Vi har arbetat mer med vår modell av Åmåls stationsbyggnad under juli. Fönsterbågarna har limmats fast och sedan har glasmaterialet lagts bakom dem. Vi satte sedan ihop basen och satte ihop de fyra sidorna (stående på basen) hålls ihop med ett elastiskt band! Vi bestämde oss då för att lägga till en liten detalj som inte ingår i satsen, och med hjälp av 0,5 mm mässingsstång har vi nu en målad ledstång vid stegen.
Vi besökte LennaKatten (Uppsala Lenna Järnväg) för att ha en trevlig dag ute och forska i signaleringen där, speciellt den gamla ställverket vid Lenna, som har varit föremål för en kort bruksanvisning. Men det lämnade oss med fler frågor än svar. Vi hade även ett bra och lärorikt samtal med en signalkille på järnvägen. De flesta av våra frågor är nu besvarade, men några finns kvar. Vi skulle vilja återskapa detta på vår eventuella nya layout, därav det extra intresset.
Vi har skaffat en annan dressin; inte ännu en ‘modifierad Volvo’ utan en specialbyggd MDR 125. Det är en statisk hartsmodell (och kan inte fås att fungera), men den kommer att se bra ut bara parkerad i ett sidospår någonstans! En av de vanligaste servicefordonstyperna genom tiderna är MDR (MDR = Motordressinen). Många hundra dressiner tillverkades från 1920-talet fram till 1960-talet. Dressinerna användes för bland annat persontransporter och inspektioner, men även ambulanstransporter på Malmbanan. Många har senare skrotats, men en del används än idag. De har dock i allt större utsträckning ersatts av dual-mode-fordon (bilar som kan användas på både väg och järnväg) som har fler användningsområden. Vår, nummer 3245, är från satsen MDR 125, nr. 3244-3309, med fyra dörrar, byggda av Bergbolagen Lindesberg 1956. De gick på bensin, och var även kända som ’köttbullar’ eller ’ärtor’ beroende på vem man frågar!
Andra intressanta nyheter
Vi har nyligen införskaffat en bok från 1979 om servicevagnar med UIC-nummer. Av den har vi lärt oss att UIC-bokstäverna för servicefordon inte följer samma regler som de flesta andra vagnar. Till exempel betyder ett “a” som andra tecken inte att fordonet är monterat på boggier. Även om detta förklarar hur vår ‘Qab’ bara kan ha två axlar (och ‘Qbd’ är på boggier), har det väckt en fråga om vår ‘Qab’, en Heljan-modell. Enligt boken gällde ‘Qab’ en typ av plog som aldrig faktiskt användes (en tilldelad kod). Tidigare FV1 skåpbilar visas som en typ ‘Qae’ (Q5) Impregneringsverk, senare Ogräsbekämpningsvagn, ‘Qgb’, lagervagn, ‘Qgg’, släpvagn, ‘Qlh-h’, städvagn (“-h” med torkning rum), och så fortsätter det. Det finns en nummerlista och vår vagn 945 4 229 ska vara en ‘Qgb’ fram till slutet av 1976, då den byggdes om till typ ‘Hvös’. Det var en före detta FV1, nummer 25770. Nu tog nyfikenheten verkligen överhanden och vi tittade i SMJ:s bok om 1930-talets vagnar. Nummer 25770 var en av de första, byggd av AB Svenska Järnvägsverkstäderna, Falun 1937. Här får vi dock veta att det efter en tid som ‘Qgb’ blev ‘Qfa’ (1986, efter att boken publicerats). Vi förstår att vagnen fortfarande finns i Nässjö, där det finns ett järnvägsmuseum, men detta är inte bekräftat. Däremot är våra ‘Qbd’ barlastvagnar (Roco) modeller av en typ som tidigare känd (pre-UIC) som ‘Q32b’, och byggdes av Talbot, 1957-58. Lätt!
Work continued on our newer replacement model of Åmål station building during July. All window frames were glued into place, and then the glazing material behind them. We then mounted the platform onto the base, and the plinths onto the walls; and put the four sides together, standing on the base, held together with an elastic band! We then decided to add a little detail not included in the kit, and using 0.5mm brass rod, we now have a painted handrail by the steps.
