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Messages - Dag Bonnedal

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Work and Events / Re: WW&F No. 11 - Official Work Thread
« on: May 22, 2023, 02:33:52 PM »

Some very interesting things that separate that British style boiler from the ones that are on 7 and 8. All flanged boiler connections on the backhead for the throttle (will it be rotary like all the others on property?) and two sight glasses. Not sure what the one with the butterfly valve is gonna be.

The  BMR South African Pacific has a rotating regulator lever, as this is standard on SAR locos. But No. 1 Santa Teresa (Mogul rebuilt as a Main Prairie with new boiler) has the standard American pull out throttle. As the BMR are such US enthusiasts, I am pretty sure the 10 and 23 will also have the pull out type.

General Discussion / Re: Swiss lake steamer operations
« on: May 09, 2023, 03:00:14 PM »
Terrific video of a Swiss watch in superscale!

In Stockholm we are lucky to have two 115 years old steamships running in regular service as part of the Stockholm local transit.
During the pandemic they overhauled the machinery of the flagship s/s Storskär and as a passenger you are always welcome to visit the engine room and chat with the crew there. They are so proud of their ship and you can have a conversation in normal voice next to the 650 hp trippel expansion engine. And the very brief stops at all the piers are just touch and go, just as efficient as the modern ships thanks to the huge torque of the engine and big propeller. Here is a short video:
A five hour evening round trip ending with steak, onions and fried potatoes in the dining room is an essential part of every summer.


Museum Discussion / Re: Plowing Ahead - Snow removal discussion
« on: March 07, 2023, 03:04:16 PM »
A good snow plow is a necessity, and with a powerful loco behind it is great fun to charge the drifts. Steam is of course king, but a good diesel is OK.
This video was shot ten years ago, when our Ukrainian diesel was new on our line. The plow was built in 1912 by Atlas-Copco.
Note the rodent in distress at 5:30 min, it managed to get out of the way.


Work and Events / Re: J&S Truck Build/Rebuild - Official Work Thread
« on: December 05, 2022, 09:29:15 AM »
Thanks Paul for a very interesting story.
By coincidence, yesterday we had an internal audit meeting regarding safety, rules and procedures within the machine department,
And among potential safety risks, this scenario was brought up. Our answer was exactly what you said: axles without the necessary radii are crack prone and a derailment at 15 mph is usually not very dangerous.
We have tried to do ultrasonic testing on axles, but it is too difficult and very low chance of finding anything.
During our 60+ years of operation, we have never had a broken coach or car axle. But 11 years ago we had a broken coupled axle on our loco No. 9. It was the third (middle axle) and it broke flush on inside of the wheel on this outside framed engine.
The remarkable thing is that the footplate staff didn't notice and we don't know when it broke. It was the more experienced staff the day after that found that the engine was a bit tricky to start sometimes, when the loose wheel rotated slightly and made the side rods lock.
We had a new axle turned externally and did the rest of the job ourselves. Pictures:

Other Narrow Gauge / Re: World's Longest Passenger Train
« on: November 06, 2022, 05:41:49 AM »
I guess you are referring to the line Bergün - Preda on the Albula Bahn. Totally confused about directions each time you exit a tunnel:

Absolutely fascinating railway and country, there is a strong feeling about being shrunk to a very small size and travelling through a model railway that is not very realistic and never has seen a weathering airbrush. Everything is clean and fresh out of the box.

Two Footers outside of the US / Re: ÖSlJ, Mariefred, Sweden
« on: October 14, 2022, 05:00:19 AM »

Too long since I posted any news from Mariefred, Sweden.
A few weeks ago we had our traditional End of Season Gala with four locos in steam and a very special guest from our colleagues in Ohs Bruk.
Please find some photos with summaries in English at:
Click any photo for large format.

You may also follow what has happened over the last few years, including the big job overhauling our flagship No. 4 K.M.Nelsson.

Right now we are building the access tracks for our new dry storage shed in Läggesta, 800 ft tracks of indoor storage with dehumidifier.
Hopefully we will be able to finish the job this weekend.
When this is done we will have a total of 800 yards of indoor track, much needed for our approx. 100 restored vehicles.

I check in on this forum and your FB-site several times a week. Just love to follow all the amazing work you are doing. Keep it up!


