Tag Archives: YF1 1331

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.

September 2020 News

Flytten till Sverige:
Operation “Sverigepilen” has begun. Despite the desire to get the new railway built as quickly as possible (to combat the withdrawal symptoms), an effort is being made instead to build a smaller ‘portable’ railway first, whilst the best options for the permanent layout are considered. If we are able to continue to divide the railway scenically, so that it can represent the north, central and south areas, then the ‘FLMJ’ title will remain. If not, then a new name will be sought. The temporary layout, however, could have a name to represent a remoter area of Uppland (our new location, until a more permanent home can be found)! But, there is also the settling in to be done (and new employment to be found), so progress will be very slow to start with. (Remember, the KRBJ wasn’t started until a year after moving into the old UK address.)

Work continued on T21 64 repairs, and this has become a very big undertaking. In fact, in dialogue with a Swedish railway modeller, it was declared that if we succeed in getting the loco into full working order, it will probably be unique! With no layout, presently, there doesn’t seem to be much urgency to complete the repairs, but this loco is desired for the earliest works trains when we do start building…!

  1. Brass strips have been added to the steps to strengthen them! The strips are ‘L’ section and fitted to the fronts because the backs are partially angled. A supporting piece going across the bottom joins the two uprights and supports the bottom-most step. Also, using brass strip, a plastic bottom-step has been replaced with a new stronger one. This one went together much more easily than the original Heljan designed ones! Painted dark grey, they can now be seen!
  2. Completely new handrails have been made from thicker material than supplied with the model. There are two types for the steps, four of each, and these will be fitted once we are satisfied that the rebuilding of the steps has been successful. The few other handrails are also being replaced with the thicker material.
  3. Larger ‘L’ section plastic has been glued on behind the fuel tanks and some other under-chassis components to prevent them from being knocked off when the loco is handled. We didn’t need to grind these down to stop them being hit by the coupling rods; they are perfectly at the right depth!
  4. The cause of the motor not turning when the two halves of the chassis were put together was found to be the shaft-mounted gear, which protruded a little too much and was being compressed by the top half of the chassis. This is a very solidly fitted gear and no attempts to move it or remove it were successful; so it was filed down, instead, as well as a little off the chassis. The inside of the chassis has been painted black so that if there is still a problem, we will see it on the scuffed paint!
  5. Cabling between the top half of the chassis and the motor, and between the top half of the chassis and the pick-up contacts is very flimsy and unreliable. Being directly soldered in place, it is not possible to fully take apart the chassis; however, we pulled these apart so that we could work on the model, and then we will re-solder them as the job comes to a close.

An abandoned project has been resurrected; that of the construction of T45 328. We were thinking of selling this kit, but we would much rather bring it into service. There were only five of these ASEA diesel locomotives, leased to SJ for evaluation, but they did not lead to further orders.

  1. An evaluation exercise found that only the copper contact strip was missing, but this is easily replaced. The kit was supplied without motor, gears or wheels, and we are under the impression that the recommended ‘running kit’ is no longer produced. We may have a contact in Sweden who can provide one, or we’ll have to go the ‘extra mile’ (or should that now be kilometre) and fabricate something!
  2. There are some jobs that can be done ahead of fitting the running gear. These included fitting the buffers and the fuel tanks, and preparing the holes for the M2 screws that will hold the model together. Onto the body, the glazing has been fitted, as well as the extra plexiglass which is to be used for securing the body to the chassis. Symoba coupling type 111 is recommended, so that is what we’ll go with.

F 1207 has come into the workshop for evaluation, to see, first, if it has the same type of motor as the T21, being a Heljan model (albeit steam outline), and then to see how well it runs whilst out of the model. This loco runs very well once it has got going, even slowing down to a crawl, but it doesn’t start from rest at all well. Suggestions to the cause originally included dodgy valve-gear, bad connection somewhere in the drive train, or weak magnet in the motor. During the first test, we were unable to remove the motor without breaking cables, so that has stayed where it is; but we can see that it is not the same as in their T21 diesel! We did find, however, a DCC decoder in the tender, and this could be the cause of all the running problems—similarly fitted ‘guests’ to the FLMJ have always been problematic, so when the work resumes during October, this decoder will be removed and any ‘bridging’ pieces fitted in its place!

After a very long wait, Y1 1308 and YF1 1331 arrived from NMJ. These are truly beautiful models and represent these Italian designed railbuses in original condition; without the air intake units on the sides, and of course, in SJ orange livery. If a third unit is to arrive here, it will be with the intakes, because that was an early modification, and everyone involved with the FLMJ has no memory of them without!

From one extreme to another; the almost oldest railbus type is the Hilding Carlsson Yd, and a Perlmodell model of one (with UF2 trailer) has been acquired. Bus and trailer are without numbers presently, but looking at Byggsvenskt’s website, we are intending to go for Yd 343 and UF2 1574. (The UF2 is the same as the UF6, but not modified!)

