Tag Archives: Rc3 1027

November 2020 News

November has been a busy month…

Rc3 1027 is getting more ready to be used in double-heading and for testing new track before being connected to controllers.

  1. Modifications were made to the superstructure so that coupling mechanisms could be retrofitted.  The loco is of no use without couplings, so it was a necessary job!  Fitting Symoba 111+107 was straight forward, and the only extra work was to make the cut-out in the ploughs so that the couplings could poke through.
  2. We found some 13.5mm Ø wheels in stock and have fitted these into the bogies.  We also found some weights which have been fitted inside the loco, to the chassis.  Thus, it is now ready to run (notwithstanding repainting into an earlier livery at a later date).

T21 64 returned to service (for proper running-in) at the beginning of the month.

  1. A small control panel on the chassis was repainted later (it was too bright!), and a better way of fitting the handrails has been devised.  The new handrail work will be for a later date.

T45 328 also made progress.

  1. The ploughs were painted matt red, but the first coat was cleaned off so that they could be cleaned with fibre brushes and reapplied; and this has certainly made an improvement.
  2. Other painting included the bogie sides and bolsters, but of course these cannot be fitted until we have obtained a drive package for the model.
  3. With the arrival of a ‘tap’ for M2, we were able to properly tap the holes for the screws to hold the body to the chassis.
  4. We suffered a slight hiccup when we intended to apply the number decals to the buffer beams.  We had failed to notice that the red does not go all the way up to the running board!  So, this part of the red has been painted over, and then the number applied.  This loco has now gone back into storage until a motor and drive-train can be sourced for it.  In all other respects, it is ready for service.

F 1207 had some significant progress during November.  The biggest breakthrough came on the first weekend of the month, which some would argue is a little ironic: remember that this is an important Swedish locomotive, made by a Danish manufacturer… that weekend was the 500th anniversary of the Stockholm Bloodbath; we’ll leave it to you to look up the historical relevance!

  1. With some technical advice, we were able to separate the motor from the fly-wheel, and the same from the old T21 motor assembly.  Under test, we found that by inserting the ‘F’ core into the ‘T21’ casing, there was no magnetic resistance.  Reassembled with this substitution, the motor turned freely under power—one way only; completely ‘dead’ the other way!  Remembering that this is a Heljan model, we rewired and re-soldered connections and it started to work properly, but clearly needing running-in.
  2. Refitted to the loco, all was not well.  In fact, the newly assembled hybrid motor seemed to  work the wrong way (easily corrected by swapping the wires over), and then not at all.  Then smoke arose from where smoke should not arise and the controller cut out!  So, a new motor needs to be fitted.  There is also a temptation to remove the PCB completely and fit our own suppressor (capacitor) and resistors, but that will be only if all else fails.  A new motor is on order, but it seems to be taking a long time in coming (from Sheffield).
  3. Following several hours research into the model’s internal wiring, the new smoke-box door headlamp was fitted and brought into use.  It is correctly a so-called ‘warm-white’ and thus contrasts with Heljan’s ‘ice-white’ lamps.  The latter will be dyed accordingly.
  4. Boiler cab fittings have been painted with brass, copper and steel coloured paints.

K24 1775 returned to the Railway during November.  There was only one K24, and its number was 1776, so we shall see about getting ours corrected.  Curiously, when Liliput first produced the model, they got the number correct; but they later issued it as 1775 and 1772, both incorrect, yet only 1772 came with etched numberplates!

  1. The model has NEM coupling pockets, but removal of the couplings requires the chassis to be taken apart, so close couplings were retrofitted later in the month!
  2. Whilst we had the loco apart for checking over, we painted the cab fittings brass, copper and steel where appropriate, and a red regulator!
  3. The NMJ wagon, G 1000 of the NOJ (Nässjö Oskarshamn Järnväg) has been purchased to support this loco, as has an old Piko Gs 761, also of the NOJ.  The latter did not have NEM pockets, but these have now been retrofitted (Symoba, again), and all three vehicles (loco and two wagons) have close couplings inserted!  (More about the Piko wagon below…)
  4. Before SJ took over the K24, it was owned by the NOJ as their loco number 29.  For more information, see our Available Models section.

Yd 343 came in for a little more work.

