The other new wagon is a TGOJ F6 bicycle van made by NMJ, and replaces one that we sold ages ago, but later wished that we hadn’t!
Z48 711 departed the FLMJ in May. This was a freelance diesel shunter based on a German design, and intended for use (at the FLMJ) with track testing before the power cables were wired up, but the Triang Z65 locos often took this duty (and now Rc3 1027 or X10 3148 can do it), so it was seldom used.
Our workshop models had a little more work done during May; the headlamps on the D-loco were refitted and fit much better now, and new couplings were fitted, now NEM compliant. Also, the SMJ carriages had some adjustments to the steps, couplings and assorted other bits between them. The C3d also had its roof ‘plumbing’ put on! The buffers were fitted to the C3g and CF3 (they are a tight fit, so don’t need gluing), and Roco couplings were inserted to the NEM boxes. Unfortunately (and curiously) they are too low (despite having the same chassis as the C3d), so further investigation is necessary. We had hoped to use the close coupling facility to push the buffers in to the right depth. We also found that the D-loco NEM boxes need adjustment (or the buffers need trimming)! Not much more could be done without paint—so we ordered some matt black and satin black! With this we were able to paint the etched brass parts, and then the end gates and fall plates were fitted to the D-loco, with more work on the carriages to follow in June.
Two former FLMJ wagons have been worked upon following structural failure when sold! These are Klein Modellbahn SJ ‘Fas’ wagons labelled for use with SNCB (Belgium), and were a limited edition. They have plastic bodies and a very tightly fitting metal floor (for weight). Unfortunately, the metal has fatigued and actually ripped the plastic bodies! One wagon was easily repaired by filing down the metal (and making a few other minor adjustments) and fitting it all back together. The other wagon’s floor has shattered and is so badly distorted that it will need replacing. The plastic has been found to be very soft, so it’s a poor combination, really (a design fault). They’re quite beautiful wagons, otherwise, and very authentic (the real ones can be seen in an early “Svenska Tåg” film).
We have been looking at dates and anniversaries. Whilst any new railway (FLMJ) cannot be rushed, there is a slight sense of urgency to mark the 30th anniversary of the opening of the KRBJ from which the FLMJ emanated. This would be in 2022. It is hoped that we can run a first train ‘somewhere’ then, but it is too early to plan. Certainly, the 40th anniversary would be the bigger event, so we’re not losing sleep! But the following few years have anniversaries that we would like to acknowledge if at all possible:
2023 will be 70 years since the famous ‘Datebox’ railbuses were introduced. That is worthy of a special event; the FLMJ has a few models of these and many of our guests could bring more to make any celebratory event extra special.
2024 will be 40 years since the Roco Rc5 was introduced! This loco has been a ‘standard’ setter for many years and the original version was probably the best Rc-loco as a model.
2025 will be the centenary of the introduction of the successful D-loco, so that ought to be celebrated. We have two Jeco models and of course we have our Lokstallet/Jeco project under way right now.
2026 will be the centenary of the electrification of the Stockholm-Göteborg mainline; so we ought to have the new FLMJ ‘electrified’ by then! We intend to put up the cables as we build the new railway, but this might not be possible. Like all plans for any new railway, nothing can be set in stone until a location and job/work pattern has been established.
There are further dates to consider, but this is enough to be going on with for now!
We’ve had a peculiar experience recently with a Trader in Sweden whom we won’t name, in the hope that this is a once off! We enquired about purchasing eight wagons without being specific (which ones precisely), and how payment could be made if we did place an order. The payment method was not practicable and only some of the wagons were in stock. (They had received only 30% of their order due to Covid-19 issues, and they had been very popular)! So, we looked elsewhere and found them in stock and payment could be made, and thus ordered elsewhere. The trader in question then advised that the wagons were on their way, so could we arrange payment? We thanked them and advised that we had found them elsewhere, to which the trader responded by declaring that the wagons had been ordered especially for us, and we had in effect cancelled our order for which a fee was payable! The real facts are that we made an enquiry, not an order; we did not specify which wagons we wanted, so how could they have known which ones to order; they told us that 70% of their original order was still to follow (so the order had already been placed), and that the wagons had been very popular (so there was no problem in finding customers for them). They wanted payment by IBAN, which from a Lloyds bank account costs between £20 and £30—quite out of the question. It seems a very strange way to treat a new customer; don’t they want to stay in business? Caveat Emptor!
An unusual model car has arrived for a cameo on the new railway, a Messerschmitt KR200! Anyone familiar with the Swedish comedy character Stig Helmer Olsson will know what sort of cameo we have in mind!
