13th September 2015 - Heritage runabout
Sunday 13th September 2015
Day two of the celebrations and we were off to Gävle again – eventually. Although there was still a selection of electric locos on display at the museum, the emphasis today would be on a series of special trains using various locomotives along the secondary route between Gävle and Avesta-Krylbo, all of which were announced in advance with the option of purchasing tickets on-line. It appeared that three sets of coaches were in use, a local one with plenty of seats and two others with more limited accommodation. As we wanted to start and end the day on the set from Stockholm, we booked tickets in advance to ensure getting a seat on it and left the other moves to “pay on the day”.
We started the day behind the museums Rc1 1007 again, this was the booked power for the train and was a good a way as any to get the engine back to the museum but we got off at Avesta-Krylbo to catch the “local train” which should have a different loco. Running in front of that was the guest of honour, the Swiss “Krokodil”, and we managed to get into position for a nice sunny photo of it arriving.
Rc 1007 then left with the “City Express” set and that should have been followed by the Krokodil but we were nearly caught out by the arrival of Pa 27 on its train running over 15 minutes early, we think that it was meant to have waited in a nearby loop to cross both trains heading towards Gävle. Not only did the sun choose that moment to duck behind a cloud, the train, ominously, had Mg 504 on the rear which was one of the locos that was being used on the shuttle service between the museum and station yesterday.
We photographed the Krokodil returning to Gävle and decided to visit the station café to get a drink but there was a huge queue / scrum inside so we decided to give it a miss; of course there was nothing else open nearby on a Sunday morning so we went back to see if Mg 504 and Pa 27 were going to swap places. There was no sign of any moves to do this so we asked the crew what they were going to do and they confirmed that the train would be returning top and tail to Gävle “because they were lazy!”. We think that someone’s tongue was firmly wedged in their cheek and we could see where they were coming from though it was not really cricket as the Pa had been advertised to work that train both ways on its own. A text was fired off to one of our fellow “bashers” who we knew was on the “krok” and getting off at Storvik for the Pa though we guessed that they would get on the train regardless in order not to miss the next move.
We caught the “krok” up at Storvik and departed before it, an MZ type loco shot past on an engineers train just after we arrived which was rather annoying though we would not have got across the other side of the line to get a photo as the barriers on the pedestrian crossing were already down when we arrived. Our friends joined the train in the rear coach so we went to join them and found them in the rear vestibule carefully watching the driver in Pa 27. The loco had a tram-style power handle so it was easy enough to spot when the driver took power meaning we could count it for haulage though, of course, it would be preferable if it was on the front of the train on its own.
There was a much reduced display at the museum and the 40 minutes or so that we had there was ample enough time to grab a couple of photos of things we had missed yesterday, we even had time to visit the restaurant coach / café which was much less busy today but at the expense of missing an arrival shot of the Krokodil. It was nearly time for our next train and there was another change to what had been published but this one looked to be in our favour as not only was D.101 on the train as booked but sister loco D.109 was also attached and manned; we could not see a multiple working cable so assumed that they would be driven in tandem. A seat right at the front of the train meant that we were treated to a symphony of clicks and clonks from the control gear which proved that D.109 was actually working; we can only assume that D.101 was also working bearing in mind it was the leading loco.
Our fellow cranks got off this train at Gävle to wait for the following special but we stayed on board behind the pair of wooden bodied electrics to Storvik, which was not quite half-way to Avesta-Krylbo, and waited for the next train to catch up there. One of the crew members went round and checked all the axle boxes whilst we took some pictures before re-locating to the station building which was now fenced off from the track with a replacement island platform provided, accessed by a foot crossing from the car park protected by barriers.
Over in the car park was a strange sight; a posh-looking car which had been badly vandalised, both front and rear windows had been smashed, every single panel scored or dented – including the roof and bonnet, the wing mirrors had been bent back, door handles crow-barred and it had at least one flat tyre. None of the other cars there had been touched so it had either been there for a long time or somebody really had it in for someone, the damage looked far too systematic and deliberate for mere wanton vandalism. Another engineers train passed whilst we were this side of the tracks though it didn’t make the best of photos as it was coming straight out of the rather watery sun. We also had a chat with a couple of local cranks who were part of a group who had arrived in a minibus, they said that Storvik was a good place to watch trains with a good variety passing traffic though, as it was a Sunday, we guessed that they were here to watch the specials today.
It was tempting to stay on this side of the tracks to photograph the arrival of the next special train as it had an eight minute stand but it was running late, we needed to catch it and, knowing it was a long train, we didn’t want to get stuck on the wrong side if it didn’t clear the foot crossing. The loco on this train was one of the triple section Dm3 locos built for hauling iron ore trains in the far north of Sweden and Norway and was cause for much discussion amongst our group as whether it counted as one or three locos! As each section had its own number carried on an oval plate on the side, there was a good argument that there were three locos but, on the other hand, the middle section had neither cab nor pantograph….
The Dm3 took us to Avesta-Krylbo where we all stood round chatting thinking that it would be another 25 minutes before the Krokodil, which was following our train, arrived but it turned up very early as we were making our way to the other platform. Luckily we did manage to get a photo as they had some difficulty uncoupling it from the train due to a slightly over-tight coupling.
The Krokodil was then coupled to the Dm3 to work back to Gävle, a rather outrageous combination of locos and five sets of coupled wheelsets and something we would have liked to have done but it was heading in the wrong direction for us. What was heading in the right direction was Ra 846, one of 10 stylish Bo-Bo electric locos built in 1955 and 1961 and named “Rapid 1 to Rapid 10”. Ra 846 was the first of these and was painted in a rather striking orange livery which we took to be it’s original one without the “Rapid 1” lettering on the front.
It would have been nice to go through to Stockholm but it was already 7pm by the time we reached Uppsala and there was no way that we were going anywhere near the “Mc Rancids” again or anything else of that ilk. We had a quick scout round the station area but didn’t see anything that grabbed our fancy so decided to eat at the hotel. It was very nice but rather expensive and although Sweden is not the cheapest of places we could probably have found better VFM elsewhere if we had more time.
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