Category Archives: AJ News

News from Adnalms Järnvägar

April 2021 News

Rolling Stock Update

N 1304 is ready for full testing and running in.  With some assistance from a friend who has experience of valve gear, many alterations were made, including tightening up loose connections so that they don’t rock so much.  Many parts needed further trimming, including the studs on the wheels that hold the coupling rods.  Much to our delight, the ‘lost’ brass nut was found and refitted to the Expansion Die Block, and that is now a much more encouraging fit!  Once we had got the loco (chassis) running on the test track, we were ready to fit the body, and then it wouldn’t work at all!  After lengthy investigation, we found that part of the body was ‘only just’ touching the copper contact strip on the ‘insulated side’ causing a short circuit.  The easiest fix for this was insulating tape, but to ensure its longevity, its application was supported with a little Loctite Superglue!  Job Done!

We were so encouraged by this progress, that we soldered on the connections so that the lighting would work also, and then fitted the cab roof.  The motor makes quite an awful racket as it trundles along, but we are hopeful that this will settle down during running in.  The work did not end here, however.  In the process of all the remedial work, the flimsy plastic brake rods got damaged, so they were removed and needed refitting (see below).  We also decided not to fit the front coupling until a replacement for the broken part had been obtained.  There is also a desire to remove the cab-side deflectors and replace them with transparent ones (to be more authentic), but that is not urgent.  And maybe, we will obtain and fit the gas cylinder for the lighting; until then we will have to argue that the loco has electric lighting!

We made another attempt with the brake shoes.  The 0.5mm plastic had been too flimsy, and didn’t last long.  Sadly, one of the brake shoes got lost during this time.  Replacement 0,5mm brass rod was procured, along with 0,5mm (inside) tube.  With this, we were able to reinforce the rods between the frames, and thus the rods protruded exactly perpendicular to the frames in front of the wheels.  The tubes were superglued to the frames, and the rods superglued within.  Then the shoes were superglued, making sure that they were correctly aligned and not touching the wheels or even close.  Then, as an extra detail, and because we still had lots of plastic 0,5mm rod left over, we made some sanding pipes, going down to the wheels, using the brake rods to support them in place (which we couldn’t do, of course, if they were working brakes)!

Manufacturer News

PCX87 (Premium Classixx 1:87 scale) has released their Saab 900 (1986 model) in four colours, as a three-door hatchback.  This is an interesting release in that it follows their Volvo 240, and both models have been proposed by Minichamps, albeit different (but close) year models.  Will the Volvo 480 and 850 follow soon?

Other News

Two extra items this time.  First, the Steninge layout has a new home.  We parted company with it many years ago, and some work was necessary to keep it in useable condition.  We think it went around a few friends, but now it is with another, a friend of the FLMJ, and hopefully it will get a new lease of life.

Not quite a case of Caveat Emptor, but getting close: be very careful if you should choose to use Google Translate for translating between English and Swedish (or any translation).  Once, an excellent tool for assisting with translation, it seems to have become quite a liability.  Recently, a test was made of 25 Swedish phrases (converting to English), and 25 English phrases (converting to Swedish).  We had a 62% failure rate (wrongly translated).

March 2021 News

March got off to a slow start. We were preoccupied with house viewings, a new (second-hand) car (from a dodgy dealer, with some technical issues), and a ‘name-day’ celebration.