Two Footers outside of the US / Re: Swedish two-footer
« on: February 04, 2022, 06:04:40 AM »
Here is yet another very good video from the Ohs Railway in Sweden.
Be sure to turn on the English sub-titles.

It is made by and for the technically interested (read: car) enthusiasts in general, not the railroad nerds.
But informative and well made, and I think the members presenting themselves and their railway do a very good job.
The driver Jonas is their technical guru and beyond comparison the foremost knowledgeable boiler smith for veteran boilers in Sweden. He will, at his ordinary work place, overhaul some of our boilers in the next few years.

You may also have a look at their new coach project, coming along nicely.


UK (Welsh, British) Two Footers / Re: 70 years of Talyllyn Railway
« on: May 18, 2021, 03:34:32 PM »
We really owe them everything, as a the great inspiration for what could be done in spite of impossible odds.
I do hope that every volunteer at every museum railway reads Tom Rolt's classic book Railway Adventure about the pioneering years at Talyllyn, it is priceless.
There are many stories about the hardships to overcome. Like when they dropped the whole grate down on the track (no ashpan) and The Old Lady was the only self propelled vehicle on the line. Quickly uncoupling the loco from the train and set of for the workshop, leaving the passengers to walk back. Repairing the grate during the night and pick up the train the next morning. Business as usual. Or when the boiler inspector inspected the boiler of the The Old Lady, drilled a hole in the barrel, found it sound enough and drew a screw into the hole. Some years later the boiler was sent off for overhaul and it was found that the screw sat in the only spot with thick enough plate. Or when they with tremendous effort bought the only two additional locos of the same gauge from the neighbouring closed down railway. Repaired one of them over the first winter and with great expectation tested it the next spring. It derailed at least one time per rail length!

When we started eight years later, Talyllyn (and Ffestiniog) were the big inspirations that made it possible. The story goes that we had a visitor volunteering at Ffestiniog and to be very polite he remarked: Your track does not look too much worse than Talyllyn's.

For you that are involved with the workshop and technical work, the book written by John Bates (from the video) The Chronicles of Pendre Siding is also highly recommendable.
Unfortunately, it seems hard to get at

Work and Events / Re: Eames Train Brakes - Official Work Thread
« on: April 20, 2021, 04:48:09 AM »
Good summary by Alan.

Could also be added that 21" vacuum is/was standard by most railways using vacuum.
Only Great Western Railway in Great Britain used 25" (and mechanical pump instead of small ejector) with a lot of compatibility problems.


Going thru half-a-dozen steam loco manuals from Sweden, Denmark and India, non of them states a nominal value. But mention 19.5 - 21.5 inch as normal.

The real classic on the subject of railway safety is this this:
We all read it when we were young. Written by the well known Tom Rolt, manager of the first preserved railway: Tallyllyn.

It describes the stage-by-stage development of railway safety in the UK, through the investigations and recommendations by Her/His Majesty's Railway Inspectors of railway accidents.

Describes the British system, which differs a lot from both the rest of Europe and naturally from the US. The British system was developed as a response to the high traffic density, short trains, high speeds and rather feeble brakes.

As you say, nice video but rather basic.
Towards the end of the video where he describes the Tyer machine, he also mentions the Abermule train crash:
which has a great significance in British safety development and also in the book.
It was also referred to in a very recent investigation of incident on the Romney Hythe & Dymchurch 15" miniature railway, where two trains were on heads on collision course. They were able to stop in time thanks to good visibility. But it is interesting that the crash exactly a century ago is used as reference.

Two Footers outside of the US / A photo with history
« on: March 01, 2021, 06:28:19 AM »

in January we got an e-mail from Brad Purinton running the blog Tokens of Companionship.
He had bought an old photo and done research on the history of it.
I am very impressed by the amount and accuracy of information he had manage to dig up without any knowledge in Swedish.

Fachinating that this photo turns up in the US, we have never seen it before. And thanks to internet we can all share it.
I sent him more information, but that was a bit too much for the blog. Maybe it is of more interest for this audience,
here are two of the mails I sent:

"Hi Brad,
I am responsible for the steam engines at ÖSlJ in Mariefred, and just got your mail forwarded to me.