  1. The ‘A’ end markers were fitted to this model.  A small job, but makes the world of visual difference!

FM4 55420 has been painted.  The decision was taken to reject the Orange “Mätvagn” livery for this model, and instead to paint it the same way as the R5, old SJ brown, but with black at window height.  It is, after all, another ‘freelance’ carriage.

  1. Because this model has had several livery considerations, it really needed sanding down first, then grey primer.  The model was sanded again between two coats of primer, and when the first coat of SJ Brown went on, it went on very well!  Obviously, its overall appearance is still a little compromised—best viewed from a distance!
  2. The gloss black at window height is now matt black.  But we have decided against repainting the roof, light grey is authentic for the brown livery.
  3. An ASEA bogie was repainted (from light grey) to match this vehicle.  This bogie is a temporary measure until the designated MD bogie has been relinquished by the T45 loco, which is borrowing it until a motor-bogie has been fitted.
  4. Extra weight was required, and we have therefore found an excellent recycling exercise for Märklin AC wheel-sets; held in with ‘gorilla-glue’ four wheel-sets provide enough weight!
  5. The number transfers have been applied, and we have used 55420, which is labelled for type F24K presently.  We will, at a later date, change the ‘24K’ to ‘M4’!

R5 2602 has continued, following the collection of some old parts in store, spare parts from former UGJ models!

  1. A bolster was fitted to each end of the chassis to serve as a buffer-beam, and for good measure, reinforced with ‘L’ section extrusion.  The buffer centres are a scale distance of 6’ apart (easier to measure in scale than actual), so marking the bolster was easy from a width point of view; getting height right was a bigger challenge!
  2. Symoba 111+103 couplings have been fitted to this model (requiring much of the new buffer beam to be cut away), and it was nice to find a use for the #103 standard pockets!
  3. End gangways were made up (the X2000 pattern was quite unsuitable), and end lights (non-working) were fitted using British ‘Replica Railways’ products designed as headlamps for 00-scale diesels!  Painted black with red lamp sections, they look quite the part!
  4. Final assembly was conducted near the end of the month, and we now have an extra catering carriage, quite freelance, but useful until more suitable models are produced.

The Tekla (aka Strömavtagarvagn) was recovered from storage, and some effort has been made to get that kit completed.  A plan of action was for a whole week, with one job each day.  Although the jobs were all quite small, this is a delicate kit, and should not be rushed!  Of equal urgency was a box for it to go into because it is rather lightweight and prone to damage!

  • This device is used at loco-sheds that house electric engines but were built before electrification, thus no cables go into the sheds.  With the loco’s pantographs lowered, the Tekla provides power to the loco; one end slides onto the lowered pantograph, the other end makes contact with the wire outside.  LEG’s film “1435 Elloksveteraner del 2” shews one in use.
  1. Naturally, we started with the easier jobs; painting the wheels and fitting them using thin ‘piano wire’ for the axles.  Super-glued into place (wheels onto axles), we now have a device that can be moved along the track—all wheels turn!
  2. The ‘stretchers’ on the top required more intensive work, however.  We didn’t have all of the required drill bits available (0.4mm, 0.6mm 0.8mm) and neither of our pin vices could hold the 0.4mm that we did have!  But using an old dentists’ drill (kindly donated years ago), we were able to create 0.7mm holes and fill with glue or solder where necessary!  Despite the precarious nature of this, it seems to have worked!
  3. Unfortunately, the 0.8mm holes go into 0.9mm plastic, so that didn’t work out.  We fitted reinforcers to the top of the frame, into which we have bored 0.9mm holes, and the insulators fit into that easily.
  4. The shape-formation of the stretchers, which needed parts soldering on, was another unfortunate problem!  This didn’t work out at all well.  The cantilevers for the stretcher that reaches to the contact wire are now made from ‘L’ section brass (instead of 0.5mm round) and soldered into place; but the insulators for the other stretcher have been gorilla-glued instead of soldered.
  5. The model finally went together at the end of the month, a few compromises here and there but not completely ruining the visual appeal.  Unfortunately, we have found that it is only a visual model (we had hoped to use it for interesting shunting purposes as designed), but as the photo shews, the stretcher to the pantograph is nowhere near long enough!  (Even if we took off our coupling so that the buffer beam could press against the loco buffers, it would still not reach!)
  • The box should be built in the early part of December.