A visit to the ‘LennaKatten’ (Uppsala Lenna Järnväg) seemed a good idea, at least for research purposes; but it was a nice day out in good company, anyway. The research element focussed around Lenna station, where the very traditional signalling (read: locking frame) has been the subject of a short instruction manual; but which left us with more questions than answers. Sadly, the passing loop there is not used in normal service, so observation of the procedures was not possible (it is “switched out” for automatic signal operation). But having a look around the site did help; and this was followed by a lengthy chat with a signalling guy at the railway. Most of our questions are now answered, but a few remain.
We may present an article about this subject at a later date, but for now, a brief overview; and readers who are not interested in railway signalling can skip this paragraph! The locking frame type used at Lenna has keys. These keys are used in the point levers (in pairs) and one or the other can be removed depending on point position. This removed key is inserted into the frame to unlock slide bars, which in turn can unlock the signals. If the Station Master has key type K3 in his possession, he knows that all points are in their normal position. Inserting K3 to a point lever, enables him to change the point, thus releasing a key type K1 or K2. In some instances, this key goes into the locking frame; in other instances the K1 or K2 goes into the lever at a corresponding point to release the other (K2 or K1), which is the one inserted to the locking frame. There are 16 different types of key, but only five are used at Lenna. We would like to recreate this on our eventual new layout, hence the extra interest.
We have acquired another dressin; not another ‘modified Volvo’ but a purpose-built MDR125. It is a static resin model (and cannot be made to work), but it will look good just parked in a siding somewhere! One of the most common service vehicle types of all time is the MDR (MDR = Motordressinen). Many hundreds of dressines were produced from the 1920s until the 1960s. The dressines were used for, among other things, passenger transport and inspections, but also ambulance transport on the Malmbanan. Many have later been scrapped, but some are still used today. However, they have increasingly been replaced by motor trolleys and dual-mode vehicles (cars that can be used on both road and rail) which have more areas of use. (There is no direct English translation for Dressin, so this and the plural Dressines have been spelt accordingly to aid pronunciation, notwithstanding any misinterpretations!) Ours, number 3245 is from the batch MDR 125, nos. 3244-3309, with four doors, built by Bergbolagen Lindesberg in 1956. They ran on petrol, and were also known as ‘meatballs’ or ‘peas’ depending on who you ask!
We have recently acquired a book from 1979 about service wagons with UIC numbering. From it, we have learned that the UIC letters for service vehicles don’t follow the same rules as most other wagons. For example, an ‘a’ as the second character does not mean that the vehicle is mounted on bogies. Whilst this explains how our ‘Qab’ can have only two axles (and the ‘Qbd’ is on bogies), it has raised a question about our ‘Qab’, a Heljan model. According to the book, ‘Qab’ applied to a type of plough that was never actually used (an allocated code). Former FV1 vans are shewn as a type ‘Qae’ (Q5) Impregnation works, later Weed control wagon, ‘Qgb’, stores wagon, ‘Qgg’, trailer, ‘Qlh-h’, cleaning wagon (“-h” with drying room), and so it goes on. There is a number list and our wagon 945 4 229 should be a ‘Qgb’ until late 1976, when it was rebuilt to type ‘Hvös’. It was a former FV1, number 25770. Now, curiosity really did get the better of us and we looked in SMJ’s book on 1930s carriages. It was one of the first, built by AB Svenska Järnvägsverkstäderna, Falun in 1937. However, here we learn that after a time as ‘Qgb’, it became ‘Qfa’ (in 1986, after the book was published, so the type isn’t listed). We understand, but this is not confirmed, that the van still exists at Nässjö, where there is a railway museum.
By contrast, our ‘Qbd’ ballast wagons are (Roco) models of a type formerly known (pre-UIC) as ‘Q32b’, and were built by Talbot, 1957-58. Easy!
Behind the Scenes
Mini-Series around the FLMJ; H: The Website
As mentioned earlier in this mini-series, we were not the fastest to go online, and justifiably so. There seemed little need, and everything was ticking over nicely. But, we were often asked if the Railway had a website where people could follow its progress, and ‘put like that’, it seemed a good idea. One of our Friends created both of our websites; the original one using the technology that was available at the time, but was cumbersome to maintain; and the current one, which is closer to basic desktop publication, and can be regularly updated with ease by other members.
The website was naturally intended to bring news about the Railway, and how everything was progressing. It was like a blog, and to some extent remains as such. However, with so much research being necessary, and wanting to share this hobby as much as possible, the website also became a repository of articles relating to the Swedish railways, be they features about locomotives, wagons, signalling systems, or whatever else we have needed to research. And this seems to be the main attraction today (well of course, whilst the FLMJ is closed, there’s not much else to write about)! Much of our research material can be found on the internet, in Swedish; so we present it in English. Only our own updates are available in both languages, and this is something that needs to continue if the Railway is to truly ‘belong’ here.
