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.