We also acquired, quite a long time ago, a couple of ‘Yd’ railbus kits in almost scrap condition! One is in Hilding Carlsson cream, and the other in HNJ red. But, we found that the models are actually of the Yp railbus (for narrow-gauge), of which only three were ever built. We have found a new home for the HNJ one with a friend, but the HC one could be rebuilt to H0n3 gauge for a later FLMJ diversion!

  • The HNJ one has been stripped back to bare metal and the new owner is certainly hard at work making a decent model of it. A new test-chassis has been 3D printed, and as this is experimented with, it is likely that a more robust version will follow.
  1. Our model fell apart as we started to work on it and we found that instead of being assembled with glue or modellers’ putty, it was held together with Blu-tack! This all needed cleaning off, and the badly cut glazing pieces (which left gaping great holes) have been thrown away. New glazing will eventually be provided with Micro-clear compound. The roof was the biggest surprise, it is made of balsa-wood! The worst of the excess material was cleaned off, and we still have a roof to refit when the model gets to that stage. The model has been glued back together so that we could see where modelling putty needs to be applied, and it seems that the roof is going to be the biggest area for this—we may even consider building a new one!
  2. Holes were drilled through the headlamp mouldings so that we can retrofit working lights. The hole is small enough for a tiny LED, but the headlamp is bigger, so it has been drilled rather like a counter-sink, and a lens cam be placed over the LED to give the effect of a bigger lamp. But we need to sort out a motor, chassis and wheels, and other electrics before any of that happens.
  3. The model will certainly need repainting, but we declined to remove the existing paint until a can of the correct colour has arrived (we’d need to order it especially; the Stockholm Model Railway Club has had the colour produced), just in case we end up having to colour-match because the colour is out of stock! We already have the correct number transfers; it is only the green lining that might end up being hand-applied!
  • There used to be in stock at the old FLMJ, some H0e models for an eventual narrow-gauge extension, which never got built. The models were sold off when it was decided that H0 in the garden was difficult enough without going any smaller! At 9mm gauge, H0e would be too small to represent the 891mm gauge, and too large to represent the popular tourist gauge of 600mm. Therefore, H0n3 has been desired (at 10.5mm) to represent the 891mm gauge. Moving the new railway indoors might see the possibility of such an extension.

We are pleased to have been able to help some of our friends acquire Swedish models. A standard Y7 from Jeco needed sorting because of a conflict between the English and Swedish banking systems; but also, two rare X10 units were procured! These models had been owned by SJ (despite being in SL livery) and were used on a demonstration layout at the ‘Tågetsdag’ event every summer for a few years, several years ago. They were well worn out, but had been renovated and offered for sale. Like the FLMJ’s X10, they have the terrible Tenshodo motor bogie, but Byggsvenskt produces a motorised chassis kit for these units, and this was recommended by the seller; so the FLMJ unit could be upgraded at the same time! The second FLMJ unit will remain without a motor so that it can run as a double whenever necessary.

We have recently been saddened to learn of the passing of friend, Richard Stokes. Whilst Richard had no direct involvement with the FLMJ, his profession as a Railway Signalling Engineer combined with his hobby interest at the Great Cockcrow Railway, led to much of the inspiration for Adrian to create the plans for the authentic signalling proposed for the FLMJ (as well as several other projects). Through Richard’s friendship and guidance, the proposed signalling was based on absolute authenticity and not merely for decoration, which many other layouts have succumbed to. This influence was about to be realised upon the former FLMJ (all materials had recently been purchased) when the sudden closure had to be implemented instead. It was hoped that Richard would see the results of his kindness in the near future on the new layout. Richard died in September after a short illness, aged 78.

Aside from his influence upon the FLMJ, Richard’s railway history is a story worth telling. Richard’s background was as an S&T engineer. He worked on the Hixon level crossing crash inquiry in 1968, and was Assistant S&T Engineer at Liverpool Street and the New Works Manager on the SW Division, where he was instrumental in resignalling Brockenhurst signalbox whilst still maintaining a near normal service. Richard subsequently went to the LM region before joining Eurostar, where he went on to become the Production Manager on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.
He was one of the first senior BR managers to help start up European Passenger Services. He helped plan and develop the new Eurostar trains and service patterns through the Channel Tunnel to Paris and Brussels. He used his extensive contacts in SNCF, TML and SNCB to build strong relationships with counterparts across the channel, and helped to bring together the teams needed to design the new fleet of trains and create joint technical standards for that project.
After his retirement from CTRL in 2006, Richard worked on a number of projects including at the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways, and working with the European Cab Design Group to establish a standard cab design for all new trains throughout Europe. For many years Richard’s hobby was developing the signalling system used on the Great Cockcrow Railway near Chertsey, which is where he and Adrian met.