Nevertheless, there is a genuine fear among railway groups that too much information on the internet is having a backlash, and membership numbers in societies catering for special interests within the hobby are dropping. These specialist Societies have been reporting an average of 20% loss in subscriptions. The British based Scandinavian Railways Society is suffering this effect, and both their former website and our website, may have been contributing to this effect; by giving away so much information online, that there seems little need to join a society, no matter how friendly! They have reigned in their website so that it promotes the Society without giving away too much general knowledge, but will soon have a members’ area where the articles can be placed. We will follow suit, but with edited copies of the articles freely visible, and the more detailed articles available to our Friends. We identify ‘Friend’ (note upper-case ‘F’) as someone who is actively involved with the Railway’s development, maintenance and operation; someone who would be if they weren’t so far away, or have other barriers (but, including regular guests); and someone who has shewn significant interest and with whom we have regular correspondence. So, we feel that this is a suitable way to move forward in this digital age without causing the specialist Societies, the SRS especially, to suffer.
Next month: the Special Reports and Local Promotion
Work has started on the second significant phase of the construction of the T45 diesel locomotive. This is the fitting of the motor, wheels, and complete drive-gear. The start of this work was reasonably straight forward. With the temporary ‘accommodation bogies’ removed, the new ones (from SV&LV – Skultorps Vagn & LokVerkstad) fitted perfectly into place; but it was a very fiddly job to fit the securing nut on each bogie, due to being difficult to access, and having very fine threads! The motor is a tight squeeze into the recess specially made for it, but there is no means of securing it. It might not need securing; testing at a later date will confirm one way or the other. Between the motor and each bogie there is a prop shaft (cardan shaft), and everything turns freely. Electrically, we decided that it would be wise to be able to remove components if the need arises, but lacking any plug couplers, the pairs of cables from the motor and each bogie were soldered to a contact strip that we glued onto the chassis (instead of soldering it all together directly). Then we reassembled the model and found that the chassis still bows slightly, so we will make up new securing points at each end, which we will use with two more M2 screws. Unfortunately, some of the more cosmetic components for the loco have been left behind in the storage facility, so these will be procured at a later date. With the absence of the full workshop facility, it should not be considered bad that the work described above took 4¾ hours. A week or so later (17th July), the loco was tested on a track with controller, with pleasing results. Clearly, it will need running in, but just to see it move a short distance under proper power was a great boost to the morale.
Odensala Prästgård is the name of our temporary diorama. There is the mainline between Märsta and Knivsta quite close to the temporary lodgings, and there used to be a station at Odensala, many years ago. So, the idea is to expand on the idea of a siding being retained, leading to a small area with just a few tracks for maintenance and other things; also giving us good photography opportunities! With the purchase of a new car (in 1:1 scale) draining funds, construction has been delayed slightly, but the T45 (see above) is keeping us busy!
In a recent update from HNoll, they write that a delivery is expected by boat from China in 2-3 months, but not including the A11/B11 carriages (we’re not sure what is included). But there will be a few more restaurant, couchette and sleeper carriages, some with new numbers.
As hinted last month, the summer tour of railway establishments actually started in June. Participants numbered from 1 to 8 depending on venue.
We started at Nynäshamns Järnvägsmuseum, adjacent to Nynäs Gård station. This is a small museum and a bit too cramped, so photo opportunities were poor. But it has the usual hands-on policy, so we were able to look in every nook and cranny wherever our fancy took us. Naturally, this included the cab of E class 1189.
A few days later, we went to the Uppsala Lenna Järnväg (known also as the LennaKatten). Of the three trains in service, only one was steam-hauled, so that was our choice. A diesel hauled train was available, as was a diesel railbus train. After such a long time since last riding behind a steam loco, advantage was taken of the end platform on the leading carriage, and a delightful experience it was.
On the following day, we went to the permanent Model Railway Exhibition at Söderby/Alunda. This is a collection of model railways and train sets, mostly H0, but not entirely, and aimed more at the family audience than the true railway modeller. Interesting, but unlikely to revisit.
