Monthly Archives: May 2016

Statens Järnvägar or SJ – Swedish State Railways an introduction!

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Two hat Badges for the Swedish State Railways include a late 19th century example in gold thread with the “Three Crowns” and a 1950’s example in heavy pressed brass.

Founded in the late 19th century (1887), Swedish State Railways known as Statens Järnvägar or SJ was a government owned railway company that discontinued operations in 2001. Today the Swedish government owns three divisions of SJ assets: SJ AB (passenger), Green Cargo (freight) and Jernhusen (real estate holdings). In 1887 steam locomotives ruled the rails for the first 28 years of SJ’s history. In response to Sweden’s dependence on imported coal for steam trains a successful proposal was made to electrify Sweden’s iron ore line at Malmbanan with electricity produced through hydroelectric generation, its source would be the Porjus Power Plant. In 1915 the first complete electrified rail line in Sweden was operational. For 101 years electric locomotives have hauled freight and passenger trains throughout Sweden,  but diesel locomotives are also used for freight hauling, shunting, and specialized locomotives including snow removal; Harald Freudenreich of FR is soon to release an exciting example in ‘Z’ of a specialized snow plow diesel locomotive class Tc/DLL:

Two famous locomotive builders from Sweden include: NOHAB ((Nydqvist & Holm AB), Trollhättan and ASEA (Allmänna Svenska Elektriska Aktiebolaget), Västerås each disbanded in 1979 and 1988 respectively. NOHAB’s first trains were steam, but they later built diesel/electric locomotives with licensing from the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors characterized by their resemblance to the American F7. Marklin has produced 4 exquisite examples of this NOHAB series in Z: 88630 (SNCB), 88631 (CFL), 88632 (DSB Era V), and 88633 (DSB Era III). Please note all 4 locos were limited release “One Time Series”, they are highly sought after. ASEA produced two very successful electric locomotives with one type still in use today: SJ RA and SJ Rc. The SJ RA has a characteristic design that suggests the American F7, built in 1955-1961 with two designations: “Express” and “Rapid”.  FR produced a limited release (32 units in total of the Express), it is sold out and hard to find, FR will be producing the “Rapid” later in 2016 which will surely become very collectible and sought after. The second ASEA locomotive type that is in widespread use in Sweden is the Rc series with numerous variations that follow a numbering system of Rc1- Rc7 respectively. The RC prototype locomotive has endured as a reliable electric motive design incorporating thyristor controls. Amtrak and MetroNorth have used variants of the Rc in the United States. Marklin has produced models of the Rc series in HO, but FR rules ‘Z’ with a broad range of variants of the Rc in Z surpassing anything Marklin has yet produced in HO. FR’s soon to be released Rc6  in ‘BlueX’ paint scheme is a striking example of a late series variant of the prototype.