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Welcome to Swedish RR Visions Page!
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Created for 4rail.net by Ilkka Siissalo, Gerard J. Putz, Nick Slocombe and John McKey. Pictures by Ilkka Siissalo, Nick Slocombe, Gerard J. Putz and John McKey.

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SJ Rc3 number 1050 at Odensburg, Sweden, a panning picture
Rc electric locos are often seen as synonymous for Swedish railroading. Let's see if there is base to this...

LKAB IOREs 103 and 112 in Kiruna, Sweden
Swedish and Norwegian north heavy ore railroading is mostly done by IORE locos...

Remote switching at Tomteboda, Stockholm, Sweden


Hectorrail class 141 numbers 002 in Hallsberg, Sweden
Hectorrail is probably the largest private open access service provider for Sweden. Let's take a look at their locos!
 
 
       
       
       
       
       
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  Heavy Ore Railroading in the Swedish and Norwegian North
MTAB IOREs 104 coming out of the tunnel in the northern mountains, Sweden
Northern Sweden is a scene of heaviest freight railroading in the whole Europe. While this may not seem much by the American standards, is still challenges the designers who plan the technology for the operations. Most of the freights are iron and other ore / pellet transportations, working 24 / 7 around the year. In summer the conditions are close to optimal (except for the mosquitos and other flying bugs) and there is light literally around the clock, even at night. But when you operate in the winter, you end up with the opposites: it is always dark with temperatures falling as low as -40 degrees centigrade and the wind howling along the sides of the mountains. While the snow sheds and fences try to keep most of the snow away, there is still plenty for the locomotives to push through and rotaries to plow away. Picture above by Nick Slocombe, below by John McKey.

  More on Malmbana Theme Pages...

LKAB IORE number 124 in Torneträsk, Sweden
Most of the locomotion today is provided by heavy IORE electric locomotives built by Bombardier and operated by LKAB's (Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara Aktiebolaget) subsidiary MTAB (Malmtransport Aktiebolaget). The type IORE comes from "Iron ORE". The locomotives run in pairs, semi permanently coupled together between the overhauls. While the pairs originally were with the following numbers, now it looks like the ones that were finished first from service are coupled together. There is nothing wrong with this approach and this even makes the operation more interesting to trainspotters! Pictures by John McKey.

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MTAB IORE 125 and 126 meet another train in Kiruna, Sweden
LKAB IORE 109 Nose, Kiruna, Sweden

The IORE are custom built for the purpose, although similar locomotives can also be found in China. One of the features is rugged body shell with sometimes even 5 cm (nearly 2") thick nose, bogies and several other sections. This is needed for the heavy train operations and it also provides extra protection in case of an accident (which fortunately has not happened). Special measures are needed to transmit the pulling power from bogies to the body and forward to the SA3 type couplers. Below a picture of a quill drive and the SA3 coupler. Pictures by John McKey.

  More on IORE Locomotives Theme Page...

LKAB IORE closer study in Sweden
LKAB IORE closer study in Sweden

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  Rc Locomotives Are Synonymous to Swedish Railroading...
SJ class Rc6 number 1343 pulling a passenger train under heavy clouds in Stenstorp, Sweden

Let's start with a dramatic picture of a typical Rc6 number 1353 in black running away from the storm front chasing it. This picture was taken in Stenstorp (English: stone house) in southern Sweden by Nick Slocombe. Behind the Rc loco is a typical intercity passenger train of Sweden.

Then let us continue with the dizzying panning picture by Nick. This is a rare Rc3 hauled passenger train in Odensburg, Sweden. The locomotive has just received a fresh black livery replacing the more traditional bluish scheme the coach behind it still wearing.

SJ Rc3 number 1050 at Odensburg, Sweden, a panning picture
- - - Click any picture to see a larger version of it! - - -
SJ class Rc6 number 1399 in Luleå depot, Swedenq
Some more studies to the Rc6 locos, this unit is staying over night at Luleå depot in the northern Sweden. Since most of the well maintained locomotives of SJ are in a heavy use, this is one of the rare quiet times for the loco. Before its overnight stay it has been serviced but not washed as there is no need in the dry weather. If you have sharp eyes, the locomotives is actually leaning to right, it is really, but so is the catenary pole behind it, a very common feature to the older catenary lines in northern Sweden. Picture by John McKey.

The locomotive below brings a very contrasting view to the railroading. This is what all units have to withstand every year: snow and ice packing into them, melting, refreezing, while the crew is simultaneously using the locomotives powers to handle the train in any weather. This sleeper train has just arrived to Oslo, Norway after its overnight journey from Stockholm, Sweden and is seen at the end platform before pushing the coaches for cleaning during the day. Picture by Ilkka Siissalo.