Rolling Stock Updates

N 1304 is so near, yet so far from completion! For testing, we purchased a GaugeMaster Combi (a very basic controller with plug-in transformer) from a UK supplier, but we weren’t ready to use it immediately.
The brake rigging was removed in March and cleaned up. Then the metal rods were replaced by plastic rods and the risk of short-circuits across that means was eliminated. 0,5mm plastic rod is a very difficult product to work with and replacing the four rods took over three hours. It is also very soft, so they are easily bent out of shape!
We took a fresh look at the handrails that support the front steps. The design really does suggest a trip-hazard, so by changing the height, and modifying the fixing point, we have been able to fit these without upsetting more of the loco. They have been painted dark grey, so that they are slightly visible against the black background. This has worked so well that most of the other handrails have been repainted in this way.
Fitting the front coupling was also a struggle. We needed a spare offcut of metal that was wider than 5mm and longer than 14mm, into which we could tap a thread for a fixing screw, and turn up each end so that it would fit inside the frames. We had nothing of this sort, so we used a more narrow piece which was quite weak having been tapped. Then, we ‘butchered’ a ‘cap’ for the UK 3-pin plug, and made a suitable brace to fit into the frames, to carry the coupling. The coupling pocket has been damaged, however, and this will be replaced at a later date.
Returning to the Controller; this arrived mid-March and we were able to properly test the loco’s performance, not just the motor, but also (and especially) the valve gear. As expected, the first run was virtually stationary, so several modifications were made. In the process, the driver side motion virtually fell off! The cause was the still faulty top glide on the crosshead, and this had damaged the slide bars. We also found a faux-pas on our part in that on the fireman side, the eccentric rod had been fitted closer to the wheel than the return crank, so the wheels could not go round! The fireman side valve gear was adjusted and corrected and with none of the other side attached, the loco ran under power quite satisfactorily.
The driver side was to prove a little more problematic, however. During the short run under power, the coupling rod fell off, which was not a problem, just amusing. It meant that we could start from scratch, and having learned a few lessons, we were able to do this with more professionalism. Unfortunately, the now-damaged slide bars were really beyond repair (we had several attempts), but after a couple of hours, we had to resign to the fact that they needed to be replaced. Thankfully, MJ-Hobby had a twin-pack of etched parts in stock (giving us a total of four pairs of slide bars and loads of other spare parts). This was of course, very frustrating, but it led to something much better; see our next item!
The new etched sheets arrived quite quickly, and one of the slide-bar assemblies was extracted, shaped, and filed so that it would be an easier fit. Once fitted, a little glue will stop it rattling, but this seems unlikely, anyway! Everything was fitted in one day, but not to the pivot for the connecting rod big end or the return crank. This was because we needed to allow time for the glue to dry where we had used a washer instead of the now-lost nut on the expansion die block. As work continued, more irritations became apparent. The pivotal pin for one of the connecting rods’ big ends unscrewed as the wheels went round and that had to be glued back in. This, in turn had damaged other parts of the valve gear, and a whole day was spent on remedial work. To be safe, we made this modification to the other side, also.
We have lost count of the number of times that we have had to clamp and re-glue the fitting for the expansion die block, or the front of the radius rods to the cylinders (not required on genuine steam locos, of course), or even the slide bars to the cylinders, and these corrections are ongoing as March drew to a close.

Dm3 1221+1240+1222 is one of the later versions (Marshall lights, revised position of driver side door, extended roof ventilation openings, etc) and the Roco model in plain brown has been desired for some time. At the time that we needed to order the spare part for the N-loco, we had a casual look at the second-hand models also available, and there it was, the Dm3 loco that we wanted! For us, this is the perfect Epoch-IV version of this loco, others have either older lighting and door layouts, or have more modern LKAB/MTAB logos on (or even more modern (blue) liveries)!
The prototype for this loco, sadly came to an abrupt end on March 19th, 1993, when iced-over points threw it off the track and down the side of a mountain near Katterat. The driver and has passenger (his young daughter) suffered only minor injuries because the snow came through the broken windows and cushioned them from any serious harm! The loco had to be scrapped on site; on the side of the mountain! (We wonder if Roco was aware of this fate when they produced the model?)

SCENIC MODELS are also in the news this month, with the arrival of some new cars and a lorry. Two PCX87 Volvo 240 models have arrived (see Manufacturer News, below), and a Scania lorry in Swedish postal livery. (Our only current Swedish postal lorries are Iveco; not very Swedish!) Ironically, this model arrived in a package covered in no fewer than 31 postage stamps…! We also took delivery of a Wiking Chervolet Malibu, which is the nearest imitation we can find (in H0-scale) of the Chevrolet Impala; the car used by the Jönsson Gang in the classic Swedish films, “Jönssonligan…”! We will alter the appearance of the model to match the film car!

Manufacturer News

NMJ has released the second wave of Y1 railbuses, SJ blue with the air-intake boxes on the sides. We’re a little disappointed that the orange version has not been produced with these intakes; that is the condition that applied in 1990 when Sweden was first identified as the country to model.

BoS has released a Volvo 265 ambulance (stretched chassis), but the livery is not especially Swedish.

Minichamps has added to their range of proposed Volvo cars, the 480 coupé in four colours (1987 year model) and the 850 sedan in four colours (1994 year model). If the latter is produced, it will be probably the most modern Swedish car in H0-scale!

PCX87 has released limited models of the Volvo 240 sedan and estate (1989 year model) ahead of the 1986 ones proposed by Minichamps. One of each has arrived, and close inspection reveals some disappointing details discrepancies. One of the most classic features of the 145/245 estate is the top of the rear passenger door which drops away from the roof-line; this is not recreated on the PCX87 model! Our photos compare this with a Brekina 145 model (which has other faults)! Other discrepancies are less obvious. (Compare the differences, below!)

And finally, if you want to decorate the scenic area of your Swedish diorama with moose, then Preiser produces a set; but they’re males only (with the antlers, of course). For females, the Canadian supplier miniprints.ca has some convincing models (and more males, of course).

