Our T45 loco has been brought out of storage, ready for further work. At the time of writing, an enquiry has been made to obtain the necessary parts to make it into a working model, but this enquiry includes a request for NEM standard wheels instead of RP25, Hopefully, we’ll have an update on that next month. (There was a hint of obtaining a drive kit (chassis) privately, but all seems to have gone quiet on that.)
The ‘missing’ NMJ ‘Kbps’ wagon arrived in May, and it was pleasing to note that the number has been corrected (type 335 instead of 370), and thus the control digit (‘4’) is correct!
In the latest news from HNoll, delivery of the next carriages seems to have been put back to after the summer! The delay has had a predictable effect on the funding with significantly higher costs for interest rates leading to higher production costs on future models than expected. The business is based on loans. It had been hoped that by now, HNoll would now be in a situation where future models could largely be developed with equity. They are far from there, because of the delays.
Märklin/Trix have jointly issued respective versions of the Danish Litra E locomotive (3-rail from Märklin, 2-rail from Trix), to help celebrate a big Danish railway anniversary! Whilst all of the Swedish ‘F’ steam locos became class ‘E’ in Denmark (after being sold to the DSB), many more were built under licence, and the model represents one of the latter locos. This means that there are subtle but significant detail differences, precluding the production of a suitable Swedish ‘F’ loco. Retailers are hopeful that a suitably retooled version will become available later (using the same chassis, both manufacturers would gain with extra sales of Swedish and Danish versions of the Swedish-built loco), but as always, nothing is certain! Nevertheless, there has been an increase in the number of the poorer quality versions of these models from Heljan appearing on the second-hand market, recently!
Spårvägsmuseet reopened at its new location on May 21st, and with free entry on that weekend, it was understandably busy. We were delighted to see that despite being a smaller site, none of the charm has been lost, and the layout of the exhibits is inspiring. It remains focused on the transport of the capital city, (unlike the LTM in London which focuses more on the economic and social history of that city, competing with the London Museum). Spårvägsmuseet is easily reached by blue bus number 6 (running between Karolinska Hospital and Ropsten), and red bus number 75 (running between Centralstation and Ropsten), both calling at Drevergatan. The museum itself is at Gasverkstorget 1, 115 42 Stockholm. Even boat number 80 calls at the pier at Ropsten, from where there is a 10-minutes walk to the museum. We have reinstated the link to their website on our Related Links page.
In the image above, the mini-train is being driven by the ‘pedestrian’ at the very back, using a radio controller. This ensures more seats for passengers, and the driver has a good all-round vision of the passengers (safety), the train, and its environment, especially important given that it is not fenced off. The museum is on four levels all accessible by lift.
Behind the Scenes
Mini-Series about the FLMJ, 6: How it worked The FLMJ was always a 12v dc analogue railway. DCC (Digital Command Control) has been looked at and played with on other people’s layouts, but on balance we have reached the decision that it is not right for the FLMJ. The conventional analogue system on two rails provided a simple means of controlling the trains. By remembering that the Positive rail (+ve) is always the one on the right (despite Peco’s misguided advice to the contrary), the scope of the system is as good as the modeller is creative. With the FLMJ, all track sections were divided electrically (rather like signalling block sections on a larger-scale railway), and a toggle switch (with a centre-off position) was provided for each section. Moving the switch down connected that track to the local controller; moving it up connected it to a remote controller. If we had a location where coupling up (of double-locos) was required, then a simple on-off subsection would be provided; this was the case at Ålunden and intended for Fjällnäs. Eventually, we were able to control the entire railway from the Lövhöjden control panel, with the Ålunden track sections selected to the remote controller. (By that time, Månstorp had lost its local controls!) It had an added bonus of being able to be operated by one person alone, or by a group of people. As an original intention, this will be used on any new layout.
Between the controlled locations, there were specially controlled sections that could be controlled from either end; whichever end took control first, blocked out the controller from the other end. However, the other end could interrupt the continuity of the connection and take over! This was useful when running a train without wanting to stop it; the controllers would be synchronised (speed and direction) and then switched over to enable the smooth running of the train. Coloured indicators confirmed the status of these sections.
Different locations had different switch layouts, so that we could see which were the most user-friendly! At Ålunden, they were mounted in a row, and labelled to match the labels on the track diagram. At Lövhöjden, they were mounted onto the track diagram. One of the shunting areas had the switches in groups according to usage; and the locoshed area had two way centre-off sub-sections so that one line or the other could be connected, but not both! The new layout will have the switches arranged according to whatever feels right for the track plan; initially. But we wish to start with a new system that is interlocked with the signalling, so that by switching on a section with momentary contact, the controller follows the train according to the signalling and point settings. It will be an experiment, and until it is in a semi-advanced stage, we cannot sensibly say more about it, here, now.
Next month, having mentioned the signalling, we’ll take a look at that.
A set of six Märklin ‘Mas’ iron ore wagons has arrived (albeit fitted with DC insulated wheelsets). They have six-digit numbers instead of the five-digit numbers as carried on the Roco versions. This means that they are models of the newly built wagons from the 1950s, not the rebuilt 1908 ones from then. More about these farther down…
Desperate for the whaff of a steam locomotive, a trip was arranged to the Locoshed open day at Krylbo on 30 April, and B class 1324 could be smelt from the car park! Mission accomplished! But, this was also a good chance to have a look around as much of the shed as was open, buy a couple of items from traders, including the ‘SLM’ from 1973, and be in a proper railway environment again!
We have some news from Dekas. A shutdown has been introduced in DongGuan in southern China, to limit the spread of Covid infection. This is where their factory is located. Unfortunately, this means that the factory has been closed indefinitely. This applies not only to Dekas’ own products, but also to their OEM customers (McK, HNoll, ExactTrain, ASM and Lemke/HobbyTrain). This news reinforces the updates from HNoll.