After a day’s rest, we went to Oxelösund, the “O” in TGOJ, to visit the FSVJ (Föreningen Sörmlands VeteranJärnväg) there. As with the museum at Nynäshamn, this is a static museum, and we were able to look over, among other things, a Ma-loco of the TGOJ variety, two of the four 1950s TGOJ carriages (the other two were present, but closed), and their former conference carriage (which started out as one of SJ’s first two restaurant carriages in 1929), where a Fika was enjoyed! Returning from Oxelösund, an unplanned detour was made to Läggesta for a ride on the ÖSlJ, with a steam loco, to Mariefred and back!
After another day’s rest we went on a tour that included three nights in B+B (at Örebro). The first of these four days was at Grängesberg, the “G” in TGOJ. Here, we saw some of the items modelled at the FLMJ; carriages type BCo7, Co8f, F5; and the Volvo rail-car. Whilst a few nicely restored items are kept under cover in the roundhouse, too many artefacts are rotting away outside in the elements, and we can understand why some items (the 1950s carriages, for example) have been removed from here.
The second day was at Hallsberg, “Hallsbergs Modelljärnvägsförening”; a significant model railway layout, open to the public, adjoining the Bergöövåningen exhibition. The main feature of the layout is the diorama of Hallsberg’s station, both the railway and the environment around it; and all of the local buildings have been faithfully recreated in miniature. Afterwards, back to the 1:1 scale Hallsberg station for a few hours taking photographs, mostly goods trains, headed by Rc-locomotives, including a former ÖBB version of the Rc2!
The third day was at Nora and the overgrown line to Järle (where there was an exceptionally long turnover, despite there being nothing there). There is another line towards Pershyttan (which was not operating, it seemed). And that was about it. A good look around the yard was inspiring (to see some particular items) but also depressing (to see items in the process of being scrapped)! Travel was in a wooden planked carriage type Co4a-Å, coupled with two Norwegian carriages, both type B22 despite their many differences. Due to a special event taking place in Nora, the local fishing club decided it appropriate to charge for parking where it should have been free; but at 20kr, it wasn’t worth the fuss or argument!
The final day was at Miniature Kingdom at Kungsör. This is a Swedish equivalent of the Wunderland at Hamburg, but obviously smaller. But it is quite impressive. Like the FLMJ, it does not represent any particular area in exact detail; rather it shews a lot of Swedish landmarks, featuring elements from Stockholm, Norrland, Västerås, Örebro, and of course, Kungsör. The layout is still under development, but this does not detract from the enjoyment of the exhibit, it provides a good behind-the-scenes exhibit without actually going behind the scenes.
A more thorough description of the staycation is being prepared for this website.
Behind the Scenes
Mini-Series about the FLMJ, 8: Epoch-IV
From inception, the FLMJ reflected the current Epoch. But gradually, the availability of models disappeared. A few modern goods wagons were being produced and locomotives were quite up to date. But with only 1980s carriages in use, and the models being very limited in range (and certainly no unit trains being available); the FLMJ was becoming less and less authentic. So, we stopped the clock and actually put it back to Epoch IV, which for us, represents the period through the 1970s and 1980s; but with a little late 60s and early 90s added. And this is in addition to “heritage” trains! Currently, this is a very comfortable decision to have made. We have a good selection of 1960s and 1980s carriages available now or proposed (though 1940s/1970s styles are lacking), and the Y1 and Y6 generation of railbuses are about right. We would be very happy for affordable models of the X9 to become available (at ‘average modeller’ prices), but otherwise all is well catered for. In this epoch, the carriages are brown (mostly), and locos are either brown or orange. Our most modern trains (just peeking into the 1990s) are the X2000 and Y2 (the latter still awaited, having parted with a terrible Heljan version); both in original liveries. It is also the period when the railway system and the trains were operated by railway companies, unlike most of the current operators who have interests elsewhere, and there was a greater sense of pride and identity. Indeed, the 150th anniversary of Stockholm’s Centralstation last year, was ignored completely because the organisations involved with the building today have no real interest in railways!
In these images (above), a heritage Y7 railbus contrasts with a modern black Rc-loco; and whilst the green car in the other image is probably the same epoch, the front can be seen of a much more modern car!
Living in the current times, it can be difficult to not take an interest in some modern artefacts. Thankfully, this does not extend to the trains, but a few of the model buildings could perhaps be a bit too modern, as indeed are some of the cars and other road vehicles. To offer justification for this, it was decided that the FLMJ is a ‘heritage railway set in the current day’, so some of the modern items could creep in. And the local ‘kommun’ is said to be offering incentives to residents and businesses to respect the “heritage epoch”!
Next month, we’ll consider the scenery, or at least the scenic aspect of the railway.