Under so-called UK lockdown, the opportunity to work upon some of the more challenging kits was seized… the SMJ 2-axle carriages. The etched brass parts will need painting later, so where possible, they will be assembled and fitted with a low-tack adhesive for completion at a later date. Some changes have been made with their identities. SJ C3d 2128 (which would not have previously been from the OKB / East Coast Railway) was intended to be number 1984, but this number is not on the decal sheet (neither is 2128, but this is easier to ’manufacture’). Unfortunately although the C3d is a ‘plåt’ model (metal body), the number transfers are for the timber version, so a spare number 2 will replace the 6 in decal number 2168! SJ C3g 2996 (which would have previously been OKB C3 133) was intended to be number 2994, but this number would also need changing whilst the new number is on the sheet. SJ CF3 3017 (which would have previously been OKB CF 235) was originally believed to be type CD4, but it’s correct identity is on the sheet. The C3d and C3g are standard carriages, the C3d as a standard SJ version, and the C3g is as acquired from the OKB. The CF3 is a former OKB carriage with a luggage compartment. The OKB carriages were taken over by SJ in 1933.
Upon opening the package, it was refreshing to be reminded that the C3d was built and just needed decals (and a few adjustments). The C3g and CF3 are some way behind and it was done in this way so that the C3d could be used as a built sample (having taken a lot longer to build because it involved a dry-run first) and then as reference material for the later two. Unfortunately, we also needed the instruction sheets (but these are in storage), but thankfully, SMJ has them on their website as PDF downloadable sheets, both SJ and OKB versions. (Much appreciated, guys; thanks!) Here’s how it went, not in any particular order (unless stated otherwise, the following applies to both C3g and CF3):
The wheel-set ‘bolsters’ had their brake mechanisms fitted, and were then fitted to the chassis. The wheels have also been fitted, and both carriages are more freely running than the C3d!
The battery boxes and gas containers (the latter for the dessous gas lighting) were assembled and fitted to the chassis, and the one-piece compressed air brake with link arms glued into place.
The coupling mechanisms were assembled and fitted, then a stretcher between the bolsters to hold them straight when on straight track, and thirdly the springs and stretchers for the couplings. However, it was found that two components for the CF3 were missing, so we improvised with the couplings and they work just as well as on the other two models. We were also able to modify an improvisation that had been made on the SJ C3d regarding couplings, and again, the result is pleasing.
The buffer stocks were filed, trimmed and fitted. The actual buffers will be a last fitting because they are very fine and risk being damaged during construction!
The weights were glued into place, and now the carriages feel as sturdy as the C3d!
The appropriate windows were fitted with grilles (luggage areas) or clouded (toilet areas).
From a little research, we found that the luggage compartment doors on the CF3 should not be the same colour as the body, so our paint has been scraped off, and touched up with a permanent marker!
The etched brass parts, the end platforms and the steps (including the luggage door steps on the CF3, which had to be made from scratch) have been fitted. The gates have also been fitted, and for this reason, the rooves will remain loose until we have been able to paint them! The platforms on the C3d have been removed and refitted, and are a much better fit.
The rooves were fitted with their ventilators, and have been loosely fitted (to be painted, later). Using spare parts from these two models, we fitted the roof ventilators to the SJ C3d, thus virtually completing that model (disregarding the decals—still)!
Aside from these carriages, work was done on the träkorg (wooden body) D-lok, which certainly relieved the pressure of the work on the SMJ carriages. Again, there are some parts that will have to wait until later, but here’s how it went:
Hooters and windscreen wipers were glued into retro-drilled holes. Sun-shades were made from scrap brass strip and glued into place.
Lamp lenses were glued into their holes, but they’re slightly too small, so will be refitted later with a bit of ‘putty’!
The Pantographs were fitted into place, but one needed gluing because the screw thread was missing! It took some effort to obtain a drawing of the roof layout for the HT wire, but a source in Sweden procured the perfect image. The pans will need replacing because they are the wrong type!
The end gates with fall plates need painting (they’re etched brass) so they have not been fitted, and there are no handrails, so they will need making from scratch. But, we’re going to need to think of a way of providing the tail light because it is a raised fitting and very different to the inbuilt design used on the steel bodied version of the D-loco, as made by Jeco.
Moving onto relevant model manufacturer news: Dekas is bringing out a model of the SJ Y2 ”Kustpilen” unit available in either original blue/red livery or current (2020) livery. Delivery is planned for 2nd quarter, 2021; and the FLMJ would be interested in one as it represents the end of the epoch modelled (in the same way that the X2000 does). Dekas has also brought out some ‘Hbis’ wagons (types 712 and 731) at very short notice, and they sold out over one weekend. Hopefully, some more will be made.