On a brighter note, PCX87 is understood to be preparing a model in H0-scale of the Volvo 343 from 1976. This is an often overlooked car because it was always in the shadow of the 244/245 cars from that epoch, and we are delighted that PCX87 is to fill that gap. The model will be available thus: 870300 yellow, 870301 green, 870302 silver, 870303 red (and a limited edition ‘light blue metallic’ version exclusive to Model Car World in Germany).
Spårvägsmuseet opens at its new location, Gasverkstorget 1, (short bus ride from Ropsten,) on 21st May. The old site at Sofia closed a few years ago, and its reopening is a much anticipated event. (With the model railway exhibition on this day at Mölndal being cancelled, our weekend has been saved!)
This website … we have uploaded an extra 12 pictures into the category, “Rebuilt FLMJ (2016+)” on our photos page, only one of which already appears elsewhere on the site!
A brief history of the Iron Ore wagons
We hinted last month at a review of the Iron Ore wagons. It has not been possible to fully identify every type that has run, but we have been able to create a summary (here) which will become a much fuller article on this website, soon. With the models, we refer to ‘ready to run’ (r-t-r).
The story starts in 1886, with 375 type ‘Maä’ wagons built in England. When the firm went bankrupt in 1894, the Swedes built 295 more of the same wagon, but labelled it ‘Mam’. Both versions later became type ‘M1’. Many were later transferred to the TGOJ for their Iron Ore railway between Grängesberg and Oxelösund. A new version was designed in Sweden with 75 prototypes in 1900. These were followed by 454 slightly modified versions in 1902, 255 further modified versions in 1903, and then 2730 of the penultimate design in 1908. These were all labelled ‘M2’, and would later become ‘Mas’, then ‘Ud’, and finally ‘Foo’/‘Foo-x’. In 1950, another new version appeared (and many older 1908 wagons were rebuilt to a similar body design). These 1740 wagons were labelled ‘Mas’ from new, then ‘Ud’, and finally ‘Foo’/‘Foo-x’. Some of these wagons are referred to as the 1952 version; put simply, the 1950 version was built in Sweden, the 1952 version in Belgium and Germany.
In 1956, a few design experiments led to the construction of 11 prototype ‘Mar’ wagons, but the results were not encouraging, and the project was abandoned as a favourable 4-axle bogie design was identified!
In 1965, 199 4-axle bogie wagons type ‘Mb65’ were introduced, but still, they were not satisfactory. They remained in service, not entirely on Ore duties, and were substantially modified. Thus, relabelled to ‘Uad65’ or more correctly, ‘Uads’, they became eventually ‘Faoos’/‘Faoos-x’ and ‘Faoos-t’/‘Faoos-tx’. Quite urgently, a modified ‘Uads’ was required, and the 1968 wagon was the answer, built in 732 samples. These became ‘Uad’ and later ‘Faoo’. Then, in 1970, 808 wagons of a modified version for the carriage of Iron Ore ‘pellets’ were introduced. These were ‘Uadp’, and later ‘Faoo-x’. The desire for heavier trains carrying more cargo led to the ‘Uno’ wagon from South Africa. Only 68 wagons of this type were delivered in 2000, as they could not cope with the arctic winter conditions, so the balance of the order was cancelled. To cope with this failure, and the need to move more cargo, 110 wagons based on the ‘Uad’/‘Uadp’ design were built from 2005. They were quite visibly different, and labelled ‘Uadk’. Eventually, a Swedish designed and built wagon appeared. This wagon was built in two styles, and operates in 1000+ pairs as a master and slave. Individually, they are both type ‘Fanoo’, but the pair is ‘Fammoorr’! Interestingly, as single wagons, the ‘Fanoo’ is used a little farther south, in Norway between the Kvannevann mine and pit, and the port in Mo I Rana. Finally, the ‘Fammrr’ is a pair of wagons operated (150 pairs) by another company (not LKAB) between a transhipment site at Pitkärärvi to Narvik. The mine is actually at Pajala, and especially modified lorries ply the route between the mine and the transhipment site! This wagon does not have bottom discharge, and is known as a ‘Helix Dumper’, with the body rotating 148 degrees on its chassis!
The ‘M2’/‘Mas’ in original condition has been modelled by NMJ and sold in packs of four, with mostly different running numbers.
The ‘Mas’ in rebuilt condition (after the arrival of the new 1950s version) has been modelled by Roco and sold in packs of four, with different running numbers.
(NMJ and Roco collaborated on this project to produce the models with the same chassis.)
The ‘Mas’ as the 1950 new production has been modelled by Märklin (with a 2-rail compatible version marketed by Trix,) and sold in packs of six, with different running numbers.
The new and the rebuilt 1950s wagons can be distinguished by 6-digit running numbers on the new and 5 on the rebuilt!
The ‘Uad’/‘Uadp’ has been modelled by Roco and sold in packs of four, with mostly different running numbers. Some packs have four ‘Uad’, some have four ‘Uadp’, some have a mixture.
There is also a solitary ‘Uad’ wagon with a grossly overscale working tail lamp!
The ‘Fammoorr’ has been modelled by Roco and sold in packs of two pairs (four ‘Fanoo’ wagons).
We are still researching these wagons and are curious to know more about the following:
Roco’s ‘Uad’ has a reinforced top, but photos and images shew versions with slightly rounded tops also. Reference to Mb79 106759 as a photo on the internet should illustrate what we mean. How many of these were there and where do they fit in? Did they have UIC numbers, eventually? They are also seen in LEG’s program about the Dm3.
More information on the ‘Uads’ which seems to be very different to the Mb79 mentioned above.