February 2021 News

N 1304 continued to be built during February, and after a couple of days fitting the electrical contacts for the wheels, we turned our attention to the handrails and everything else that used the fine brass rod.  We had received from SMJ two handrail bending jigs (“Bockningsmall” on their website, if you want to get some), and these proved to be extremely useful.  Nevertheless, we decided to work on this part of the project only a few bits per day so that we could allow the glues time to dry, and to not get too frustrated with this very fiddly phase!  Some of the stanchions needed drilling out because they hadn’t been made properly, but other than that, it all went in very well.

During February, we also worked on the livery; satin black top-coat for the body, dark grey for the chassis (so that it can be seen), red buffer beams, wood coloured window frames on the cab sides, but brass window frames at the front and back.  Touching up with more satin black made the model look very smart, a great boost to the morale.

With the painting done, it was time to glaze the windows.  We used a so-called ‘canopy glue’ which dries clear.  Being of a fairly thick consistency, we were able to draw this across the (window) openings to seal them (thus a white window), and waited for it to dry.  During the drying process, the loco was turned upside down for a while to prevent the tops becoming too thin.

The electrical installation was quite a challenge.  It would have been quite straight forward if we had not added working lights, and these of course, gave us a problem.  They are mounted on the body; the rest of the electrics are mounted on the chassis.  The solution was to glue a contact board onto the back of the cab for the wiring from the lamps (via resistors, of course), and to have an extension wire for each pole of the motor soldered to it.  This means that if/when we need to take the loco apart, we will have to de-solder it, but we’re used to this with our Heljan loco!  Of course, the loco was not designed to have working lights; and running the wires, and connecting it all up was a very challenging job; not helped by not having the ideal tools — they are in storage in England, still!

Putting the loco together was challenging; some wiring needed pushing to one side, part of the floor-plate needed filing away to make room for the extra pickups, and one component was fitted differently to the suggested way and subsequently added strength to where the chassis is screwed to the body at the front.  At this stage, brake pipes, steps and other fittings were attached, but the number and makers plates were the last, after some further paintwork had been touched up.

We used Roco close couplings in the pockets intended for their Rc-loco.  So there is no outward movement, but they are NEM-362 pockets, and they turn.  To fit them, the pins were removed and replaced by holes, and M2 screws were used with the M2 tap making an opening in a cross-brace made from off-cut at the front, and using the rear securing hole at the back because it just happened to be in the right place!

With the attachment of the number plates, the locomotive was technically finished in terms of construction, but some elementary testing would be required before the loco could be submitted for running in and dedication to traffic.  Thus, its completion date is likely to be in March!

“Snagging” started in the last week of February, and found a ‘dead short’ across the wheels.  This was traced to the metal brake shoes which are mounted on metal rods.  As a temporary measure, insulating tape was used to make an extra layer of shoe, but longer term, the rods may have to be replaced with plastic, awkward given that they’re 0,5mmØ and the strength would be questionable.  We also found poor pick-up where the chassis is relied upon, so providing the extra copper contacts where possible was clearly a good idea.

SJ Kbps 21 74 370 4 388-7 arrived in February, and this completes the set of three wagons of this revised version of the Kbps.  Curiously, and not uncommon for NMJ, the wagon and the packaging do not match, but the wagon number was shewn, not the catalogue number, so although a similar number to one of the others, this is not the same.  The ‘370 4’ part of the number suggests that it was rebuilt from a type Os!  Unfortunately, the check-digit is also wrong (also common among NMJ wagons); it should be –8.

Manufacturer News

Dekas has advertised some “Ugkkpp” grain wagons (type Kö, pre-UIC) which will be an important addition to any Swedish layout.

Jeco has advertised some new models recently; all out of our epoch, but interesting all the same.  The X2000 appears in two five-car sets; one in the special livery for the Linx train that worked between Stockholm and Oslo [X2-A310], and the other as the solitary unit that went to China (but is now back in Sweden) [X2-A330].  Also, the Y6 is available in IBAB livery as MT 1086, with some suitable authentic modifications [Y6-A150].  The catalogue numbers shewn here are for the standard DC analogue versions.

Roco is advertising the HectorRail 241 Electric loco (Ep-VI) again [73947], and two wagons; Ep-V Car carrier wagon [76892], and Ep-VI Sliding wall wagon, grey with GC markings [77490].  All are suggested as new items, but only the Ep.VI wagon has not been seen before (we already have the other wagon at the FLMJ, from 2019).

Vagnverkstaden (http://www.vagnverkstaden.eu/) is winding down their stocks and will cease trading as well.  In March last year, Göran Nilsson said, “I have started sketching a model of SJ RB4. The design will be like my cast carriages, and the price is calculated at SEK 1295.” Then, in November, the closure was announced. The closure is for personal reasons, but the RB4 will be the last cast carriage for normal gauge. On the narrow gauge comes the announced VGJ wagons Gssl, Hml, F and C1.  We do not know if somebody else will take on the range.