October 2020 News

October has been a busy month…

Rc3 1027 has received some more work and investigation.

  1. It has been fitted with Märklin pantographs of the correct LLXJE-235 type. Unlike the ones fitted to this Editions Atlas model, the new ones can be raised and lowered. There is a minor problem with the rest of the roof detailing, however, in that when lowered, the pantograph at the ‘B’ end rests on an insulator, but that is a job for another day!
  2. As with our Heljan models, things just fall off this model regardless of how delicately it is handled. We have also found that handrails and suchlike are very brittle, so we might look into buying a Roco handrail accessory pack (if still available) and refit this model accordingly. Obviously, the extra handrails and steps for the Radio Control facility will need to be scratch-built!
  3. Other work pending includes replacement wheels (conforming to NEM standards), extra weight, and couplings so that this loco can be used for double-heading! Symoba couplings look most likely.

A great sense of achievement occurred on October 6th; T21 64 ran under its own power! Two days later, it was run-in on a test track at another location. It sounded a little ‘rough’ and more work has been be necessary, but the light is in sight!

  1. There are many electrical problems, soldered contacts just breaking off, for example; and random short circuits. But as October came to close, the loco was ready for testing and running in.
  2. The buffer-beam ‘arch’ at the ‘A’ end prohibited the NEM coupling mechanism from functioning properly, so that has now been filed to a wider profile and the paint touched up.
  3. More attachments have fallen off at the slightest touch, so they are being progressively put back on with reinforcement. The hooter now fits into a hole and is more secure, but although the handrails have been refitted, we’re not convinced they’re going to stay (each one has two pin-size fixings), so another idea needs to be thought up!
  4. A little more white metal has been ground off the interior of the upper chassis, and off the end of the gear; our test with black paint proved that they were making contact, but not any more.
  5. T21 64 with handrails refitted – at the time of publishing, one had come off already, but a new design of handrail and fitting is being developed.

T45 328 also received some more attention.

  1. Plexiglass blocks were mounted to the cab insides, and holes drilled; these will be the primary fitting pieces for the body to the chassis.
  2. Jeco hooters (for another loco) were acquired and fitted to the model, also.
  3. The running plate was painted a very dark blue (in accordance with the instructions) and with a ‘dirty black’ under-chassis, this doesn’t look bad at all. The buffer beams, stocks and buffers have been painted, also.
  4. We have fitted so-called ‘accommodation bogies’ to this model so that we can get a better perception of how it should look.
  5. The body has needed opening out a little, so reinforcing beams have been fitted inside; these will come out when the eventual motor goes in.
  6. Symoba couplings have been fitted (mechanism 111 and pocket 110—if you’re familiar with the range) and with the loco standing on the track, it does look ready to roll, but of course it isn’t!

F 1207 has been the recipient of a lot of work, and as October drew to a close, progress was quite apparent! There is much to write about, but we are providing a summary here, and will do a more thorough account for a special feature, in due course!