A just fantastic find you got, we have not seen this photo before. Through my lifelong involvement in our museum railway, I also have a deep interest in the history of the seven little railways in Sweden that we represent and specially in the development of the locomotives on these. Of our ten steam engines, three are built by Motala, one of the smaller four coupled type, sister of Nos. 1 & 2 on NAEJ. Further we have the NAÄJ No. 4, K.M. Nelsson, younger sister of No. 3, Axel E. Lindvall and the twin of Nelsson from the second longest railway JGJ. The quality of these Motala products is way much better than the German built. We also have all four original passenger coaches from NAEJ, two in service and a large number of freight cars from the line.
I am most impressed by the text that you have presented with the photo. Good research and fully accurate. 

May I just add a few more details. The nickname Krösnabanan was also justified by the fact that at the time lingonberries was an important product transported in large quantities every fall. Much of it was exported to Germany (Preiselbeere). They are used as your cranberries but with a much crisper taste. But the version about the slow train makes a better story. From the neighboring Kosta Lessebo Järnväg (also 600 mm) the story was told that some young guys actually jumped off and pretended to help by pushing when the speed was low. They were spotted by the driver, he opened up full and left the guys behind.

The photo from Järnvägsmuseum with Lindvall in front is definitely taken in Motala when Lindvall inspected the loco at the delivery. As you say, Lindvall took both the initiative to and a deep personal interest in the railway.

When the first section of the railway, Nättraby – Alnaryd was built 1893-97, the contractor did not do a serious job. It was quite costly for the company to rectify it all and the formal opening was delayed two years. Thus, for the coming three extensions (the last one never finished) the company decided to do the job on their own. Lindvall led these works personally with the help of an assistant engineer and a foreman. As result these extensions were very economically built, claimed to be the cheapest railway per mile in Sweden.
Thus, it is not surprising to see Lindvall himself in midst of his works crew on the gravel car. But I think it says a lot about the man, a true entrepreneurial spirit, that did not need to show his status by the way he dressed or kept distance to his subordinates. 

The photo is taken in the gravel pit at Berg, south of Alnaryd. This was a substantial gravel pit owned by the railway and was used for ballast for the whole railway. Thus, running the heavy ballast trains from the south to the north part of the railway was big job that took many months and required the new heavy locomotive to get it done in time (over 20 miles and 450 ft in elevation). Otherwise, they would have avoided using the new fine loco on this job as the gravel dust increase the wear in the machinery and the unadjusted track also increases the wear on the loco. 

If you look closely at the gravel cars, you may see that they are ordinary flat cars fitted with provisional boards to keep the gravel in and tarpaulin flaps over the axle boxes to keep the gravel out. There are a few more photos known of the gravel trains. Here is one:
As seen from the lack foliage, this is another, colder season but the proud staff on the engine is the same.
Here is one more photo with the train in the pit. :
None of the photos match the quality of yours.
That was a few comments inspired by you find.

Best regards
Dag Bonnedal "

And the next mail:

You asked for the time. The engine was delivered to NAÄJ Dec. 5, 1909. Thus, the picture taken in Motala must have been late November (warm coat).
The extension was inspected by the railway inspector Dec. 3, 1909 and by then the whole line was terraced, but the track not laid. New inspection Oct. 13, 1910, then the whole line was built and ballasted. This gives you the time frame. As you noticed your picture is taken in the warmer season, May – Sept 1910.
Did a quick calculation of the effort to ballast the track. With the maximum load the new engine could handle on the grades it should have taken in the order of 500 trainloads to deliver 27 000 short tons of gravel from the pit in Berg to the new line! Even with two round trips per day (long days), 6 days per week, it would take ten months of continuous work to get it done. The winter of 1910 can’t have been too severe.
In the comments the smart dressing of the driver was mentioned. Up to WWI locomotive engineers were the “airline pilots” of their time. Relatively well paid; white shirt, bow tie and clean uniform was the order of the day. And yes, the footplate of a steam loco is a very dirty workplace (I know from my own experience). The driver’s wife had a tough job keeping his garments clean. And at our railway we try to live up to the traditions (but we do our laundry ourselves).
He inherited the family estate, Havgården in Nättraby:
I guess he had tenants to run the farm, but I am sure he kept a very watchful eye on them.
He was a politician in the Blekinge regional council.
He had his own steamship company, founded in 1884, running 5 steam launches (each with a capacity of 90-100 passengers). Most of all these ran between Nättraby and the town and naval base of Karlskrona.
He was CEO of Nättrabybanan all the time from his very first initiative until his death. He personally trained his successor Albert Karlsson, who has written down memories from his time at the railway. He testifies that Lindvall was a virtual powerhouse to work with. Lindvall regularly inspected the line and all stations, noticing every small ailing detail. To have “forgotten” something or not knowing the answer to questions from Lindvall was not taken easily. During these inspections he repeatedly called the office in Nättraby to inform himself and giving orders.