January 2021 News

Rolling Stock Updates

T45 328, whilst not seeing any progress, is newsworthy in that a suitable chassis c/w motor has been identified for it; produced by SV&LV (Skultorps Vagn & LokVerkstad).  This is likely to cost in the region of £175.  However, we have been in dialogue with a modeller in Sweden who hinted at having a chassis by ‘AH Mässingchassis’ available.  [Photos from SV&LV website.]

N 1304 is coming along slowly.  The tanks and cab were attached to the chassis with contact adhesive (one of the recommended methods), but not an extension piece to the rear buffer-beam, because it was not clear how it should be fitted.  This can be ironed out later.  The exhaust steam pipe was fitted (having identified what it actually is—the drawing is unclear) and the front running plate was attached to the boiler.  The smokebox door was loose-fitted (a ‘tight’ loose fit) in case we need access to it for the installation of the working lights, later.  Phase One (five phases in all) was completed 8th January.

Phase Two began the following day!  The phases are generally set out in accordance with the five assembly drawings, but with suitable adjustments where necessary.  We started by fitting the chimney, steam dome, sand dome and some other boiler-top fittings; then moved onto things such as buffer-beam (including the rear one, which could now be correctly fitted), the buffers, steam pump, brake pump, jack, and a few other fittings (including etched brass) before preparing the superstructure for painting.

Phase Three followed soon after.  Painting has been postponed until the handrails have been fitted, and the handrails were postponed until we had obtained better tooling for them.  So, this phase is actually the fourth brought forward: the chassis!  The two main frames are easily different as one has the motor mount, but with a ‘revised’ motor supplied, we needed to remove the mount.  The spacers for the frames also provided a headache which was solved when we discovered that they both had faulty threads at one end, and we were grateful that we had brought our 2mm tap from the UK.  Thus, the frames went together quite easily once the faults were corrected, and tried up to the body—a tight but perfect fit—even with the motor attached.  We completed Phase Three in one day with the fitting of the wheels, axles, bushes, motor and gears; and one cast piece (part of the brake plumbing), but with the exception of the balance weights for the wheels and the ‘decorative’ trims for the axle ends, because they ought to wait until the rest of the loco has been put together!  Where the model has been modified since drawings were created, we realised that there were tabs for electrical contacts on one side only.  So, using off-cuts from the etched brass sheet, we made some tabs to mount on the other side in corresponding places, glued at first, but strengthened with solder soon after.  We then found the ‘difference’ between wheels part numbers 64 and 67—64 are conducting, 67 are insulating!  Thankfully the only remedial work was to turn around the gear on the third axle!  We were now ready to think about Phase Four.

The first paint went on in the middle of the month.  We needed to remove the wheels so that we could paint the frames, and this seemed the logical time to do it.  Whilst this was being done, the matt black first coat was applied to the loco body also.  (The top coat will be satin black.)  Then, ‘oily steel’ was applied to the coupling rods, connecting rods, and a few smaller details.

Phase Four primarily concerned the ‘motion’; the valve gear and all the linkages.  Thankfully, some of it was already assembled, but we still needed to work with brass nuts about 1mm a/f and various other equally tiny parts!  We were not satisfied with the design of the feeble attachment for the motion bracket to the chassis, but in the cramped space, all we could do was pack a little extra glue!  As we came to put it together, we found that it might have been a bit easier if these parts had been assembled after we fitted the motion on both sides, but it has gone in OK.  One small job that took almost a day to do was to fit the brake shoes.  These are very tiny pieces that go onto 0.5mm rods between the wheels, and even with tweezers (or ‘especially’ with tweezers), which were so essential, this was not an easy job.  We feared that we had lost one brake shoe, but it was found on the floor (sadly, there are no spare parts with the kit).  We returned to the motion, and struggled to fit it.  One of the fixing brackets on the motion bracket broke away, and one of the crossheads had a blob of solder preventing it from engaging with the slide bars!  We also needed to put a blob of glue on the nuts holding the connecting rods to the crossheads, and the expansion links to the radius rods and motion bracket.  Curiously, there is nothing to stop the return crank from coming off its stud, so we used a blob of glue as a temporary measure, but a scrap of offcut will be used when the job has been finished.  The lights were fitted at this stage; working ones intended for the Jeco/Liliput E-loco, but we needed to order resistors because the E-loco has them mounted onto the PCB, which the N-loco does not have!

We have discovered a little fax-paus… our loco number1304 would not have had the separate domes (one for steam, one for sand); this applied only to the ‘earlier’ samples.  Later locos had a very large combined dome.  We have decided to overlook this detail and not change the fittings nor the number.  As a caveat, our resource does not confirm from which number the change was made, and our one photo of 1304 is at such an angle that it is difficult to tell!  Furthermore, we have a photo of one with the two domes fitted the ‘other’ way around.