  1. Loco and tender were easily separated; the mechanical coupling (a loop over a pin), the electrical coupling (a seven-pin plug and socket, a bit fiddly), and the cardan shaft (sleeved so that it comes apart (and goes back together) easily).
  2. With the coal bunker removed from the tender, we found that it was DCC fitted(!)
  3. On a test track, analogue control produced the usual disappointing results; digital produced better results, but still far from ideal. (This curious running property is explained by the fact that DCC uses Pulse Width Modulation where the frequency of the power supply is varied, not the voltage.) The test was concluded with the DCC chip being replaced by a blanking chip as we have no intention to continue with DCC.
  4. Back to the tender where the motor is, there is a cardan shaft to drive the centre and trailing driving wheels on the loco, and a direct drive to the two axles in the leading bogie on the tender! We removed the poorly glued-on bulkhead and de-soldered four cables, and with little effort, the motor was now accessible.
  5. The motor was found to be faulty. It is (or was) a sealed unit and it offered resistance at 60° increments; which suggested that it was brushless with no ‘escape’ for the back-EMF. The motor is the same shape and size as the one from the T21 diesel, but with different attachments, so as the one removed from the T21 was not working anyway, we decided to investigate with that before working on the F motor. We found two brushes and three poles! Although made by a third party for Heljan, we found that after soldering the cables back on, the actual contacts just broke off, so a completely new motor looks on the cards!
  6. Then we investigated the loco. We were bothered by the fact that everything seems so loose and that there seems to be no safe way to handle the model. We were also annoyed that it does not have a top headlamp. Removing the pony-truck and bogie were simple enough; loosening the front of the boiler (via screw concealed by the bogie) was also easy. We had to be mindful of cables at the front, between the boiler and the running plate for the lighting. These were the reason that we wanted to get the loco apart in the first place, so that we could fit and wire in a top headlamp! But we noticed that the boiler was in two parts, where the grey meets the black, and that the smoke-box door was glued on. With the smoke-box off, and a gentle bit of prising with a screwdriver, we managed to separate the two parts of the boiler and get to the PCB within. It is more like a boiler with cladding, than two halves!
  7. During this investigation, however, we did establish the ‘fitting’ locations for the side running plates, and these have now been secured. This is more significant than could be realised; we now have a means of handling the loco without the fear of it falling apart.
  8. Like their T21 diesel loco, this has flimsy plastic steps on the tender, so these have also been reinforced with brass strip, and painted. We have removed the handrails on the back of the tender; not all locos had them all the time, and on this model they’re just another source of trouble.
  9. With whatever spare time has been available, with the locomotive dismantled, we have painted the boiler bulkhead with all its fittings, and in the cab, the wooden floor and the roof and walls.

We Have done a little work on our new Hilding Carlsson Yd 343.

  1. It was taken apart so that we could re-stick a counter weight inside the body. The model has two weights, one underneath the floor, and one to counterbalance the motor. The latter was loose.
  2. We reassembled the model with the motor correctly at the ‘A’ end, though the A-end markers are missing! (However, with the ‘A’ end leading the fuel intake is on the right, so we were able to identify it!) The model has a rubber-band drive; simple yet effective.
  3. We also adjusted one of the end luggage racks because it was coming loose.
  4. Also, following the study of the few colour photographs that are available, we have painted the cow-catchers red (they’re not really snow ploughs)!
  5. Yd 343 taken apart, shewing its simple-yet-effective means of power and assembly.

Y1 1308 and YF1 1331 have been fitted with Roco close-couplings into their NEM pockets. Fitting of things like mirrors has wisely been postponed until we are ready to start running them on a new layout.

  1. A curious problem was identified by an AJF Friend with the tail lights not working, but the LED did light up under test. It was found that the fibre optics can work a little loose and not put the light in the right place. Worth investigating if you have this problem with yours.

Project FM4 has been rekindled, and whilst actual work has been minimal, a more sensible way forward has been identified.

  1. The carriage is a UGJ F4 body with an X10 cab at one end!
  2. The body has been sanded down a little, ready for new primer and then it will be painted in SJ Orange as if a Mätvagn. We will use some decals that have been found in the box about, but need to research the numbers available to see what is most likely (an ex-F4, now scrapped, would be viable).

Project R5 has also been rekindled, even though it is not so necessary now. We have been converting a Heljan URB2 catering carriage to a loco-hauled carriage in protest at the complete absence of catering vehicles in H0 for SJ. Now, of course, we have the NMJ RB1 available, and the HNoll R4 arriving soon! Our R5 is being completed as we have come so far with it.

  1. It has been painted 1980s brown, but retaining the black band at window height. The roof and chassis are a much darker grey, and the ends are black.
  2. Roco ASEA bogies have been retrofitted. The holes for the original Heljan bogies were too near the ends (because the Heljan bogies’ pivot was not in the centre), so they were unsuitable. Instead, we drilled new holes wide enough for the Roco bogies to be a loose fit, and then mounted a plate beneath the chassis with a smaller hole to retain the catches. For strength, these have been ‘gorilla-glued’ into place!
  3. Symoba couplings seem the obvious choice for this model.

Having mentioned Symoba couplings; we have acquired a Height Gauge to comply with NEM-362, and this has been very useful for this purpose—especially with the modifications that have been made to the T21. It will be particularly useful also, on the Rc3 1027, T45 328, and R5 carriage, all of which are likely to receive this brand of coupling. We have put a link to the German-language Symoba website from this website.

