No news from us directly this month. We have been conducting some research into the Iron Ore wagons that are used up in the north, but we currently have more questions than answers, so a summary here will have to wait!
The PCX87 model of the Volvo 164 has arrived into shops now, a very nice model of the earliest version from the late 1960s. As usual, it is available in four colours, and we expect this to be another limited edition.
Observation regarding the PCX87 Volvo 164!
Once the Volvo flagship, we justified ordering one of each of the four colours offered with this model. However, our maroon one was faulty.
Look at the first photo, and especially at the windscreen; it seems to have slipped. We decided to investigate this here (our other three were fine). Should you have a need to take apart one of these models, observe these notes. As with many model cars in this scale, you start by gently prising out the bumpers. Then you should be able to prise the body off the chassis. Not quite; with this one, you also need to prise out the chrome grille, which is not a flat moulding, it sits in a recess and need to be pushed from inside. Of course this is not easy with the chassis in place, but certain very fine modelling tools will be useful. There are pins on the chassis which are a snug fit into sockets on the body, so the whole assembly needs to be gently prised apart. Once apart, the window unit (one piece moulding for all windows) was pushed up into place and we found that it was a snap fit, suggesting that it had not been properly assembled, not that it had come loose in transit. Before, reassembling, we filed down the tab on the back of the grille so that the chassis is less dependent on it, but the grille seems to be a good enough fit to not need a drop of glue. Bumpers are of course a snug fit, and it is important to note which way up the rear one goes – it’s quite obvious at the front. Finally, at all stages, remember to take great care handling the model, the door-mirrors are very vulnerable!
A Social Media post from the Nene Valley Railway on Sunday 20th March, read, “Swedish railcar ran well in service today. Friday saw the trailer car connected at Overton and after a successful pairing the two ran up to Wansford being driven from the trailer car. A few little jobs to finish and the two car pairing should enter service just after Easter!” This is certainly good news and will be a pleasant train to see and travel in.
If you are looking for a good time to visit Sweden, consider this event…
Since the Swedish Transport Administration is installing the new ERTMS signalling system on the Iron Ore Railway, up in the north, they wanted to run actual ore trains with the Railway Museum’s locomotives one last time. (Heritage locos are not fitted with the new signalling interfaces!) They also want to celebrate the 120-year anniversary of the northern section of the ore line, and to coincide with the Kiruna Festival.
Kiruna Festival, Thursday 30 June – Saturday 2 July
- Scheduled events in Kiruna:
- Exhibit of historic and modern locomotives at Kiruna Station on Thursday and Friday afternoons. Steam locomotive R 976 from 1909, electric locomotive Dm3 1246-1247-1248 “Oskar” from 1970 and Rc1 1007 from 1967. Exact times for the locomotive exhibits to be announced this spring.
- Short daytime tours by steam train for the public in Kiruna on all three days. Tentative pick-up and drop-off at Kiruna Station, free of charge, no pre-booking – just show up and come on board.
- A lunch train on all three days, round trip from Kiruna to Abisko pulled by electric locomotive Da 888 from 1955, which used to serve the Iron Ore Line. This needs to be pre-booked.
- Historic ore trains, night towards Sunday 3 July
- During the lightest hours of the midnight sun, two historic ore trains will run along the Kiruna–Vassijaure route. They are running these trains at night because trackwork is taking place in the morning on the northern part of the Iron Ore Line, and because traffic is minimal this late at night.
- Ore train with steam locomotive R 976. This steam locomotive was built to pull the ore trains on the most demanding section, from Abisko Östra to Riksgränsen at the Norwegian border, so these locomotives became the most robust ever built for Swedish train service. The planned wagon weight is 1,400 tonnes – exactly what the R locomotives are built to pull.
- Ore train with electric locomotive Dm3 1246-1248-1248. This is the classic electric locomotive type that operated on the Iron Ore Line up to 2013, and in its time was one of Europe’s strongest electric locomotives with close to 10,000 horsepower. The Dm3 is built to pull a wagon weight of 5,200 tonnes. Loaded ore wagons from LKAB will be pulled behind it.
- After both ore trains arrive in Vassijaure, all loaded wagons will be switched to one train and pulled by LKAB to Narvik (R 976 and Dm3) will carry ore that will actually be transported to Narvik.
Experiencing the magic of these trains doesn’t cost you a thing – all you need to do is get yourself out into nature in the middle of the night. Please keep in mind that because these are museum locomotives, they might not perform as intended. But the Railway Museum will do everything in its power to make it work out.
Here are some photo tips:
- On the afternoon of Monday 27 June, Rc1 1007 will pull a train along the same route with all their passenger carriages and staff. The train will arrive in Kiruna on Tuesday afternoon.
- Late Saturday night on 2 July, Rc1 1007 will pull a freight train from Kiruna to Abisko Östra.
- During the week of 23 May, Dm3 will slowly pull a decoupled (cold) R 976 at 40 km/hr from Gävle to Kiruna. The trip will take about 2-3 days.
- On Monday evening, 4 July, the Rc1 will pull a train from Abisko Östra down to Gävle with all passenger carriages and staff who will arrive in Gävle on Tuesday evening.
- On Tuesday, 5 July, Dm3 will bring a decoupled, cold R 976 to Gävle. This train will also operate at 40 km/hr and reach Gävle in 2-3 days.
- Note that these trains are for display only and will not carry passengers.
More details at: https://www.jarnvagsmuseet.se/en/trains-trips/current-programme
Behind the Scenes
Mini-Series about the FLMJ, 4: Gärde and Fjällnäs
On its way northwards from Lövhöjden, the Railway would pass Gärde. This mid-way halt would be served only by local trains. However, when the railway did reach this station, InterRegio trains often made the extended journey, and on the rare occasion, an InterCity train would also venture this far! The track layout was essentially simple, and the ‘headshunt’ was clearly the start of the line farther north to Fjällnäs. Sadly, the baseboard materials were faulty and needed replacing; but the station never did get rebuilt.
Gärde nearly got more tracks than just those described above. It was considered for the terminus of a narrow gauge tourist railway using H0e 9mm track (600mm in scale terms). However, we decided that this gauge would be too difficult to manage in the outdoor environment, so the plans were abandoned and the entire collection sold off. If a new “FLMJ” is built in Sweden, and there is room for a narrow gauge section, then H0n3 10,5mm track will be selected (representing the 891mm gauge, or ‘three Swedish feet’)!
Fjällnäs, sadly, only ever existed on paper (or hard-drive)! The name had been used on the final layout before the Park Home was exchanged, but the intended terminus was beyond our reach. Had the circumstances that led to the Railway’s closure not occurred, then it is fair to suggest that the terminus would have been reached now. There was a “2020 Vision” for the Railway, and everything was on time according to the schedule. As a terminus, the ore trains would require the loco running round to take the train to and from Arjeplog, where there was said to be the ore mine! (The wagons would be loaded here, and emptied at Ålunden!) Arjeplog would quite possibly be located in the second shed.
Next month, we’ll look at the train formations.