Two versions of the Uadp are known; one with a flat top (as depicted on the Roco model), and one with a bowed top (as depicted on one of UGJ’s kits); and both seen in the aforementioned LEG program! Were they modified at random, or were a number built in this way?
We also need some photos that we may use to accompany the article!
Behind the Scenes
Mini-Series about the FLMJ, 5: Train Formations
The FLMJ had an intensive passenger train schedule, but the goods trains were more for show whilst we were still developing the railway with facilities for them. There would be goods facilities at Gärde, Fjällnäs, Industriområdet and Jonshamn; the latter two reached only by diesel-hauled trains, often by shunters picking wagons out from an electric-hauled train at Lövhöjden, as described in an earlier review! In fact, the loco-shed at Lövhöjden was ‘home’ to shunting diesel locos of classes Z65 and Z70! See one of the photos in the meta-slider on our homepage! We were starting to get a good schedule going when closure brought everything to an abrupt halt. But we had enough of a start to be able to pick up on it whenever we get going again.
Passenger trains were easier to develop given that many of our members had travelled as passengers on the Swedish railways! With this experience, we created a schedule for InterCity, InterRegio, Local, and Night (sleeper) trains. All trains (except ‘night’) operated on a two-hourly interval, and considering that the InterCity trains would have come from a long distance, they were changed for each service each day! The local trains would come onto the layout from the shadow station, and stay there until the evening; shuttling between the various locations that they served. Naturally, we were limited to the models that were available (which largely influenced our eventual Epoch decision—but that’s for another time), and any new set up will see a few changes.
Our InterCity trains comprised four carriages, one of which would have first class seating. But there were no catering carriages, because none were available as models. Since then, both 1960s and 1980s rakes have had new models procured, and the trains can be five carriages long (RB1 catering carriage in the 1960s rakes, and R4R in the 1980s rake). Even our 1940s set now has the B3S for catering! With new 1980s models arriving from HNoll, we are looking at acquiring a second 1980s rake, and making them both seven carriages long! The X2000 also falls into the InterCity category of course, and that is a fixed ‘unit’ formation.
InterRegio trains comprised three carriages, one of which had composite seating (areas for first and second class). There was no need for catering carriages, and there seems no need to change these rakes. Our two main rakes comprise 1960s carriages (types ‘AB3’+‘B1’+‘B5’), but there are others, including the TGOJ 1940s rake and a 1960s rake in 1990s livery!
Local trains would normally consist of Y6 generation railbuses; but in any new set-up, we have the Y1/YF1, and soon the Dekas Y2 unit should arrive. These are all diesel units of course, but we have a new chassis to put under our X10 electric unit, so soon that will be just as reliable and useable. There were and remain also, some loco hauled local trains, one with the AB4 and BF2 carriages, and one with a set of B6 carriages, for example; but not forgetting the heritage 2-axle models!
Night/Sleeper trains will have changed dramatically since the old FLMJ closed. Then, we had a primary set comprising our two Lima sleeper carriages, Lima restaurant carriage, an often-changed seating carriage, and a Lima baggage carriage. The UGJ couchette carriages were usually run with our international carriages from Russia and Norway, but this ‘second’ set’ had no fixed formation. With the arrival of HNoll’s 1980s carriages, this has changed. A Roco B7 has replaced the often-changing seating carriage, and the baggage carriage has been replaced by three HNoll BC4 couchette carriages. The second set comprises the three UGJ BC1 couchette carriages, a HNoll R4R catering carriage, Roco B7, and two HNoll sleepers, types WL4 and WL6. (We purchased only one of each sleeper carriage because they were never brown, and we don’t want too many things in the 1990s livery!) The R4R could be changed to an R4 if HNoll does develop this. The Norwegian and Russian carriages (and a German seating carriage) are now reserved for special duties.
Special mention should be made of our 1930s rake of carriages, which don’t ‘fit’ into any of the above categories; but they have a special niche in Heritage trains. The rake is four carriages long, plus a 2-axle goods carriage. There is a small area for first class seating in one of the carriages, and there is a catering carriage.
Everything had its place in the timetable. This made the operation of the railway easier, and more organised. The timetable allowed time for getting models out of their boxes and putting them away (as Ålunden had only four tracks); and deliberate brief periods of absolute inactivity were timed perfectly for Fika and Lunch breaks!
Next month we’ll look at how it all worked; without getting too technical!
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.
We have spent some more time on research! Ever since their purchase in 2010, the two D30 wagons have been something of a mystery. They are shorter than the DV30 (which were modified from standard ‘Gbs’ wagons); but now we have found some interesting information. Three ‘Grh’ wagons from 1927 (numbers 31391-3) were rebuilt 1941 as ‘D4 Modell 41’ (and numbered 3511-3). In 1948 they became ‘D30’, and were withdrawn and scrapped in the period 1969-73. (In 1929, 4 ‘Gs’ wagons were changed to mail packing wagons type ‘D2’, which gave them periodic maintenance at the same interval as applied to passenger carriages. For this purpose, the older style ‘Gs’ wagons with an 8-meter body and brake compartment were chosen.) The ‘D4’ wagon type was a successor to the ‘D2’ but with greater capacity. In 1944, a further 2 wagons were rebuilt, but of the type ‘G’ standard freight wagons (slightly lower height and much longer wheel-base), and became ‘D30 Modell 44’.