We are considering the possibility of buying back the K24 steam loco (and doing some work on it to make it more authentic—see our recently updated guide to steam locos); there is a faint possibility of it receiving its earlier identity of NOJ number 29, but we’re not certain how easy that would be to do.

Pre 2020 News (summary)

Here is a selection of news articles from 2019; more items can be found on the old website.

As 2019 drew to a close, we said ‘good-bye’ to our two Triang shunting locos, based on the Z65 design. The arrival of the more authentic Jeco version rendered these models surplus, and a purchaser was found from within the Scandinavian Railways Society, so at least it is nice to know they’re going to a good home.

From departures to arrivals… a body and some accessories for a ‘D’ electric loco have arrived from Lokstallet in Sweden. This, we hope, will fit (with or without some modifications) to the Jeco spare rolling chassis that we have. The essential difference from the r-t-r Jeco model is that this will be a model of the wooden-body version. Curiously, although we have etched number plates (for loco number 597), we do not have any transfers for the buffer beams, but we can sort that out later. Also, the pantographs will need to be purchased separately, and Entec will be the most likely supplier here. Entec, quite sensibly, advertise their models by the prototype that they represent (pantograph type LLXJE 135, for example) and not by locomotive types that they would have been fitted to, so we will need to dig out from storage our book on the D-loco to find which type we need!

Whilst driving through Sweden in November, an interesting SMS was received from ‘sosalarm’, thus (translated here): “Important communication to the public in Hallsberg and Kumla municipality in Örebro county. The municipal drinking water has been shown to be contaminated by bacteria. The municipal management encourages everyone to boil the water before consuming. Sampling begins immediately. For more information listen to Sweden’s Radio P4 Örebro.” Then on the return journey through that area, “Hallsberg and Kumla Municipality in Örebro County announce that the danger of unfit water is over. The requirement to boil the water is lifted and you can now drink the water just as usual.” I am not registered with any alarm system so I was quite surprised to receive these texts. But it seems that the situation was so serious that EVERY mobile within the region had to receive them. Does this facility exist within the UK?

Jeco’s new X16/X17 railbus has arrived into store without warning! It had been hinted at nearly ten years ago and then no more was heard of it. Then, in a newsletter from MJ-Hobby on November 1st, both models (X16 and X17) had become available in stock for the princely sum of SEK 3495:- each. Catching modellers out by surprise is not a particularly wise move as people’s funds could be too limited (especially in the run-up to Xmas), and nobody really had the chance to allow for it. This situation (thinking about allocating funds for it) will preclude any arriving into stock for the FLMJ or whatever replaces it (we’ll continue to say “FLMJ” until we know differently)! (The model is of course, very similar to the Y6 series of diesel railbuses. Sadly it seems the model is too much so; it doesn’t have the correct (different) window layout for the electric version!)
Still with Jeco, the ‘older’ style Ma-locos, and the green TGOJ ones have arrived. The older style means original large headlamps and original door positions; there may be other subtle differences, also. The images used in advertising do shew different bodyside windows for the SJ and TGOJ versions, which is correct. Sadly, the orange TGOJ one that is wanted for the FLMJ had sold out on pre-order, so we won’t be getting one. Whilst upsetting, this is not a major loss; we would have preferred the orange livery with the later lights—as seen during Adrian’s first visit to Sweden in 1990! The brown SJ version, which is wanted by a friend of the FLMJ has been delayed due to a fault in detail where the so called ‘A’-end markers were fitted at both ends. This needs to be corrected, of course.

Two Jeco E2 models (one of each, 904 and 1333) arrived at the home of an FLMJ member, one for the FLMJ, but being retained until the FLMJ can pay for it! The urgency of the purchase is due to the “limited edition” nature of the model, and we don’t want to miss out! We are grateful for this kind offer. Both models were tested and the FLMJ one had a fault with the lighting, which has been traced to the DCC “Blanking Chip” which the supplier has now replaced. (Although it is a ‘blanking’ chip for use when not using DCC, they are not ‘standard’, different locos use different chips.) But, it runs beautifully!

Construction of the new FLMJ is unforeseeable at the moment. It could be another year to 18 months, for some of the most incredible reasons, which sadly, we cannot publish! Not yet, anyway. Consideration has been renewed in the Byxelkrok project (as hinted last month).