Fv1 (ex-F5-L) 25786 has a new buffer (to replace one that had been broken off before purchased), and this is ready to enter service.  The Kadee couplings have been taken out of the NEM pockets, but we have no supplies of Roco couplings here in Sweden, so they will be fitted at a later date.  Also for later, is the manufacture of a box for it; currently it remains in the box that it was shipped in, with bubble-wrap for protection.

Uh 20 74 070 0 651-0, a BP tank wagon arrived at the end of the month.  This is a Dekas model made in Denmark, and quite limited in availability.  It will be interesting to compare this with our Piko model of the Uh wagon in BP livery (thankfully with a different running number)!  The number shewn here is the number carried on the new model, though the box suggests 21…-4.

Two interesting model cars have arrived, a Volvo 444PV as a deluxe version with extra trims and detailed interior; and a much older Volvo PV56 with ‘wartime’ Gengas trailer.  Both are by SMJ.

Manufacturer News

HNoll is inspecting samples of the Brown R4 and Black S12 carriages.  If these are OK, they will be sent from China shortly afterwards and for delivery to the stores in the next few weeks.  It is a very small part of the order that is ready. It may take a while before these carriages can be produced again as there is a lot of queuing in the factory.  Work on B4, BF4 and BF7 has begun, which they hope to be able to deliver in the autumn, but there is no update about the A7/A8/B7/B8/S1 models.  However, another setback has occurred with the air freight costs (which the supplier has blamed on Corona) which have gone up from 29kr per unit to 62kr, so now they are being sent by sea at a cost of 13kr, but delivery will be a bit later.

December 2020 News

Z69 659: The classification Z69 applied to an eclectic collection of shunting tractors, so we have used this classification to apply to the Roco model said to be a Z66 (which it certainly isn’t).  As with the R5 catering carriage, this loco is being used to fill a gap, an alternative shunting loco to the Z65/Z70.  It was purchased, second-hand, during December.  Roco produced the model back in the 1980s and it was only available in a train set as Z66 000.

F 1207: The new motor arrived on December 1st, having been held up in the UK’s mail system (the shop had wasted no time sending it out).  Then, a chance meeting with a friend and a trip out to a model shop procured some better wire for the loco… and a new whistle (the home made spring-loaded one didn’t work out)!  The new motor was fitted on the 7th.  We started by soldering on two long cables, and connecting them directly to a controller, which proved the motor worked OK.  Then, using a modellers’ power tool, we cut away the spindle protruding at the ‘contact’ end because it isn’t needed and is in the way.  Next job was to gently hammer on the flywheel, leaving exactly 4mm spindle exposed between it and the motor casing.  Then it all dropped into its correct place, nicely lined up and secure.  The wires were then connected directly to the controller again, and with only slight power, the loco crept forward and then back.  Smooth performance such that we had never seen before with this model!  Satisfied this far, the next job was to put it all back together, and then “Heljan Syndrome” kicked in; an electrical contact further forward broke and despite our best efforts we did now have to separate loco and tender again (a job which also risks electrical breakage)!  But, this all done and by the end of the day, the loco was in running order (pending proper running in), more smoothly than it had ever run before.  On the following day, we refitted the steam pipe that broke away during the day, and the new whistle.  Job Done!  (The new whistle, by the way, is not a genuine article because Heljan doesn’t supply them; so we’ve fitted the nearest alternative; a 4mm scale Markits LNER ‘Pacific’ whistle.)  An irritation for solving later is the lighting; it comes on correctly at the front of the direction of travel, but it also comes on at half brightness at the rear of the direction of travel; probably a back-EMF issue.

N 1304: A Jeco/DJH kit for the N loco has arrived, and having worked extensively on the F 1207, we’re reasonably confident of being able to build it.  The kit is a mixture of etched metal and cast metal, and it seems that it only needs paint to be able to complete it.  We are, however, also purchasing replacement numbers; 1304 has not been preserved and is therefore less likely to duplicate any visitors to the new railway!  (The other available numbers are 576 (Ängelholm), 641 (Gävle), and 1173 (Stockholms Ånglokssällskap).)  We brought six paints from the UK; unfortunately one of them leaked on the way!

For ore train shunting, eight eight-coupled (D / 0-8-0T) tank locomotives were procured for the Ore Line in 1900.  However, it was quickly found that the locomotive type was also suitable for heavy shunting on southern and central Swedish railway yards and until 1920 the number was increased to a total of 64 locomotives.  However, it was appropriate to also supply shunting locomotives with superheaters and in 1922-32 superheating was introduced in 44 of the locomotives which received new identity Na.  Other locomotives were scrapped or sold in the years 1925-37 to GDJ, TGOJ, JLJ, HHJ, SSJ and NBsJ, including N 578, 641, 645 and 1167 which returned with the nationalization of Gävle – Dala Järnväg in 1948, which were then also superheated.  From 1942, the locomotive type was again called N at SJ, when all locomotives (including the nationalised ones) were now superheated locomotives and equal.  The N locomotives became popular and indispensable shunting locomotives at railway yards and in ports around the country until the end of the steam locomotive operation. They were set aside as standby locomotives, but were not scrapped until 1973.  Most were scrapped, but a handful remain as museum locomotives.

