Category Archives: SJ – Statens Jarnvagar

SJ Ra 987 Electric Locomotive

Out of the pages of the commemorative 100 year anniversary book of the SJ is a gleaming new Ra 987 with its operators.

The Ra 987 express electric locomotive was introduced in the mid 1950’s and manufactured by ASEA with the final production of the locomotive ceasing in 1961. All 10 locomotives reportedly are still in existence as preserved museum locomotives, but before retirement these locomotives pulled express trains for nearly 30 years on two routes: Stockholm-Goteborg and Stockholm-Oslo. Ra trains consisted of characteristic SJ brown paint scheme express coaches similar to the German coaches in the 8135 “Dompfeil” set, a repaint of that set will give you a good express train set for your SJ railroad.

Similarities in appearance between the American F7 and the Ra of the SJ is not coincidental the F7 was the designers inspiration for the Ra. Two paint schemes for the Ra existed the early one is featured here, but the later one featured a broad white strip with the word “RAPID” on its nose. The later version included a variation of the headlamps. Two snowplow designs included a broad cage across the beam of the locomotive and a second one featured on the FR 46.132.01 incorporates to plows each side with a filigree cage centered between the plows.

A powerful can motor operates the locomotive along with LED powered headlamps as is standard equipment in all FR locomotives. The FR exclusive equipment includes an ingenious design for the locomotive coupler comprising an ‘L’ shaped wire thus allowing for the installation of intricately designed snowplows, this coupler system works flawlessly with Marklin Z standard couplers.

Note: the 1st version of the Ra produced by FR is long of production, but the 2nd version is planned as a production model at FR. To order the 2nd version a preorder commitment must be made with FR, it won’t be available after it is released, FR does not seem to make extras for some of their releases others seem to become regular production models.

Produced by FR in a very limited edition of 32 worldwide is the Ra 987 electric locomotive for SJ.

Siding: The MY locomotive of the DSB and its various amalgams on other railroads although diesel powered is similar in appearance to the Ra with a similar type American F7 “Bulldog Nose” plus two cab ends.

OBB Class 1043.010 “Valousek”: FR 43.131.01

OBB’s class 1043 entered service in Austria in 1971, it looks a lot like the SJ series of Rc locos because it is. Following very successful test runs 10 units were eventually ordered. Based on the Rc’s thyristor technology this locomotive type has proven itself for many years as a reliable design, it is even included as a locomotive type in the United States.

The proposal to build this loco by FR was made by Z-Friends International thus it was released on a limited basis for their members and those who placed pre-orders, its second release will be made this Fall.

Variations of the SJ Rc series locomotive have included changes to roof equipment, color scheme and general appearance, and it is represented by FR for SJ and OBB railways only at this time. Exceptional detailing: even the mirrors are silvered and reflective.

As part of the classification it is called a “Valousek” locomotive as it is named after the designer of the logo and color scheme Wolfgang Valousek.

Book Review: SJ 1856-1956 + SJ 125 AR

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Few books are available on Sweden’s SJ Railway, but of those few two are exceptional: SJ 1856-1956 and SJ 125 AR. The 100 year anniversary of SJ is documented by lavish photogravure illustrations with a particular photographic styled referred to as ‘reportage’ thus the SJ Railway is celebrated as a national treasure that links the people and the country. A beautiful hardbound book that was originally delivered with a glassine dustjacket. The second book for this review is SJ 125 AR thus an updated anniversary publication for SJ at 125 years featuring an English text on the history of the SJ 1856-1981. Similar to the 100 year anniversary publication this one is entirely illustrated with color plates and gives a broader historical perspective for the Statens Jarnvagar Railway. Two great books on one great railway!

SJ 1856-1956, published by Nordisk Rotogravyr, Stockholm, 1956

SJ 125 AR, published by Jarnvagsmuseum, 1981