Heljan is understood to be producing two sets of three carriages in “Snälltåget” livery; one set with three ‘Bc-t’ carriages (60801), and one set with three ‘BC2’ carriages (60803). Both sets should retail for 2,395 SEK. Curiously, the first promotional photos comprise three images, one with the former DSB design carriages as models, one with drawings of the same, and one with a real Swedish ‘AB3K’! The ‘Bc-t’ are indeed former DSB class ‘B’ seating carriages, converted to couchette carriages. However, the ‘BC2’ are SJ carriages from the 1940s, rebuilt in the 1970s, and not shewn in any of Heljan’s images. Similar carriages to the former DSB ones, operated by Snälltåget, are the ‘Bmpz’ (ex-NS) and ‘Bvcmz’ (ex-DB); so we are curious to know exactly what Heljan will produce. They’re all too modern for the FLMJ, but if the label, ‘BC2’ is correct, then a couple (or set of three) will find their way here for repainting into the original SJ brown livery! However, to throw a spanner into the works, Heljan had an exhibit at the Model Rail Scotland event at the end of February, where they were asked about these carriages, and their representative said that they have already been and gone and sold out; which is strange considering that the shops have only just started advertising them as ‘announced models’. (We also enquired about their IC3 train being reissued, which they said happened a couple of years ago and is also sold out, but it is listed as a new item (unpowered) on their website at the time of writing this report!) Curious! Still with Heljan, we have seen suppliers advertising their ‘F5’ (‘FV1’ in modern terminology) as a reissue in an assortment of versions. Presently, only drawings exist, no preproduction model photos; but there seems no point in asking Heljan directly about them.
NMJ is producing some SJ refrigerator wagons, type ‘Hs‘ (pre-UIC) or ‘Icmo‘ (UIC). Unfortunately, they are in their ‘Superline’ range and will therefore cost €299 each!
Behind the Scenes
Mini-Series about the FLMJ, 3: Siljansbanan and the areas around it
The Siljansbanan gave the Railway a circuit around the home. It was a branch line and said to be non-electrified. However, it was used by all types of trains for running-in and testing purposes, and the non-electric rule was broken many, many times! (Because this line completed a circuit around the home, which had been named ‘Siljan’, Siljansbanan seemed an obvious name for it!) To give it some character (and purpose), a small station was provided, appropriately named Siljansnäs. Then, came the point for a track to an industrial area, which would be somewhere for people to practice shunting skills, and somewhere to be even more creative with the layout and scenery. It took a long time to develop, but as with many things, the final plan that was in use at the time of closure, was seen as ideal, and it is hoped to replicate it in the future. It provided for three industries and had a loop for running-round the loco. Later, a second point was added at the station, for a line leading to a harbour area, which was named Jonshamn (meaning “John’s Harbour”, named after a late friend who had lived on the same Park). It wasn’t in place for long enough to determine if it was ’right’, but it will be added, space permitting, to any new diorama; but if possible, as an extension from the industrial area (“Industriområdet” in Swedish). It’s two long tracks had a crossover and there were two small goods sheds. A better proposal would include an oil terminal and maybe a cement factory! But we’ll see how things develop! Operationally, if a goods train was not diesel-hauled, or it was bound for Gärde/Fjällnäs with a few drop off wagons, then a Z65 or Z70 shunter would bring the wagons from Lövhöjden to Gärde and then to Industriområdet or Jonshamn as required. There was also one shunter with conventional couplings for the benefit of so-fitted visiting wagons! Ideally, a V5 would also be available for this purpose, but the Märklin ones (converted to two-rail) were not up to the job in several respects, and gradually our V5 models were sold off. Jonshamn, having longer sidings, would also sometimes see a T43 or even a T44 diesel loco with longer train; and the T21 was no stranger here, either! Not overlooking Siljansnäs station; this had the generic Jeco model for the building, and a very similar structure has been found at Göringen in Dalarna: note that Siljansnäs is in Dalarna! In its final years it had only a single track through the station and the two points to the two goods lines. It had previously seen a passing loop, and at different stages had an island platform, or side platforms. If we are able to recreate this area, but with Jonshamn as an extension from Industriområdet, then there might be an access loop in the station area at Siljansnäs, but such plans are premature at this stage!
Next month, we’ll look at Gärde and the proposed Fjällnäs.
A lucky opportunity saw the purchase of a copy of the model that we have used at Lövhöjden station, Heljan’s model of Åmål station building. It is a good representation and very typically Swedish, but our model was very weather-beaten, and we had wanted to replace it for some time. Done!
We have also used our spare time without a railway for research, and will clarify an irritation with certain wagons. We purchased a ‘Kbps’ last year, thinking it was the ‘missing one’, but in fact we had recorded one with a completely wrong number onto our database with the correct number as it should have been, with the intention that we would correct it later on. So, the duplicate will either be sold or renumbered completely. NMJ’s ‘Kbps’ wagons have either 335 or 370 as the fifth to seventh digits. 370 is completely wrong, it applies to the ‘Os’ wagon. Interestingly, the latest wagon has the usual incorrect UIC control check digit, but it would have been correct if NMJ had printed 335 instead of 370; so arguably it has the correct control digit, just a wrong wagon type number! Our duplicate wagon is article 602.107, but the one that we need is 602.106, which the advertising suggests also has the incorrect 370! It does seem a shame that after all the effort that NMJ went to, to produce these wagons, they failed at the last hurdle, in not getting the number right! (We have made a list of 24 of our wagons with incorrect control digits, and 15 of them — yes, more than half — are NMJ!)
HNoll is increasingly frustrated with the Chinese production lines. It seems now that the A7/B7 carriages will not be produced before the Chinese New Year, and with the delivery schedules as they are, we may not see them this side of midsummer! As for the B4/BF4, photos of a prototype model have circulated on social media, but it would be foolish to make any estimates for a date to arrive into the shops! We certainly appreciate HNoll keeping us informed; we have quite a few on order, not just for the FLMJ, but for friends, also!
This is the time of year when there is a bit of a frenzy of announcements of newly proposed models. Here are the ones that we know about — obviously many of these new items are too modern for the FLMJ, but we thought maybe some of our readers would like to know about them!
An Rc4 in SJ blue with Green Cargo branding is proposed from Roco (a revised livery on a standard product).
