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In summer 2019, Pilentum Television, was invited by Hässleholms Modelljärnvägsförening, one of the biggest model railway clubs in Sweden, to produce a video documentary about Sweden’s finest and largest model railroad layout. If you’re asking Swedish model railroaders and railway enthusiast, where to find the largest permanent model railway exhibition in Sweden, they will probably answer, this is the “Modelljärnväg Hässleholm”. By the way, the Swedish word “modelljärnväg” means “model railway” in British English and “model railroad” in American English.
In this video, Pilentum Television presents the “Modelljärnväg Hässleholm”, really one of the largest model railroad layouts built in HO scale in Sweden. Actually, this Swedish miniature world covers more than 700 square meters. This Swedish HO scale layout is a historically correct scale model of Hässleholm’s railway station, its locomotive shed and its buildings as they were in the late 1960’s. During the 20th century Hässleholm developed into a large railway junction because it was a crossing of all the Swedish railway lines that ran from the north to the south and from the east to the west.
Even today, Hässleholm is still an important railway junction in the network of the Swedish State Railways, also known as “Statens Järnvägar”. That was the reason why Hässleholm’s model railway association decided to build a model railroad layout of the whole region. Since 2004, the Swedish miniature world has been growing continuously and is to be expanded extensively over the next few years. Until today, the HO scale layout was taking around 100,000 man hours.
The layout occupies more than 700 square meters and consists of 1,600 meters of track, 400 points (switches) and more than 600 electrical blocks including block occupancy detection decoders and a signal system. Many historical buildings, which no longer exist today, were reconstructed as they looked in the 1960’s. The track fields and the position of the rails were laid exactly on the model railway layout according to plans and drawings of the Swedish traffic administration.
Because the “Modelljärnväg Hässleholm” presents Sweden’s railways in the 1960’s, we cannot expect the famous high-speed trains, called “X 2000” or “X2”, which are used in Sweden today. There are no tilting trains and no high-speed trains. There are freight trains, local passenger trains and the famous Y6, Y7 and Y8 series of diesel railcars. These motor cars were used throughout the unelectrified Swedish rail network during the 1950’s to the 1980’s. On the layout, there are also the X5, X8 and X15 series of electric multiple units operated by “Statens Järnvägar” as express trains. Also the X9 series of four-car electric multiple units, once operated by the Swedish State Railways, also known as “Statens Järnvägar”, which were in service until the late 1990’s, are presented on the HO scale layout.
By the way, that sharp reddish orange color gave the trains the nickname “Paprika Trains” (“Pepper Trains”). The rolling stock of this Swedish miniature world also consists of the famous “SJ Class Ra”, also known as “Rapid”, an electric locomotive operated by Swedish State Railways. Those electric locomotives were used on express trains and were mainly taken out of service in the late 1980’s. The size of the whole layout makes it necessary to use a digital control system. Hässleholm’s model railway association is using the software “Train Controller Gold”. Control of train sets, occupancy detectors and locomotive decoders are based on the digital model train control system, also known as DCC. Please, enjoy this video, and don’t forget to visit this layout, called “Modelljärnväg Hässleholm”, when you are going to make a journey to Sweden.