We made a start late December by fitting a securing nut to the chassis!  Then work stopped whilst we investigated the kit because a problem had been identified.  One of the bell cranks (comprising lifting arm and reversing arm) was missing.  Even though the drawings indicated that there should be two, the etched sheet had only one.  So, we improvised; the supplied one went on the side of the reversing rod, and a lift arm was made for the other side from brass off-cut!  These were fitted in place, and then the housing for them fitted also; but work stopped here due to the need to paint some parts before proceeding, and we had no brush-cleaner/thinner to hand!  After the Christmas break (with shops closed), the thinner arrived and we were able to continue.  The parts painted at this early stage are ones that would be difficult to get at once the model has been built; boiler sides and adjacent tanks sides, and chassis area under the boiler.

B5FKRT 5017: Although the 1990s liveries are really too modern for the bulk of our stock, the first of the blue/black livery was being introduced at about the time that our epoch ends.  This second class coach joined the fleet in December, and allows us greater flexibility with train formations.

Fv1 (ex-F5-L) 25786: Our first plain SJ-brown Fv1 arrived in December, at last.  This is a Heljan model and we have all three of their ‘special’ livery versions already (TGOJ green, Pressbyrån brown, and SJ service grey), so this is an especially welcome addition!  It needs one buffer repaired/replaced, and a box, but it is otherwise in good condition.

FM4 55420: The freelance baggage carriage was finally put together in December.  It was decided to add a plough to the end under the cab, so a Roco yellow plough (which was certainly surplus) was repainted red and fitted to the bogie.  We had overlooked the need for the buffers, and although we had plenty available, we only had two stocks available, so we had to improvise at the cab end—and it looks OK.  We also found some Rc-loco mirrors to add as a last minute idea, so these will be painted later, along with any other snagging that might be needed.

(NOJ) Gs 761: There was an issue with the coupling height with this retrofitted wagon, and we found that the actual height was correct, but the ‘stalk’ was not 90° from the horizontal, so the coupling was pointing down.  This has all now been corrected (with a bit of packing), and is fit for service.

Tekla: Following the disappointing completion of this model (see last month’s news), a box has been made and it has been put away.  Maybe one day in the future, we’ll build a better-proportioned one from scratch.

Manufacturer News

HNoll: Unfortunately, there was not time to produce the proposed carriages (A7 etc, B7 etc, R4R etc,) before Christmas.  There were simply too many carriages and other customers in line.  There is a belief that they can deliver before the Chinese New Year, which means delivery in February, but don’t hold your breath.

Jeco: The X2000 is to be reissued as a four-car set, both SJ liveries and in AC and DC varieties.  A second set would be welcome here (but our funds may preclude it)!

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.

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.

August 2020 News

As already known, the D-loco needed some post-delivery (to traffic) adjustments and so on, and during August, the transfers/decals were lacquered; and then the loco was finally put away in its box, ready for traffic (or new pantographs)!

T21 64 broke-down during the old FLMJ’s last year, and it was found that the motor had simply stopped working. It also needed some cosmetic repairs.

  1. We contacted Heljan to ask about getting a new motor, and one would cost DKK 500 including P+P (about £60), but the payment method that they wanted would have added £25-30 in bank charges! We then found a supplier of ‘replacement’ motors to fit Heljan’s 00-scale models, but they were unhelpful regarding our enquiry about dimensions—the T21 is not a 00-model; but Howes in Oxford did respond favourably, so they got the order—and we paid £15.50 for the perfectly fitting replacement!
  2. Connected to a 9v battery, the motor runs beautifully. So, it was mounted into the lower portion of the chassis and tested again, running beautifully and turning the wheels. Then we joined the two halves of the chassis, and there was no movement at all! But when we took it apart again, the motor was fine. So, more investigation is necessary (for next month).
  3. Whenever handling the model, bits have fallen off, and it seems that Heljan just didn’t think this one through. The chassis (in two halves with a running plate sandwiched between) is obviously metal, but the steps are soft plastic, and the handrails for the steps are metal. So, the steps are easily nudged, causing the handrails to drop out. The tanks under the running plate are plastic, and these fall off at every opportunity. There are very small indents on the metal chassis and running plate for these plastic artefacts, not enough to properly grip them. So, additionally, brake shoes and hoses, and hooter, all came off. We found, when we took the chassis apart, that the steps were now vulnerable in that they supported the weight of the running plate.
  4. We found that Heljan’s instructions for taking the loco apart were wrong. It says in Danish, “Løsgør forsigtigt kabinen, sådan man kan forsigtigt kan løfte kabinen op ved et let tryk på siderne”; or in Swedish, “Montera försiktigt av hyttan genom att trycka försiktigt på sidorna”. In either language, we are told that one needs to gently press on the sides of the cab. In reality, the sides need prising out, not pressing in! Whilst battling with the wrong instructions, parts of the loco were getting damaged, including the fibre optics to the lighting!
  5. We started by simply repairing what was damaged, but after three days’ work, it became apparent that the loco needed a more thorough rebuild, including metal reinforcement behind the steps, proper fixing tabs for the other artefacts, and even a better way of fixing the buffers (which had also come off)! Everything that hadn’t fallen off needed pulling off.