 The railway was very well managed, and Karlsson succeeded to keep it running through the hard times of the 30-ties. They rebuilt one of the small locos with two Ford V8 flathead gasoline engines to reduce operational costs. But they also invested in busses and trucks, and the traffic on the railway dwindled. Thus, in September 1939 the railway was closed for regular traffic. Rather bad timing considering the outbreak of the war, which almost completely cut off Sweden’s supply of gas, oil and most of all rubber (for ties). With the imminent threat of a German invasion and with the big naval base in Karlskrona, the Swedish navy and coastal defense had to build a lot of forts, artillery posts and pillboxes in the Blekinge archipelago. For this they needed vast amounts of concrete and for this gravel. The railway was contracted to continue running gravel trains from Berg to Nättraby through the whole war, and this saved No. 4, K.M. Nelsson from the scrappers torch.

We deeply regret that No 3, Lindvall was scrapped, it would probably have been an even better loco for our railway. "


Museum Discussion / Re: Heavy duty 2-foot snowplow
« on: December 28, 2020, 08:50:56 AM »
This looks like something rather similar to the one we have.
Also with a blade that can be lifted and built on an older four wheeled iron ore car.

Here is a video from a plow run we made when our Russian diesel was new.
Before that we did not have a diesel powerful enough to get up to speed with the plow.
Of course plowing is much more fun with a BIG steam loco behind, but several days work preparing and disposing of the steam loco is often too much during the valuable work shop season.

Note the little indecisive rodent on the snow at min. 5:30.

Even if your long term plan is to build a big wedge plow like 401 or 402, this looks like something that could be very handy and useful at moderate snow depths.

Museum Discussion / Re: Switch lanterns on high mast switches
« on: November 25, 2020, 05:45:43 AM »
You are absolutely on the right track...
My thoughts. In Europe the common organization of museum railways, Fedecrail, has designed the Riga Charter:
that gives some guidance for what is really the incompatible effort of both preserving and using historical artefacts.
Which really is totally contradictory to the established principles of normal museums.

Please note the articles 10 and 11 of the charter: As you have already said, changes should be reversible.
But also a record should be kept for the changes. We think that a good way to keep this record is to mark every new
component and spare part with a year stamp. By this it is forever clear what parts are original, and what have been changed in preservation.

Other Narrow Gauge / Event of the year: 3ft logging, Sweden
« on: October 27, 2020, 05:23:40 PM »
This year it is 50 years since one of the longer private narrow gauge railroads in Sweden closed. The Dala Ockelbo Norrsundet Järnväg was a 50 miles, 3 ft railroad (actually 35") built to carry timber from the vast forests in central Sweden to the coast. Public carrier with steam until around 1960, then timber only and dieselized. But the company kept two of their magnificent Mallets as spares. Closed 1970 and an already existing, homeless preservation society was allowed to take over the main station with roundhouse and workshops in Jädraås together with 4 miles of the line. Definitely EBT vibes over the place.

To commemorate the 50 years since the last logging train and to compensate for low income this summer the preserved railway did as some of their neighbouring forest owners. They cut some timber on their own property and gathered all the flat cars they have, 22 of them. Loaded a 250 ton train and coupled one of the Mallets in front. Just one run to the main station in Jädraås, no photo reruns.

Those fine Mallets are the biggest narrow gauge locos in Sweden (competing are truly magnificent 2-6-2 Henschel built express locos, one preserved).
And the two DONJ Mallets are half of the preserved ones in Sweden, we got the other two.
Its sister is under heavy overhaul:

det samma


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