The nerd in me strikes again
Ok, now when I have confessed that I’m a bit of a nerd – why leave that track immediately? No cover-up will help anyway, so here I go again. Let’s begin with a steam engine to get you in the right mood. The locomotive on the photo was built in 1911 by Nydqvist & Holm (a k a NOHAB) in Trollhättan and delivered to Västergötland-Göteborgs Järnvägar. Yep, it’s a narrow gauge line (891 mm).
And now a quick jump to something completely different: a railcar. It may look modern, but… well, it once was. This one was built by Hilding Carlssons Mekaniska Verkstad in Umeå and delivered in 1952 so it’s definitely a vintage railcar now. These used to be a common sight on lines not defined as “main lines” until they were phased out in the early 80’s.
History on wheels! This railcar was built by Kalmar Verkstads AB and delivered to Västergötland-Göteborgs Järnvägar in 1923 as an early attempt to rationalise and cut costs. The private railway companies tried various solutions to keep costs down and it didn’t take long before they understood and appreciated the possibilities railcars provided. Less staff needed and cheaper maintenance. This train is quite unique; the car it pulls is the same car as it once pulled during its active service on Trollhättan-Nossebro Järnväg. They have been “separated” since it was sold in the 40’s and began working together again when the railcar was renovated and taken into service again in 2009.
Diesel engines replaced steam gradually during the 50’s. The majority of the Swedish private railways were nationalized one by one following a decision by the Parliament in the early 30’s. The Swedish State Railways took over a number of railways with rolling stock in both good and bad condition. Anyway, the steam era was coming to an end and the State Railways came to the conclusion that they had to be replaced by modern times and therefore ordered the Tp-engine from Germany mainly intended for goods service but it happened that they were used in passenger service as well.
The only exception to the rule were a couple of narrow gauge lines in Småland (a Swedish landscape) where steam ruled until the early 60’s – these locomotives were too heavy for those lines. The Tp-engines stayed in service until the narrow gauge epoque ended in Sweden. To be honest, it hasn’t ended yet – there is one commuter railway line with passenger service in Stockholm that is very much alive, but it’s probably an exception to the rule.