This blog aims to follow the restoration of SRJ No. 16, later SJ No.33, by the Roslagsbanans Veterantågsforeningen in Stockholm, as well as our ongoing maintenance of a vintage train on the Roslagsbanan. This is a personal view of our activities, the official site of our group (in Swedish) is linked above.

Please note: all pictures on this blog are taken by me unless otherwise stated, and are copyright. If you wish to use them elsewhere, please contact me.

Friday, 25 May 2018


After many many years (at least 15), our 100 year old railcar SRJ 16, later SJ 33 finally sees the light of day!

We have a handheld controller, made from an old electric crane control, that can give 125v across the traction motors, allowing us to drive her out under her own power!

And out she came!  Running very freely (as Daniel found out, see approx minute 2 of the above video) and silently.

Still plenty to do.  There is not enough headroom in our workshop to add the pantographs and some of the roof equipment.  This will have to wait until we take one of the active railcars out of service and remove its roof equipment, something we will not do until the end of the summer running season. Many other small tasks to complete, paint to touch up, details to add.

The workshop looks very big without her! Well, we put her back at the end of the evening.

Basking in the sun at last.

The occasion was the visit of the inspector to start the process of re-certifying her for running on the public network of the Roslagsbana.  All being well we should have her running again by the end of the year. All the best from Stockholm, George!

Monday, 7 May 2018

At last, another update!

At last, another update!

The straps that originally held the reserve battery box in place had long ago disintigrated.  To source replacements we went to a horse tack maker who produced two beautiful belts for us, not cheep but these should be good for the next 100 years or so!

Here is the battery box in its place with the seat fixed for the last time (we hope!)

The seats against the middle partition have heaters under them.  It was felt that, especially with the enclosed area behind the seat, this could lead to damage to the wall.

We therefore fitted heat deflectors to the wall and to fill the gap behind the seat.  These are of some sort of bakelite like material.

In final place.

Calle manufactured a replacement lid for the junction box on the converter, I then painted it up in blue hammerite.

 A striking colour to be sure, but that is what the original converter is painted under all that brake dust, honest!  It will soon fade down with its own covering of brake dust. 

 So that is all the seats fixed down for the final time!  A large number of small jobs to finish, mainly touching up and fitting details.  Elsewhere several of our group have painted out the graffiti on our goods/brake van as well as carried out a number of maintainance jobs on the running set ahead of this summers running.  We had originally planned to swap this railcar for No.37, the next candidate for attention, at the end of this month and complete the commissioning of No.33 in our running shed.  Unfortunatly the clearance in our workshop is insufficient to get a railcar in with the pantographs in place so No.37 would have to have those removed, effectivly removing it from traffic before No.33 was clear.  We have therefore decided to wait until until after the summer running before doing this swap.

And finally, we start our new drivers young in Sweden!  Actually, we took part in the annual Tågsläpp organised by the Swedish National Railway museum last week.  This is an annual open doors event where most of the preservation groups open their workshops and host behind-the-scenes events. Here is my wee boy checking out thedrivers position on No.33.  He can see over the desk, just, but fortunatly can not reach the dead-mans-peddle yet!

Thursday, 1 March 2018

'twas a Dark and Stormy Night

Actually it wasn't too bad outside, snowing gently and a cool -12 C.  The windchill however made it a tad nippy!  While the standard gauge commuter rail seemed to be suffering, and the E4, Sweden's main N-S road was a mess, the Roslagsbana seemed to be surviving relatively unscathed.

Meanwhile, in the warmth of our workshop, we continue with the myriad of small jobs required to complete No.33.

Bengt has been re-hanging the internal doors, this is the one between A-end saloon and A-end vestibule.  Note the original beveled glass, very nice!

Henrik has been manufacturing new seat supports for A-end saloon.  This end had the hardboard walls replaced with original style tounge and groove at an early stage of the restoration.  The seat supports were lost at this stage (they probably date from the 1940s rebuild anyway).  The new supports are now in the paint-shop being brought up to gloss yellow to match the walls.

Lasse spent the evening below the seats in B-end saloon making sure they were all attached properly!

The batteries for the emergancy lighting live under one of the seats in A-end saloon.  Soren seen here installing and wiring them in.

More small details being added.  Here coat hooks in B-end, which still retains the 1940s hardboard walls.

Down below the electrical guys have been checking the equipment that hangs there.  Herethe brushes for the compressor are being looked at.

Unfortunatly one of the junction box covers on the omverter has gone missing, we will have to find or make a replacement.

I continue to fettle the paintwork in A-end cab to bring it up to the same standard as the rest of the railcar.

 A homework project.  This is an old route map for the suburban services of the Roslagsbana that used to be in a frame in B-end cab.  The frame had disintigrated and the maps are clearly water damaged.  I am currently rebuilding the frame at home but must decide if we will reuse the better of these, or deploy an unused original that we have in our collection.

 That's all for this installment, all the best from Stockholm, George!

