A few new models arrived in May. One is an old Märklin RBo2 restaurant car (later known of course as the R1R), a 1960s design, which will be used in a rake with NMJ 1960s coaches until NMJ (or somebody else) produces something more reasonable. The Märklin model does shew its age, and of course, it is 1:100 scale length instead of the correct 1:87. But, it gives us a dining carriage, and we have often complained about the lack of dining (and sleeping) carriages for SJ in H0-scale! (We have also changed the wheels, of course!)
Of four goods wagons arriving, three are Dekas ‘Hbis’ wagons; very high quality and very nice. The other new wagon is a TGOJ F6 bicycle van made by NMJ, and replaces one that we sold ages ago, but later wished that we hadn’t!
Z48 711 departed the FLMJ in May. This was a freelance diesel shunter based on a German design, and intended for use (at the FLMJ) with track testing before the power cables were wired up, but the Triang Z65 locos often took this duty (and now Rc3 1027 or X10 3148 can do it), so it was seldom used.
Our workshop models had a little more work done during May; the headlamps on the D-loco were refitted and fit much better now, and new couplings were fitted, now NEM compliant. Also, the SMJ carriages had some adjustments to the steps, couplings and assorted other bits between them. The C3d also had its roof ‘plumbing’ put on! The buffers were fitted to the C3g and CF3 (they are a tight fit, so don’t need gluing), and Roco couplings were inserted to the NEM boxes. Unfortunately (and curiously) they are too low (despite having the same chassis as the C3d), so further investigation is necessary. We had hoped to use the close coupling facility to push the buffers in to the right depth. We also found that the D-loco NEM boxes need adjustment (or the buffers need trimming)! Not much more could be done without paint—so we ordered some matt black and satin black! With this we were able to paint the etched brass parts, and then the end gates and fall plates were fitted to the D-loco, with more work on the carriages to follow in June.
Two former FLMJ wagons have been worked upon following structural failure when sold! These are Klein Modellbahn SJ ‘Fas’ wagons labelled for use with SNCB (Belgium), and were a limited edition. They have plastic bodies and a very tightly fitting metal floor (for weight). Unfortunately, the metal has fatigued and actually ripped the plastic bodies! One wagon was easily repaired by filing down the metal (and making a few other minor adjustments) and fitting it all back together. The other wagon’s floor has shattered and is so badly distorted that it will need replacing. The plastic has been found to be very soft, so it’s a poor combination, really (a design fault). They’re quite beautiful wagons, otherwise, and very authentic (the real ones can be seen in an early “Svenska Tåg” film).
We have been looking at dates and anniversaries. Whilst any new railway (FLMJ) cannot be rushed, there is a slight sense of urgency to mark the 30th anniversary of the opening of the KRBJ from which the FLMJ emanated. This would be in 2022. It is hoped that we can run a first train ‘somewhere’ then, but it is too early to plan. Certainly, the 40th anniversary would be the bigger event, so we’re not losing sleep! But the following few years have anniversaries that we would like to acknowledge if at all possible:
- 2023 will be 70 years since the famous ‘Datebox’ railbuses were introduced. That is worthy of a special event; the FLMJ has a few models of these and many of our guests could bring more to make any celebratory event extra special.
- 2024 will be 40 years since the Roco Rc5 was introduced! This loco has been a ‘standard’ setter for many years and the original version was probably the best Rc-loco as a model.
- 2025 will be the centenary of the introduction of the successful D-loco, so that ought to be celebrated. We have two Jeco models and of course we have our Lokstallet/Jeco project under way right now.
- 2026 will be the centenary of the electrification of the Stockholm-Göteborg mainline; so we ought to have the new FLMJ ‘electrified’ by then! We intend to put up the cables as we build the new railway, but this might not be possible. Like all plans for any new railway, nothing can be set in stone until a location and job/work pattern has been established.
There are further dates to consider, but this is enough to be going on with for now!
We’ve had a peculiar experience recently with a Trader in Sweden whom we won’t name, in the hope that this is a once off! We enquired about purchasing eight wagons without being specific (which ones precisely), and how payment could be made if we did place an order. The payment method was not practicable and only some of the wagons were in stock. (They had received only 30% of their order due to Covid-19 issues, and they had been very popular)! So, we looked elsewhere and found them in stock and payment could be made, and thus ordered elsewhere. The trader in question then advised that the wagons were on their way, so could we arrange payment? We thanked them and advised that we had found them elsewhere, to which the trader responded by declaring that the wagons had been ordered especially for us, and we had in effect cancelled our order for which a fee was payable! The real facts are that we made an enquiry, not an order; we did not specify which wagons we wanted, so how could they have known which ones to order; they told us that 70% of their original order was still to follow (so the order had already been placed), and that the wagons had been very popular (so there was no problem in finding customers for them). They wanted payment by IBAN, which from a Lloyds bank account costs between £20 and £30—quite out of the question. It seems a very strange way to treat a new customer; don’t they want to stay in business? Caveat Emptor!
An unusual model car has arrived for a cameo on the new railway, a Messerschmitt KR200! Anyone familiar with the Swedish comedy character Stig Helmer Olsson will know what sort of cameo we have in mind!