Pantograph Testing in Sweden in 1979

In November 1979 the author spent a week in Sweden supporting the Svenska Jarnvägsklubbens (SJ) trials of the then still developing BR/Brecknell Willis pantograph.

SJ were testing several European pantographs on their experimental 3-car X15 EMU for fitting to their prototype tilting train which eventually became known as X2000.

Testing was carried out on the main Western line which runs between Gothenburg (Göteborg) and Stockholm, primarily between Skövde and Molholm and the train was based in the goods yard at Töraboda.

I and a colleague stayed in the local hotel in the town which, at the time of year, was rather quiet to say the least. Entertainment was very sparse so we were not sorry to get back to the bright lights of Gothenburg at the end of the tests.

During the trials speeds of up to 200 km/h (125 mile/h) were achieved with the pantograph.

Click on the image for a bigger picture - all photos are the authors

Sweden centre map A map of the centre of Sweden between Stockholm and Gothenburg. The testing took place between Molholm and Skövde.
Rc4 leaving Gothenburg ASEA class Rc4 loco No: 1148 awaits departure from Gothenburg on the afternoon of 4th November 1979 with an express for Stockholm.
Test Header Part of the test results sheets prepared by SJ engineers for the BR/Brecknell Willis pantograph trials
A general shot of the goods yard at Töraboda.
A view from the train roof at Töraboda.
An early morning view of Töraboda station - looks cold and it was!
1172 passes Moholm Class Rc4 No:1172 passes Moholm with an express
Moholm A class F 1-Do-1 electric loco No:696 hauls a train of older stock past Moholm
During the test we ran both ways on one line of the main route between Molholm and Skövde. Here's a shot taken from the test train whilst overtaking a service train at 200 km/h
The test train at Skövde station having just completed a test run.
x15 at Skovde The X15 3-car EMU sits in the sidings at Skövde between test runs The BR/Brecknell Willis pantograph can be discerned towards the centre of the train.
Against a bright sun class Rc2 No:1010 passes the test train at Skövde
Control panel The BR control panel for the pantograph's pneumatic systems was thoughtfully labelled in Swedish.
1046 passing test site As the daylight fades class Rc2 No:1046 is pictured passing the test site
x15 passing test site The X15 test train passes the instrumented OHLE site on a cold November afternoon....
................ and disappears into the gloom.
Skovde map A large scale map showing Skövde, Molholm and Töraboda.

Following the tests SJ very kindly arranged a cab ride back to Gothenburg on an ASEA Rc4 loco

Class Y6 diesel railcar at a station en route.
1020 en route to Stockholm Rc1 No:1020 passes with an express for Stockholm - November 9th 1979.
Falköping Falköping station where we stopped en route
Freight Two Da class locos on a freight train
Railcar A passing class X6 railcar.
Steeple cab A class U steeple cab.
Gothenburg The scene at Gothenburg station with a couple of ASEA class Rc bo-bo's and a class F 1-Do-1 in the background.
Gothenburg A close up of a class Du2 1-C-1 locomotive at Gothenburg.
Another class X6 railcar awaits departure from Gothenburg Station.
Steeple cab A Ub class steeple cab No:261 at Gothenburg.


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