A black liveried Rc6 is proposed from Märklin/Trix as a completely new model, digital, metal, and even gets heated mirrors!
The BR 185.2 is to come from two manufacturers, but different in detail. From Piko, it will be DB-AG red livery but branded for “Green Cargo”; and from Roco it will be in Green Cargo’s green livery (the 185.2 is the same as the ‘Re’, a TRAXX loco).
The Hector Rail G6 diesel loco (a very modern looking V5, in essence) is to be produced by Piko. As with many modern diesels, it is a standard European design, so it is easier (and cheaper) for the model manufacturer to produce than before.
A replacement motor for the NMJ Y1 and YF1 has been announced, using the Faulhaber 1624 with specially made flywheel, and a new engine mount from Winterzone. Construction description in Swedish is included. We are unsure of the producer of this ‘kit’ but hope to know more, soon.
Sadly, in order to give Märklin’s black Rc6 a train to pull, Märklin is also releasing a set of four black carriages of their standard 1960s designs, which is totally inauthentic as these carriages were withdrawn before the black livery was introduced!
The ‘DV30’ by Märklin is back in Epoch-IV condition. (If, unlike the previous one, it comes in a box that will accommodate a close-coupling head, then one could be procured for the FLMJ!)
The ‘Eaos’ wagon will also be produced by Märklin/Trix, in a set of three with a scrap load.
The ‘Sdggmrs’ articulated container wagon is to be released by Roco, labelled for DB-AG, but carrying two “Bode Spedition” containers.
A set comprising two ‘Zacns’ bogie tank wagons in “Pure Performance” (Green Cargo) livery is proposed from Roco.
Brawa does not produce Swedish models, but they are to produce the VTG Gigawood XXL, a non-Swedish timber wagon that is used by Hector Rail in Sweden, today. But it is not due until 2023.
Behind the Scenes
Mini-Series about the FLMJ, 2: Lövhöjden, Månstorp and Ålunden
Lövhöjden, representing the central area of Sweden, was naturally the centre point on the Railway. (At least it would have been, once the projection to Fjällnäs had been completed!) But it was designed to be a major station with several passing loops and three platforms, two of which were later split into halves by a crossover in the track. The control panel was designed so that the local controller could control the whole railway (well, maybe not the industrial sidings). Lövhöjden also had the most developed scenery, as much as we could manage given the weather damage (and cat damage)! Naturally, Lövhöjden became the most photographed location, and in the final days, the most was made of this. Even with forthcoming closure confirmed, development continued until the very last day.
Månstorp, representing the southern area of Sweden, needed a more modern look, and the buildings could be more European in style. Unfortunately, it became very modern in respect of being truncated, losing passing loops and becoming just the essential layout for passing trains. This had become necessary due to the vulnerable location of the station; at the front of the garden, near the gate, where things could be ‘uplifted’ by unwholesome people! Nevertheless, we made the most of what little we could have here. The track sections were switched from Lövhöjden, and a CCTV overlooked the area. The crossover points here were the first to be remotely controlled. An almost amusing fact here is that the model cars on this area of the layout were of the ‘toy’ Eko brand; no great loss.
Ålunden was our shadow station. This was the encouraged location for placing models on the track and removing them. It gave the railway a sense of purpose; the trains arrived onto the FLMJ through a tunnel (hole in the wall) from anywhere on the SJ network. Ålunden therefore, determined the length of the trains, and the tracks would accommodate seven carriage trains (so they were seldom used to capacity). One track was set aside (by virtue of a point midway, and then a long curved section) for extra long goods trains. As a secondary line; longer passenger trains would be out of place.
Next month, we’ll look at the Siljansbanan and the areas that it served.
We were fortunate to acquire two Roco ballast wagons in a plain grey livery. They are the same specification as the yellow ones, but not as brightly coloured! Unfortunately, one of them has a number duplicating one of the decaled duplicates! However, we have been able to order new decals from a supplier here in Sweden, so we hope to be able to supply them before too long. At the same time, the supplier has agreed to make up some decals for our ‘freelance’ Z69 so that it can carry an authentic number quite neatly. A future order will be to replace the painted numbers that were to relabel the duplicate carriages (B7 5501, WL2 4477, and others); and even later transfers to renumber the many wagons that have incorrect UIC control digits! Check on our links page for Byggsvenskt.nu if you would also like to renumber your Swedish models (and see all the other things that are available here — this is, for example, where we got our X10 chassis from)!
SVLV (Skultorps Vagn & Lokverkstad) has produced a new motorised chassis for the Perl/UGJ Y6 railbuses. The motor is of the Faulhabertyp with flywheel and can be suited to Analogue or digital. It costs SEK 1 990 — 2 380 according to version. (Divide by 11 to get vague GBP amount!)
The Minichamps cars that were advertised for December 2021 are now shewing December 2022. There is no change to the other dates; Volvo 240 models are expected in January and Saab 900 models in February. The screenshots were taken December 29th.
Enthusiasts of the Swedish railways, in the UK seem to be in for some good news. In a social media post from the Wansford MPD (at the Nene Valley Railway), they confirm that one of the next two locos in for overhaul will be the Swedish B class number 101, which presently stands as a static exhibit at Wansford station. (An earlier news article from another source said that the Swedish S class number 1178 was to be restored. From our own investigation, 1178 is in much poorer condition and its restoration is likely to be cosmetic only. But it doesn’t have to end there; 101 has been the subject of cosmetic restoration, and now it’s moving on from there…!) 101 started life as SWB A2 101. It was manufactured by Nydqvist & Holm AB – Bofors-Nohab AB, Trollhättan, Sweden in 1944; Manufacturing number 2082. In 1945 it became SJ B 1697. This explains why the number plates on the cab sides declare that 101 is a class A. It was always painted black in Swedish service, but the British public like a bit more colour, so several of the NVR’s continental locos are painted inauthentically; 101 is a light blue!
