A day at the races...!

Or what in Earth I'm doing here?...

The Marx Bro.s would not done it better....

It is a kind of surreal...

...how men can be turned in to boys!

Maybe, you have seen kids excited sitting next to the christmass tree waiting for the sign from the mum & dad, to allow them the open their presents, is there anything that surpass that in terms of excitement?

Yes, strange enough railfanning attracts all kind of people and some strange behaviour among people. Not amention the fact of a minority that in a sudden turns in to a majority. Overaged mummies dear sons turn out to something strange mix of drooling, but concentrating on cameras, fearless, risktaking neandertahls. Especially, when you consider their language that seem to consist only a handfull of lines like "Is it coming now?, Is it delayed?, Is this the greatest spot?" or "Damn all those families with kids who obscure the picture I am about to take...". Like a storks in a nest they tried sneak to stay unvisible to other fellow foamers who wanted have a clear view, as I said the Marx Bro.s wouldn't done it better....

Who said to have a hobby or an interest is so relaxing..., seeing these guys busy instead in this relaxed state, would be sight for sore eyes..... Watch out, Roadrunner!

Not mention, their not as craceful skills on climbing over whatever obstacles they may find to get that perfect spot. These gentlemen stood up on this pile of concrete and some old ties for HOURS!!, before the action began... I decided on skipping taking pics. on coming steam F-class Pacific, and take a few shots on these guys instead.

I spotted these guys when I got to the happening, and you should seen their faces when I got there climbed on the walkway the parked switcher next to them to take my shots. They were just gasping out of awe.... The grand finale was after the last scheduled run the small forrest suddently turned out being crowded by a hundreds of camera equipped guys sneaking behind the bushes and branches... I had the laugh of the day....

Will I go there next year? No way...
It is hard to image that these small 600mm gauge 0-4-4-0.s would be the forefathers to the mighty Big Boys. This Decauville cathalogue model engine ran on Kosta Railway until handed over to the museum, when the line shut down their operations.
It was not only railfans acting funny that day, like some officials of Bergslagståg demonstrating the elevator for the disabled on one of the entries of this brandnew X52 EMU of theirs. The 3-piece suit and ties got so exited about this technical achievement that they played around with the function for 15 minutes, even telling people with carts to take another unelevated enterence to the trainset. It was one of the highlights...
The first generation of Swedish railcars looked mostly like this preserved caar. The railcar design started by a smaller 4-wheelcars that grew to a fouraxle versions and the end grew a little more in height and width, as seen by this rather late Yo1 in Gävle. The railcars could haul various kinds of trailers all from small coffin like to cars of same size as the this powered car. As the next generation of steelbodied railcars came to the scene in numbers, the older generation of were wearing out, and quickly replaced by the new comers. Some survived as Mow vehicles, more or less greatly modified to the specific duties, some of the 4-axle versions even got rebuilt to four wheel versions with a flatbed. The orginal construction with woodframe under the wooden or plate panels took also its toll, making a refurbishing to a challenge.
The theme this year was electrics and different MU.s, diesels or electrics. And one of the highlights was this Y6 car from the fifties. These brightly painted railcars with a variation of trainers were real steamkillers in Sweden. But in the beginning less than a total success, from the beginning the cars recived quite extensive modification and rebuilding to comply with the severe condition during the winters, but eventually most of the short comings were fixed and this generation of railcars along their electrical sisters were used on shortruns and on less populated areas in the country until the 1980.es.
I guess that this modern highspeed tilttrain X2000 set is the opposite, brand new and the flagship of the passenger runs in Sweden today. This train was not a part of the show, just on the regular run slowing down for the stop in Gävle....

This is one of the early of the standard electrics of the D-class. The early engines like this 101 has a wooden body, the later ones have bodys of riveted steel. The class was considered so successful that during the fifties an new class of Da was constructed followed by the Dm and Dm3 oretrain engines. The last of the Dm3.s closed the era of siderod powered electrics on SJ.

One of the more great looking electrics in Sweden is the last Mg (before Ma class M-class) class double duty Co-Co.s. from the 40.es. The engines saw service untill the late seventies, mostly in freights on northern parts of the network.
It was ment to be that these engines would be a multiporpose units hauling anything from oretrains to passengerruns.

But in reality they were mainly used for general heavy freight service. The class was never repeated, followed by a more modern and successful Ma class during the fifties. Ma and Mg classes were the only electric Co-Co units in Sweden. Nevertheless, a handsome electric.

The express train engine of the same vintage was the F-class 1-Do-1.s. Just as handsome, design based on German E18.s. To my knowladge at least three of this still exists as preserved engines. One is owned by the National Railwaymuseum in Gävle, and the other two by preservation group based in Stockholm and Sala.

The National Railwaymuseum in Gävle is worth visit during their ordinary hours, not during the special railfan weekend.

If Swedish National Railways had decided on multipurpose engines of more modern construction than the siderod engine of the Da-class in the fifties it would may have looked like this Bt from TGOJ, of course it would be then decked out in redbrown scheme instead. The SJ needed to boost interest on vaning revenue on passenger trains and made a series of 10 in streamlineversion, geared for 160 km/h of the engine this design. The first two were orginally painted in rather atractive orange and blue, the latter 8 in orange and white, for seeing the colors of Rb and the Rc-classes.

As you might see that SJ.s Ra class unit is more streamlined than its sisters of TGOJ.s Bt-class. Only ten of these streamlined engines were ever built, being favorites among railfan allmost half of them have been preserved. In their later years of active service, many were modified with new cab side windows and doors to the cabs moved into enginecompartment, just like what is standard on Rc.s. These engines also received alternative numbers on front as Rapid 1-10.

The Mg was not a success, unsuitable for anything else than for freights. The SJ needed a powerful multipurpoise engine to haul kinds of trains on the lines in north. The following engine was this called Ma class. The privately owned TGOJ was convinced that these were exactly what they needed for their ore runs, so they added basicly identical units to their roster. I did say basicly, as they do differ in looks by having round windows in the engine compartment instead of SJ.s regtangular.

In the eighties the TGOJ was merged in to the SJ system and perhaps for the tax reasons they decided to keep the TGOJ as a separate company specializing on leasing power and also for maintaning SJ equipment. During the nineties they started to repaint their equipment in rather strange mix of limegreen and dark blue and this engine received more attention by this strpied variation of the scheme.

Most of passengercars dating from the design from the 40.es never got the new blue, black and grey scheme but the cars used for specail service did, like this sleeper. These cars are mainly used on various exebitiontrains and as backups for some holliday specials.

The 40.es generation cars were the first all steel welded cars starting with B6-cars for locals and suburban service in the larger cities. The design was so successful that cars of this basic design was constructed well in to the end of the fifties. The last of the cars received more streamlined ends, where the doors were flush, yet curved with the sides of the cars.

Click on the thumbnail to the second part: Rc.s in new colors.

Webdesign & Photos:Ollie Ahokas, e-mail: Olliehokas@.yahoo.se.