The International Steam Pages


Jädraås–Tallås Järnväg (JTJ) - a Swedish Preserved Railway

James had a flying visit here on July 2016, on a non-operating day. The major impending change is that "Mallet no. 12 is coming to the end of the road for the time being as its tyres are worn to almost nothing - and anyone wanting to see it in action might do well to go sooner rather than later. There's some possibility that Mallet no. 8 will be operational instead before too long but it's not yet a runner." 


James Waite reports on his visit in July 2006.

The Jädraås–Tallås Järnväg is one of the best of the Swedish preserved lines and  runs for a distance of 6 km in the Gästrikland region about 60 km northwest of Gävle. It is the surviving remnant of the Dala–Ockelbo–Norrsundet Järnväg (DONJ), an 891 mm gauge line running eastwards from Linghed for 86 km to Norrsundet on the Baltic coast. The railway was built principally to handle the traffic in timber and metal ores which were exported through Norrsundet. It closed to passengers in 1959 and to all traffic in October 1970 when the JTJ organisation took over the stretch between Jädraås and Tallås. In 2004 the line was extended for 1.5 km westwards from Tallås to a new station at Svartbäcken. For much of its distance the present line runs through the pine forest characteristic of central and northern Sweden and alongside an lake though it's difficult to get the lake into lineside pics. 

Jädraås must have been an important operating centre for the old railway with a substantial loco roundhouse, works, a forge, store buildings and passenger and goods stations, many of which still survive. Some are built from the local slag-stone acquired from old blast-furnaces and some from the red-painted timber which is so characteristic of many buildings throughout Sweden. 

One of the most distinctive features of the old DONJ was a series of three large 0-6-6-0 Mallet locos, nos. 1, 8 and 12, built for it by Atlas of Stockholm in 1910 (James knows I have a soft spot for Mallets having seen lots at work in Indonesia. RD). Two of these locos survive today. Other survivors from the DONJ include a remarkable vertical-boilered 4-wheel steam railcar built by Atlas in 1888, an equally remarkable vertical-boilered steam inspection vehicle built by the railway itself in 1898, a similar-sized petrol driven inspection trolley dating from 1910 (locally built for the Ågsbanan, a DONJ branchline) and a considerable number of its carriages and wagons. The preservation of so much of the old railway’s rolling stock and the extensive group of original buildings make make this a really fascinating place with oodles of authentic character.

There are plenty of photographic opportunities around the loco shed and buildings at Jädraås. Out on the line much of the route is hemmed in by woodland. Much the most photogenic spot is a 4-span girder bridge over the river just to the west of Tallås station.

Notes on the steam locos

No. 2 “Korsån” - A tiny 0-6-2T (Falun works number 21 of 1902) built for the Ågsbanan. A delightful little engine.

No. 4 “Sigbjörn” - An 0-6-0T (Motala works number 273 of 1901) rescued after the closure of the Byvalla–Långshyttan Järnväg ('BLJ'), an 891 mm gauge line about 80 km to the west of Gävle where it ran as their no. 8. The BLJ closed in 1964

No. 8 - One of the two surviving 0-6-6-0 Mallet locos, Atlas works number 113 of 1910. Ran in service on the DONJ until its closure in 1970 and on the JTJ for many years afterwards. Withdrawn in need of major overhaul in 1993.

No. 9 “Tallås” - A 2-4-0T from the BLJ where it carried the same number. Not around when I was there and apparently undergoing major overhaul. (The picture of Tallas at the back of the shed below is courtesy of Neil Edwards who visited the line on 22nd May 2015. RD)

 

No. 12 - The other surviving 0-6-6-0 Mallet loco, Atlas works number 114 of 1910. The loco was withdrawn from traffic in 1964 and was acquired by the National Railway Museum at Gävle in 1967. It returned to Jädraås in 1983 and first ran after restoration in October 1995.

“Majorn” - This 4-wheeled vertical-boilered steam railcar was built for the DONJ by Atlas of Stockholm in 1888. “Majorn” is colloquial Swedish for “Major”.

The railway's website is at http://www.jtj.org. Like most Swedish lines there's only a short operating season in midsummer. I was there for their gala weekend late in July, a good time to go when all the working locos, railcars etc. are in steam.


Rob Dickinson

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