A second road-trip to Sweden has been completed (no photos this time, sorry), to help the emigrating friend move all their belongings. This needed to be done urgently because from December 1st a new Swedish law requires all visiting vehicles to have Winter Tyres during the period up to the end of March—this would be a problem with a British hire vehicle, so the journey was urgent. At least Adrian now has an idea of costs when his turn comes.

It has been noticed by many modellers that the new HNoll models are not very free-running; this has nothing to do with the brakes! If you have any of these models with this problem, turn the model upside down and you will see small ‘ears’ with holes in them on the bogies, these are in the way of the wheels. We have been advised, just cut them away, they are not supposed to be there.

HNoll carriages are slowly emerging, but at 995:- SEK, they’re going to be difficult to obtain whilst out of work! Adrian juggled his finances to buy the WL4 and WL6 models, but this month, the BC4 models appeared. Thankfully, a late birthday present (for the last three years) has taken care of them! Now, the R4/RB11/S12 models have been announced as likely to arrive February 2020. These have much more detailing on, so without surprise, these are a little more expensive, at 1195:- SEK! Restaurant cars are virtually non-existent in H0-scale for SJ! The FLMJ is only interested in the R4 (the RB11 and S12 are too modern). Only one brown one has been advertised (and is with the InterCity chevrons), so the solitary all-over red version might make a suitable ‘second’—if funds permit, of course!

The “Editions Atlas” ‘Rc3 1027’ arrived in June, and it was on display with the Scandinavian Railways Society’s stand at the GRS Model Railway Exhibition at Didcot a week later. It is a nicely detailed static model, very little to fault with it in terms of authenticity, but lots of detail needed gluing back on following delivery, especially bogie sides and steps. Curiously, to make the ribbed sides more noticeable, they have been painted with thin white lines, which are really unnecessary, but all livery details seem to be correctly applied, except that they have got their ‘A’ and ‘B’ ends confused! The pantographs are solid mouldings, so one is permanently raised (and not spring-loaded), the other permanently lowered. The bogies inside the dummy frames have that “could be retrofitted with Tenshodo Spuds” look, but the less said about that, the better! The wheels on the dummy bogies are RP25-ish, but they are easily accessed if NEM 311 wheels are preferred. Once retro-fitted with NEM 362 couplings (as well as exchanging wheels and pantographs), this will be a useful model for double-heading or push-pull trains. (Somewhere in the archives from 1994, there is a photo of an Rc-loco in the orange livery, but modified to denote radio control – maybe that is a future option for this model at the FLMJ.)

The first of the Hnoll coaches have arrived into the shops; none in SJ brown. Early impressions from a friend are positive, but that the boxes have not been designed so that the coaches can be put away with ‘close-couplings’ fitted into the NEM boxes, and some polystyrene will need cutting away! The models so far are of types BC4 (couchette coach), WL4 (sleeper coach with 1-2 beds and wash-room per compartment), and WL6 (sleeper coach with three beds per compartment). Of these only the BC4 was ever in the brown livery, the others being introduced to SJ after the new livery had been started. As 1990s coaches, their bodysides are slightly different to the 1980s design. With a lack of sleeper coaches for the FLMJ one WL4 and WL6 each in the original blue livery have arrived into FLMJ storage, but we’ll wait for the brown BC4 (of which we’d like two)!

The FLMJ closed at the end of the 2018 Summer timetable. All of the trains and buildings were put into safe storage soon after, as well as various other scenic effects, materials and tools. The home was vacated early November. Thus ended more than 25 years of Railway history. But given the circumstances leading to this, we are determined not to be beaten completely, and with suitable recovery and some help where it will be needed, the FLMJ will open again; somewhere else (and probably indoors).
There is a sad irony that the FLMJ was officially closed on the 100th anniversary of Sweden’s worst ever railway accident (at Getå, October 1st, 1918) claiming the lives of ±42 people. There had been a landslide pulling the ground out from under the railway line; and here we have a situation where the rug has been pulled out from under our feet. But on that note, it is pleasing to recall the fact that the locomotive involved in that accident (F-class number 1200) was rebuilt and returned to service, and has been preserved in full working order. There is no reason why this cannot be true for the FLMJ also.