Tc 306 entered service a few years ago, having been built on-site as a Modellproduktion body on a Roco chassis; and then there were issues with the gears not meshing properly! However, all sorted, we simply overlooked the fact that we had also bought a bag full of accessories from Entec to paint and fit to the model, so it was now time to do it. This also proved challenging! The instruction sheet is not at all clear (bad printing) and a lot of guess-work was necessary!

  1. Being a sheet of etched material, the flat steps needed gluing on to the rungs of what is best described as a ladder. The ladder includes the handrails, so it needed to be bent to shape! Whilst the main part of this required a 90° turn, some handrails needed different angles and in all cases, holes needed to be drilled in the chassis for them. The etched sheet was not clearly labelled, and we were to find out that the ‘A’ end steps are the ones that actually go in the middle!
  2. We used the last of the plastic strip that we had available to make two large steps at the ‘B’ end for the handrails to attach to (it really does seem that they should have been part of the original mould)! Suitably painted, these blend in nicely, but the top step on the ladders at the ‘B’ end is possibly too high—there were no clues about how to fit them.
  3. But the difficult part was the windscreen wipers, which were too big and etched incorrectly. The armature that pokes into the body needed bending through 90°, but the wiper-blades also needed bending through 90°, but not from the same perspective! Armed with suitable pliers and initiative, we managed to get them fitted, suitably trimmed, of course. Comparatively, the mirrors and guards for them were very easy to make and fit!
  4. Finally, its box was modified to make room for the fitted attachments, and the whole loco looks much nicer, now.

UF6 1576 is a model of a short baggage car of the type built by Hilding Carlsson. It would have been type UF2, and gone into trains with similar styled railbuses. But a few were modified to work with the newly delivered YCo6 variety, so this is the case with our model. It was purchased from a fayre in Stockholm, and we think it is a Lokstallet model. It needed three jobs to be done.

  1. The first of these was the fitting of stabilisers to reduce sideways play. The mounting blocks for the wheel-sets seem to have H0e if mounted one way, and H0 if mounted the other; this model has then set for H0e, but has H0 wheel-sets in! For stabilisers, we used plastic strip between the blocks and the wheel-backs.
  2. The second job was to fit couplings, to make it compatible with the YCo6 railbuses. This meant using standard H0 couplings, but lower down, and therefore with the ‘tongue’ cut off. We had brought Y7 1136 from storage as well, to use as a test match vehicle!
  3. The third job was the decals, which really needed to be purchased from Sweden, so instead, ‘temporary’ number plates have been made (so that the model can be legitimately used) until we are able to get the correct decals.

We have a Yp railbus on the workbench at the moment; but more about that, and one that we passed to a Friend, next time!

The three SMJ carriages have received lacquer over their transfers, but also some SJ brown paint has appeared on the etched end panels where appropriate. The final job here was to make an ‘interior’ for each of their boxes so that they could be safely put away. They’re all the same and a bit strange, but they make the most of the materials that we had available!

Two NMJ RB1 carriages have arrived into store, and these will go into InterCity trains (already designated). Sadly, HNoll continues to have production issues with the R4R (which seems to be tooling and then a production queue at the Chinese factory), but they at least have the kindness to keep modellers up to date with the situation.

Back in March, we advised about the proposed production of Swedish model cars from Minichamps, Saab and Volvo models. We are now aware that PCX87 is proposing a 1989 version of the Volvo 240GL estate. It would be interesting to compare this with the Minichamps 1986 model. (We would prefer, of course, late 1970s versions!)

In Website news, we have taken down the “Forthcoming Events” page because in the current climate, events are few and far between, and when things do get up and running again, we are going to be in a different place in different circumstances. Recognising the big changes taking place (and changing technology), we are working on the creation of a new website also, which we hope will look better and be more relevant, yet just as informative as now.