Various pages on this website have been updated; can you find them all?
Behind the Scenes
Over the next twelve updates/months, we are going to run a small series of articles; too small to really take up space on the other pages of this website; about what the FLMJ was really about. We’ll look at a number of topics that made the FLMJ what it was, starting now, with a look at the absolute basic representation.
Mini-Series about the FLMJ, 1: The Diorama
Although the FLMJ replaced the KRBJ, the name is irrelevant with regards to the development of the garden railway. Over the entire 30 year history in the UK, improvements and refinements were continual until what we can now consider the final phase of the UK based set-up, with which we were very happy. We started with only a vague idea, which had many limitations. A simpler layout comprising a figure-of-eight inside a circuit was akin to a train set, which is not what we wanted. With the delivery of a new Park Home, we had to start all over again; and the plan for an end-to-end layout with a subtle branch line to make a circuit turned out to be the answer. It went through a few changes in terms of track layouts, but the final arrangement was absolutely ideal.
The route started from Ålunden, our fiddle yard (or ‘shadow station’ in Swedish terminology) in the shed. The main line then went around three sides of the home, before turning 180° the other way to go along the back perimeter to a final 90° turn to the terminus. The subtle branch line completed the circuit around the home. The home had been given the name, “Siljan”, so the line closing the circuit became the “Siljansbanan”.
The names were chosen to reflect the north (Fjällnäs), central (Lövhöjden) and south (Månstorp) areas of Sweden; with the great idea that the scenery would reflect those areas (all trains would work over the entire railway). However, the scenery had to be compromised in the outdoor environment; which was always a disappointment. Other names crept in. We needed a name for a halt between central and north, so Gärde was chosen. A town nearby would be called ‘Gärdestad’, which also happened to be the name of a favourite musician, who sadly passed away at the time that the name was chosen, so we have kept it ever since. Toraberg, also marking a bereavement, was the name of the house built by a friend in Sweden. But Kopparberg and Arjeplog were chosen in respect of a Harry Potter connection; deliberately subtle because not everyone would appreciate that character or creation. (In the ‘supporting book’, “Quidditch through the Ages”, reference is made to the Annual Broom Race of Sweden, which dates from the 10th Century, and goes from Kopparberg to Arjeplog. It is said that the race passes over a dragon enclosure, but we didn’t need to model that because non-magical people cannot see it!)
In the final years of the operational FLMJ, we had a track plan that worked well. There was consistency with the train services and formations; and timings. Authentically, most (passenger) trains operated to a two hourly timetable, and the goods trains worked around them. But the timetable was so well written that there were brief periods of absolute inactivity; at exactly the right times for Fika and Lunch breaks! Furthermore, it was possible to operate the basic timetable by one person, or by a group of people operating an ‘enhanced service’. The feel-good factor was very strong.
Next month we will consider the three primary locations, Lövhöjden, Månstorp and Ålunden.
A running commentary of new models is not really what we wanted with this website, even in the current situation. It makes it seem as if we’re collecting trains. We’re not collectors, we’re modellers. So, we are going to steer away from that sort of news, except when there is something extra special to announce. (Also, we try to avoid buying models in November! This is because their annual service is based on the month in which they were delivered, and November has traditionally been a ‘purchase’ month. Once we’re back into the regular schedules, we have a lot of work to do every November! Once the new FLMJ is functional, we will investigate a different schedule.) There are a few items of news that are suitable here, this month, however. First, we have obtained from Byggsvenskt, a new chassis for one of our X10 units, number 3149. This is a heavy and powerful drive system for the model, and it will be perfectly capable of working the four coach train (so X10 3148 will not be powered at all). We actually arranged for three drive-chassis units, the other two for friends of the former FLMJ who also have models of the X10 from UGJ. Secondly, and from the same supplier, we have obtained the decals required for the Yd railbus and both trailers, the UF2 and the UF6. The supplier has also agreed to make especially, some decals for the UGJ F4F baggage carriage which has the wrong number. The only numbers that seem to be available as decals are for the F4F which had the office at the end of the carriage, not the few where the office was in the centre. Guess which version ours is!
We’ve also acquired some interesting road vehicles which are worth a mention. Two Volvo Amazons and a PV544 (the last with a caravan) are Wiking models, not Brekina or Praliné/Busch. So they do not duplicate what we already have (in storage), but they give us something to use for a diorama if we can get one built! The buses are really too modern for our epoch; but these are really for a private collection, a sense of nostalgia relating to the last 30 years as a tourist to Stockholm; so although they might appear on the FLMJ from time to time, they are more likely to be used on a separate static diorama! The Checker cab respects the fact that many Swedes import and restore old American cars, and this is a classic!
HNoll advises that the next passenger carriages (B4) are likely to appear in March-May, depending on shipping options. Some carriage types are completely finished with the supplier and the BC4, WL4, WL6 and R4/R12/S12 are a closed chapter, subject to any remaining stocks with retailers. However, a small series of brown R4s will be manufactured as demand allows, and the RB11 in Blue-X/IC-11 will be supplemented if there are not enough at the release of the A11 and B11.
PCX87 has announced four new versions (colour options) of their Saab 99, but of greater excitement, a new model, the Volvo 164, in 1968 condition; again, in four colours. Many years ago Kniga Modelle made a kit of the 1973 version of this car (of which we have assembled three), so it will be nice to have one (or more) ready made!
There is little news regarding Minichamps’ proposed models. Expected during December are the Volvo 480 coupé, 740 estate, and 850 sedan. Their Volvo 240 (sedan and estate) is expected in January and both of the Saab 900 versions in February. But, the Volvo 740 sedan has been put back to September 2022.
