Tuesday 24 October 2023

Visiting Railways in Sweden and Germany

I have lived through some pretty modelling deprived weeks lately. Work and travelling has prevented progress at worktable and layout. Fortunately some of the travelling has been to railway locations in Sweden and Germany. 

One of the locations in Sweden was particularly interesting as it clearly illustrated why narrow gauge industrial railways were once popular. On a privately owned estate a 600 mm railway with light rails provided transport for timber to a small saw, processing the timber into boards. Short of using a horse to pull out the felled trees, a railway was the only method in an area either hilly or very wet. As trees were cut individually and not 'area harvested' no modern forest machine could navigate the area without destroying neighbouring trees or nature. See the website of the Örkaggans Järnväg here

The railway's loco 4 'Edvin' (Simplex 9335/1948). Today running with a 10 hp Hatz engine. Here seen pulling no less than 3 timber wagons up a considerable gradient.

The railway's owner pouring sand from old oil cans like there was no tomorrow! Wet weather and a healthy growth of moss didn't exactly help traction.

With my own plans of making simple trackwork and my experiments with wooden rails the simple, homemade turnouts on Örkaggans Järnväg obviously caught my attention. The points have no frog and only a single tongue rail present. Simple points very similar have been used on industrial railways in Denmark too, and it was interesting to study working examples in detail.

The trip to Sweden saw me and my mates visiting several other railways. A small selection of images can be viewed on my Flickr site. Captions should enable you to get a resonable idea of what we saw.

A week after my visit to Sweden I was off again exploring railways at the 31. Internationales Feldbahntreffen hosted by Frankfurter Feldbahnmuseum and Feld- und Grubenbahnmuseum Fortuna. With well over 120 participants it's a good to see clubs teaming up for the task. The event took place at Frankfurt for 2 days and the moved on to Grube Fortuna for the last 2 days. Both locations with 600 mm gauge , comparatively short lines, but with many and very friendly volunteers. The amount of well restored and operational locos and rolling stock was equally impressing! More images from the Feldbahntreffen can be viewed at another of my Flickr-folders.

A selection of steam locos in front of 'Lokhalle 1' at Frankfurter Feldbahnmuseum.

Lok 1 (Henschel 23170/1936) from Grube Fortuna visiting Frankfurter Feldbahnmuseum. Here with a lovely train of skips crossing the huge lawn of the Rebstock Park.

Frankfurter lok D 7 (Ruhrthaler 3347/1955) with standard DIN-skips.

In the forest near Grube Fortuna: loco 28 (Deutz 5464/1927) type MLH228 with a short train of underground skips.

Hand-over of the traditional bar sign from the German hosts to next year's hosts from the Hedeland vintage railway, Denmark. The ceremony took place in front of O&K 9244/1921.

With eight days of narrow gauge trainspotting in 3 weeks what passes for normality has set in again. I'm having one of the H0e Soviet PD-1 draisines set up ready for air brushing before I will be devoting more time for my main 1/19 scale effort.