July 2020 News

The D-loco 174 was dedicated to traffic on 24th July. To wait until all snagging had been completed would delay this indefinitely, and we learned from the construction of the UGJ carriages that there should come a point where the models are fit for service—subject to minor adjustments! At the beginning of July, the D-loco had the cab-end handrails fitted. These were completely new and made on-site; Jeco had been unable to complete the order and we wanted a matching set all round. Each handrail goes around the corner of the cab, and then up at the front, alongside the end door. Scratch-building these was an interesting challenge and at the first attempt only one out of four fitted properly. But after some effort (and one replacement), they all went in. Then, the outstanding Jeco ones arrived, so we have fitted them in, instead (because they look much better)! Next job was to take the door handrails off to paint them black. During re-fitting, one of them went ‘ping’, so we needed to make a new one (and then paint it again)! We have also put a little glue on the loose pantograph—only a little, of course, because we do intend to replace it whenever possible. Mid-July, the ‘174’ was applied to the buffer beams, and the metal plates were painted and fitted—the ’wrong’ number stayed black and we used transfers to apply the correct ’174’!

Slightly ahead of the D-lok, the three SMJ carriages were dedicated to traffic on 20th July. Again, to wait until all snagging had been done would probably result in them never entering service. July’s work on the SMJ carriages started with a blip! Before we could apply the decals to the C3g or CF3, we found that the sole bars needed painting black. On the C3d (the SJ model), these are part of the chassis and already the right colour. On these two (ex-OKB) models, they’re part of the bodies, and were therefore, the wrong colour. Whilst we were making this correction, we also painted the rooves (and on the C3d because it was too light)! The decals were applied during the month and now the carriages really do look the part! New handrails have also been made for these carriages (all three) because the first attempt was not really satisfactory. With poor drawings and few photos, we could see that the SJ carriage has a different style to the ex-OKB ones, and this has been reflected! Using our new method of locating the handrail in the lower hole and just gluing the top seemed to work well; we used a super-glue with brush or nozzle; the former making the job remarkably easy! Last month, we commented on the C3d being reverted to its originally proposed number, 1984 because we had found the number on the decal sheet. The same has now happened with the C3g, so it is 2994 as originally proposed! But, here’s another change; the CF3 is 3015 (instead of 3017). This is so that we could pinch the ‘17’ (and the ‘4’ from 3014) on the sheet to make up the buffer-beam numbers for the D-loco (see above)! But, job done.

Now that these models have been ‘signed off’, some more have arrived from storage, the Tc-loco (to be fitted with all of its extra detailing such as handrails and so on), T21 diesel (to have its chassis repainted and then all the fallen-off bits glued back on; then an investigation as to how to get it to work again seeing that Heljan doesn’t seem to want to supply a replacement motor for it), and a small Hilding Carlsson goods vehicle type UF6 (which, as a modification from UF2, will be made compatible with our YCo6 generation railbuses). We’ll provide more details about all of these, next time!

Brekina has said on their website, that their new Saab 92 was originally produced exclusively for Märklin, to go onto a wagon, in pairs. Now, it is becoming available in its own right, but better detailed. (This is no offence to Märklin; they needed a basic model in order to make the wagon affordable!) Now, Märklin is advertising a wagon with two Brekina Volvo 66 cars on, but as the Sedan, not the Kombi. Maybe, this means that we can look forward to these without the wagon in the next year or so? The wagon type would not appeal to many modellers (it certainly isn’t of Nordic origin), and Märklin models are of course only suitable for three-rail systems.

Still with cars, we had heard that a new (to us) firm called Minichamps would be producing models of the Saab 900 (1987 version), Volvo 240 and Volvo 740 (both as 1986 versions). Their website hasn’t given much information, but a recently received catalogue from them shews six cars, each in four colours. They are the Saab 900 coupé (3-door), Saab 900 cabriolet, Volvo 240 sedan, Volvo 240 estate, Volvo 740 sedan and Volvo 740 estate. Recent examination of another model by Minichamps suggests that these cars are worth looking out for when they arrive, and we (the FLMJ) could slightly loosen our load of IMU, NEO and Wiking models to make room!

Back to the Saab 92, we have found that BoS has also produced a model of this car in 1:87 scale (H0)!

And finally, just as this month’s news was rounding to a close, pictures emerged of NMJ’s new 1960s catering carriage in four versions, one as B1c-L (original condition, but with ‘post-stamp’ logo), one as RB1-L (same but post-1970), and two as RB1 (with the dining ‘logo’ on the corners). Priced at 895:- SEK (roundly £80), these should be as good as their previous 1960s carriages, and indeed the FLMJ is interested in the RB1-L and one of the RB1. These should be a perfect compliment to the existing 1960s carriages that NMJ produce, and it is quite likely that more liveries will emerge in due course (well, it makes sense, some remain in service today as type R12). But, as with the Y1 railbus, we await delivery!