The Modelljärnvägsmässa in Uppsala on November 13th/14th was attended on the Sunday, and took place in just one hall, even though the advertising said, “Fyrishov Hall C & D”. The fact is that the two rather small halls can be opened up to make one larger hall. Upplands MJ had their modular layout there, which incorporated a model of Uppsala station before it was modified. Whilst this is a work in progress, it was certainly inspiring, and it would be interesting to see the progress at next year’s show – they are hoping that it can become an annual event. Being a DCC layout, they seemed to spend a lot of time fiddling with it, trying to get things to work, but not universally; there was plenty of activity and some nice train rakes to admire. In addition to this, there were some train sets for children to play with, and quite a lot of traders – most of whom had stock-loads of Märklin products. It was quite refreshing to find a stall with some other brands! One wagon was purchased, but nothing else!
Hjulmarknaden in Solna on November 27th was just as big and impressive as it usually is. Cancelled last year due to the pandemic, it was good for this event to be back. This is not a model railway exhibition, and although there was one small H0-scale layout on display and a live steam track, the event was really a gathering of railway model manufacturers, and heritage railway groups. For the FLMJ, this is where we purchased the chassis and decals. Research and reference material was limited to two books and two DVDs. One mishap was a trader who had some locally produced models of the ‘Kalmar Tjorven’ post car, but asked us to come back to see the right person who could accept a non-cash payment, and then suitably distracted, we forgot! Travel to and from the event was with the Uppsala—Stockholm Pendel, but it was disappointing that both outward and homeward journeys were in modern X40 units, not the favoured 1980s carriages topped and tailed with Rc-locomotives! This journey almost didn’t happen because SJ’s App didn’t function properly and an alternative online process was used instead, which actually produced cheaper tickets. So, we’re not complaining about SJ’s App not working; its failure did us a favour!
SJ’s X2000 is to run for many more years yet, with the first having just received a major overhaul and minor facelift; it still has an unimaginative livery, but some sort of effort has been made! It does now have a third level of comfort, the Second Class Calm, where you pay extra to have a so-called “quiet carriage”!
Three Rivarossi wagons arrived (as a boxed set) of type ‘Gbs’, except that two of them are labelled and numbered pre-UIC, as type ‘Gre’. These are the former Lima wagons, taken over by Hornby, and resold under the Rivarossi brand. Quite why two different epochs appear in one set is something only Hornby can answer. Nevertheless, they are a special set, so we didn’t want to miss the opportunity to obtain them, even though they are weathered – something that we usually try to avoid at the FLMJ. Not rolling stock, but modelling material at least. Two buildings were acquired via Tradera. One is another copy of the standard Pola Swedish house, but the picture on the box suggested that it was a different version. It is not the seller’s fault that it isn’t, rather Pola’s fault! But this is not a disappointment, and it’s assembly shall take place soon, The other is a little more generic, but quite typical for a house in Sweden (and one that we do not already have), so that will be just as interesting.
HNoll reports that production problems continue in China; now a lack of electricity means that future deliveries will be delayed. It is not possible to say with any certainty when any carriages can be delivered. HNoll says that we have to be realistic and count on delivery not before 2022. Revenues from these products will therefore be delayed, which affects the models planned for 2022. It is very sad that this is happening and nothing can be influenced. The only positive right now is that HNoll can spend even more time on details during the design stage for future models. Tågkompaniet and Connex sleeper and couchette carriages have sold so well that they have made a profit. The series has been produced in 120 copies of each model. However, there are still too few sold to justify a continuation with more running numbers, which will be a disappointment to people wanting to create scale length trains. No more will be manufactured in this series. However, the remaining carriages in the TKAB and Connex series will still be manufactured. Brekina has, not by surprise, issued the Daf 66 kombi in a selection of colours. This means that both Daf 66 and Volvo 66 are available as sedans and kombis. Wiking has released the Volvo 850 kombi in a metallic copper colour. We wondered how authentic this colour is on this model, and the nearest 1:1 version that we could find on a rather thorough internet search, was in this picture from Poland! This model remains Wiking’s most modern Volvo.
Winterzone (https://shop.winterzone.se/index.php?) is constantly releasing new items in its 3D-printed range. Of particular interest for the railway scene, are the loose air intakes and cab walls to mount on NMJ’s Y1 and YF1. See their catalogue on the website. Other items of interest are a gritting sandbox, park benches, traffic cones and other lane markers, cable drums, entry barriers, pallets, assorted types of skips and recycling containers, sausage kiosk, platform switchgear (the next epoch up from the TeknoBygg one; see image), assorted seats to put in models that have no interior fittings, and so on!
MJ-Hobby had a special event at the beginning of the month, where, inside the shop, all of the Radio Controlled modelling was moved away to make room for a modular model railway layout and a couple of other displays; and light refreshments were served from a tent outside the store. This was arranged instead of a full exhibition as this is a busy time of year for such events, and too much competition! The store seemed very busy on the day, but no purchases were made on behalf of the FLMJ.
Three Jeco tank wagons arrived at the beginning of the month, one each in Gulf, Mobil and Nynäs liveries. Unfortunately, the running numbers have been changed from the ones advertised and all three have incorrect UIC control digits. (They would have been correct with the original numbers!) We now have seven of this style of tank wagon, and unless something especially interesting is produced, we don’t intend to get any more. We look forward to the time when we can run them as a train (all seven).
HNoll reports that the motor vehicles (motorvagnarna) are ready for tool making. But, we do not know what this refers to (we were aware of the Ma-loco, but that is something else). Of the Ma loco HNoll has said very little other than that it is coming along nicely and maybe some photos will be available before the end of the year. Deliveries of the next passenger carriages can hopefully take place at the end of 2021. The Blue X carriages (IC-11) A11 and B11 have been moved to 2022 (March-April-May) together with the B4 carriages when they will make a tool for the extra window panes on B11. The special carriages (type S1) will take a while longer due to a production and costing misunderstanding! They are not removed but paused for a short time.