SJ Rc6 with sleeper coaching at Oslo, Norway

Let's next take a look at the black Rc6's on line! Picture are by Nick Slocombe and Hannu Peltola.
SJ Rc6 number 1343 at Herrljunga Sweden with a passenger train
SJ Rc6 number 1357 with a passenger train near Valtorp, Sweden
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SJ Rc6 number 1413 at Herrljunga Sweden with a passenger train
SJ Rc6 number 1417 and ic train at Årsta, Sweden
 

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  Hector Rail Locomotion
Hector Rail class 441 Eurosprinter in Valtorp, Sweden

The evolution of many open access operators starts with used locomotion of the types that can be achieved with short notice and little cash. So started the story of Hectorrail of Sweden too. Also the newcomer needs to be doing things differently and better according to the customers needs. Some market change might help too. For Hectorrail all of these were happening at the same time, but unlike many of its competitors in the same area, the situations were played carefully to create a powerful newcomer to the freight and passenger hauling arena of Swedish national and international rail services.

Above is not the Hectorrail startup locos, but a powerful early buy for them in a form of Siemens Eurosprinter ES64F4. It can easily take the heavy boxed freight up the steep grade in Valtorp, Sweden. Picture by Nick Slocombe.

More Eurosprinters can occasionally be found at Hectorrail's hub and garage in Hallsberg, in the middle Sweden. In the picture again the first Eurosprinter F4 for Hectorrail. Class 441 means: 4 electricity systems, 4 axles, 1st this kind of loco type. The counting with Hectorrail starts with 1 instead of 0 for some operators (like SBB AG). So 001 is the first unit to arrive. Picture below by Gerry Putz.

Hector Rail class 441 Eurosprinter in Halsberg, Sweden
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Hectorrail class 142 numbers 104 and 106 at Hallsberg, Sweden

Now here is a treasure: Hectorrail class 142 locos moved goods originally in Austria for ÖBB (the Austrian railways). These units were actually of class 1142 (modernized) and before that used as 1042 (unmodernized) of Austria. 12 units acquired so far are used both as everyday pulling power, like above, and spare reserve power when need for additional capacity arises. Outwardly there are two models with headlight size variations. The units above have large diameter headlights. Two locos provide 8000 kW / 10728 Hp pulling power for the forest industry train they are pulling.

Pictures at Hallsberg by Gerry Putz.

Hectorrail class 142 numbers 104 and 106 at Hallsberg, Sweden

Hectorrail class 142 numbers 104 and 106 at Hallsberg, Sweden
 
Hectorrail class 161 number 105 at Hallsberg, Sweden
Another treasure: These Hector class 161 6 axles locos provide occasional pulling power for freights. Probably more costly to use than its newer cousins, these heavy locomotives still wears its previous colors and are rare to see. Maybe these monsters of 5400 kW / 7240 Hp will slowly be phased out.

The units built in 1960s were originally used on Swedish-Norwegian Malmbana pulling ore freights as double units.

Picture by Gerry Putz.

Hectorrail class 141 numbers 002 in Hallsberg, Sweden
Hectorrail class 141 is another loco originating in Austria. These modern locos were of Austrian railways class 1012. But due to the extensive buying of Taurus (ES64U2) locomotives for them, even many more modern units were put for sale. A total of 3 Siemens built 141s today serve Hectorrail on its freight and passenger trains.

Pictures by Gerry Putz and Hannu Peltola.
Hectorrail class 141 numbers 003 in Hallsberg, Sweden
Hectorrail class 141 with Veolia coaches on the bridge, Stockholm, Sweden
Hectorrail class 141 with Veolia coaches on the bridge, Stockholm, Sweden
Hectorrail class 141 with Veolia coaches on the bridge, Stockholm, Sweden
Hectorrail class 141 with Veolia coaches on the bridge, Stockholm, Sweden
Hectorrail class 141 with Veolia coaches on the bridge, Stockholm, Sweden
 
Hector Rail class 241 Traxx in Solna, Sweden
Almost last but by no means least: Hector Rail also runs 12 (more will be following these) TRAXX locomotives supplied by Bombardier. The locomotives are a common sight on the export freights running straight from Swedish industry yards to customers in Germany, fast and efficiently.

Picture of Hector Rail class 241 at Solna yard by John McKey.



Next will follow class 242 Taurus (ES64U2) locomotives by Siemens. These powerful multi use locos can also traffic basically anywhere in Europe and pull any train from high speed passenger service to heavy freights.

 

 

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More to follow soon!


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© 4rail.net Railroad Reference 2004 - 2012   -   Created in 18.1.2012 John McKey, Updated 16.2.2012