Thursday, 8 February 2018

A short update

Just a short update this time to report steady progress on all fronts.  While the electrical guys were over chasing down a problem with No.35, Bengt Henrik and I continued work on No.33

I have continued to upgrade the finish in A-end cab.  Originally this gap had been left in the partition between the drivers position and the rest of the cab.  It probably resulted in either shrinkage over the last 99 years or so, or possibly crash damage.  Either way, I decided to fill the fracture.

By the end of the evening, a small fillet of wood shaped and glued in place.  Several other holes have been filled and sanded back awaiting new paint next time.

In B-end saloon, all the seats are now fixed in place.

In A-end saloon, the radiators are now all fixed in place and you can see the new triangular trim on the left-hand side that Henrik has been making.  We bought in some trim but the size was wrong so Henrik has been making this from solid.  Elsewhere, Mike has been fitting new insulation panels between various high voltage components in the electricals cabinets, Bengt has been installing glass in internal doors and we continue to touch-up, clean and reattach numerous details.

all the best from Stockholm, George!

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

A dark and stormy night

Quite a wild night for my first venture down to Östra Station this year.  Not much snow yet but blowin g a wee bit.  While the standard gauge seemed to be sufferig a bit, the narrow gauge Roslagsbana appeared to be running without problems. Still, a good night to work inside.  Here you can see the station throat of Stockholms Östra (east) Station, with our two sheds either side.

And, as usual for a Tuesday, the warm welcoming glow from our workshop.  You can see No33 lurking inside.

The main focus right now is fitting and wiring in the radiators.  Almost all are now in place in both saloons.

We have one seat sitting loose in place to show us where we are going with this. You can also see the earth wire, now correctly run in from the wall side of the radiator ...

The last pieces of trim are also being manufactured from new wood.  You can see these, as yet unpainted, above.  These fill the angle between the wall and the covers for te cable runs below.

Elsewhere Mike was manufacturing something out of insulated material and Lasse was cleaning up a couple of additional wooden components.  A-end cab was the first to be renovated.  There are several aspects, especially regarding the paint, that contrast with our later work.  I have started to bring everything up to a uniform standard.

Wishing everyone an excellent new year from Stockhom, George!

Sunday, 24 December 2017

No.33, doors seats and radiators

The current focus of activity is on fitting out the interior.  All but one door has been hung and work is focused on door furnature, making sure everything swings or slides smoothly, and glazing.  For what was a very basic 3rd class commuter railcar, there are still some nice ornate touches.

We have also test fitted one radiator with all the associated blocks, channels and spacers.

Spot the deliberate mistake?  No, we didn't either ...

The attachment point for the earth cable is at the other end of the radiator!  We will need to cut back the new cables and drill a new hole at the other end of the cable channels.

Everything in place, gives an idea of how things will look.  Trim to be added along the edge of the cable channels that run along the base of the walls, you can see the new wood on top.  The blocks on which the seats sit date from before our restoration at this end.  In the other saloon they are missing and we will have to make new.

Micke tests ot the newly installed seat.  We hadn't told him they were not screwed down yet ...

best regards and God Jul from Stockholm, George!

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Catching up - again, the running fleet and other news

Our running fleet continues to operate satisfactorly.  Both railcars, carriage 880 and the f-class van were out on public service several weekends during the summer.  We then teamed up once more with the historic steamer Blidosund to provide a vintage round-trip with 35, below, providing the first leg, after which passengers transferred to a vintage bus before returning to Stockholm on Blidosund while eating dinner.  Once more I beleive these were well patronised trips so hopefully this arrangement will continue.

35 seems to have survived the year with minimum problems, not bad for a railcar over 80 years old!

Micke and Soren testing 35 during routine maintainance.

Despite being our youngest railcar, only 79 years old, 37 has the oldest electrics.  Both 33 and 35 were rebuilt in the 40s when the line voltage was upped from 7500 to 1500volts.  37 was new-built when this process was started and was built duel voltage, a capacity it still has but which can cause some problems.

One of the jobs carried out on 37 was to replace the emergancy lights.  I don't think these have ever worked under our stewardship.  They sit behind the panels over the sliding doors (you can see the slider at the bottom of the recess).  Originally they were connected to the rest of the carriage by the brass contacts on the left.  You can see the new wires coming in along the roof panel on the right and appearing around the right-hand piller.  We have left enough slack in the wires so the contacts are not necessary, and new LED emergancy lights are now fitted.

Our parent organisation has lost its home in the 1950s bus depot at the east end of Södermalm.  Unfortnatly their noew home is not yet started so the collection has gone into store out at Bromma airport.  They closed at the end of October and had to vacate the site by the end of November when the delevopers moved in.  We had a number of large electrical spares stored in a service tunnel under the museum so 4 of us spent an evening helping the museum staff out by moving them up to where they could be collected and moved to the new storage.  as you can see, clearance was a little limited!

We also rescued the original 1950s clock from the depot! Lasse fettled it up and we discovered the bolt holes on the clock lined up perfectly with a pair of bolts set in the wall of our workshop!  We think they originally carried the water supply from when this was a steam shed.  Some careful measurement to make sure we could still get No.33 out, then up it went!

Next up, some current progress on No.33.

best regards from Stockholm, George!