Brekina has released models of the Volvo 66 sedan alongside the Daf 66 version. They note that the Daf is a 1972 year model, and the Volvo is 1975. As usual, there is an assortment of liveries. The kombi (estate) version is also offered in post livery and for Sweden’s neighbours, in Norwegian police (“Politi”) livery. The post version should of course have the steering wheel on the right, but the model doesn’t! You won’t need many of either for a Swedish or other Nordic diorama; being produced in Holland, in the Daf factory, they never did become at all popular, and the same dislike was shewn to the Volvo 343, which also came from the Dutch factory, despite being designed by Volvo. But plenty were made!
We had planned to investigate a model railway event at Kårsta at the beginning of the month (and which was on our forthcoming events page), but public transport to the event was terrible. Kårsta has a railway station (the northernmost point on the remaining Roslagsbanan), but it was closed due to engineering. Instead of providing a rail replacement bus to serve the route, SL provided an assortment of busses to serve different parts of the route, and some to serve also areas not even reached by the railway! At least two changes would have been necessary; so we decided to give it a miss. Hopefully, next year will be OK; and we’ll get to sample a ride in a new X15p train at the same time. Well, maybe!
Stockholm’s Cultural Society for Steam and Railways (or correctly, Stockholms Kultursällskap för Ånga och Järnväg) – SKÅJ had an open event at Krylbo locoshed, and a special train was run from Stockholm with electric loco F 701, of which the FLMJ has a model. So, we went out to catch (film and photograph) the train whizzing through Häggvik on its outbound journey. You can see it here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=psVK3o0JMV0 in a video from the mobile phone because we forgot to fully charge the Go-Pro!
Do check our events listings; especially if you happen to be in Sweden. MJ-Hobby is having an open day of sorts on October 2nd, and there is a two day event proposed at Uppsala. And then at the end of November, there is the Hjulmarknaden, which was often visited from the UK because it is such a worthy event!
Finishing on a personal note, the former Director General of the FLMJ secured employment during September, and this means that the light is in sight for the process to restart searching for a new home for the Railway. A lot of expenditure needs to be recovered first, so it will not be before next year. However, we intend in one way or another, to ‘mark’ the 30th anniversary of the opening of the original KRBJ (from which the FLMJ emanated) on 25th July next year. Maybe just an announcement (to be realistic), but who knows?
We have no stock updates this month, but there is a fair possibility of some news here, next month!
A number of new items have appeared on MJ-Hobby’s website as items commissioned by them (MJ-Hobby in the manufacturers’ lists). These are train heating posts (old type and current), train heating transformers, TBFH cabinets, ATC balises, and modern point motors. They are also available on Tradera under a different seller’s name (at the same prices).
Train heating posts are used to supply stationary railway vehicles with electricity for heating and battery charging. They are often found alongside preparation tracks at each end, but can also be on station tracks. Both carriages and locomotives are connected to train heating.
The transformers are used to convert the 16kV AC of the overhead contact line to 1000V into train heat posts. One train heat transformer can supply several train heat stations. They are often found in relative proximity to the train heating stations that they feed.
A TBFH cabinet is used to control signal boards, request train paths and more. These are set up at platforms at both large and small stations and are available in several designs. MJ-Hobby’s version is inspired by the cabinets available at Stockholm Centralstation. Depending on the length of the platform, there may be several cabinets in each direction distributed along the platform. TBFH cabinets are often mounted either on the platform roof pillars or on overhead line poles, but can also be free-standing on their own pole.
ATC balises are found at each signal and speed board. The balis transmits signal image / speed message to the train’s ATC equipment, which has the purpose of monitoring and preventing the train from running too fast or passing a signal at a stop, applying emergency braking if necessary.
Point motor gear drives are found at electrically driven points and contain a gearbox, electronics and mechanics to be able to determine if the point’s tongues have assumed the correct position and an external electric motor. This is the most common modern version and can be found everywhere in the country. The iconic design with the yellow lid makes it an easily recognisable detail.
NMJ has released a Snälltåget Restaurant car R7 in two version, one in red, one in blue. These are too modern for us, but should be popular among current epoch modellers.
One of our PCX87 Volvo 740 models is now a Volvo 760! To achieve this, we had to paint some black parts in chrome; front grille, door trims, bodyside trims, window frames; and the mirrors in body-colour. Having chosen the metallic beige estate model for this conversion, we matched the body colour by mixing one part brass metallic with one part ‘crème-gul’ – the yellow used on the SJ railbuses.
To break the monotony whilst waiting for a suitable opportunity to build a new railway, a small building kit was purchased and assembled. It was good to keep the skills relevant, especially the little alterations that we usually adopt to make the models better for internal lighting (a layer of matt black paint inside)! The shop name is one we created ourselves, very Swedish and quite local! But the whole construction was completed too quickly, and we’re bored again!
Thus, on 28th August, a trip was made to Malmköping, to the tram museum there for their end of season open weekend, when it seems that everything that could run, did run. The adjacent bus museum also provided a few buses for rides, all included in the 100:- day ticket. Even though the weather was not conducive to an outdoor event (the curse of the FLMJ, perhaps?), the event seemed to be well patronised and was most enjoyable. It was also the day of the first run with a newly restored tram from the former south Lidingö line (SSLidJ), clad in timber planking and fitted with a whistle in addition to the traditional bell! A cab-ride in their electric loco HRRJ 2 was particularly enjoyable, and the last part of the journey southbound towards Malmköping can be seen in a videoclip, here: https://youtu.be/hN20Rp0UQ30.