The Regina project         -           The construction of a swedish N-scale EMU


Part 1 -  preparations
This is the first chapter of an upcoming series describing the work  from an idea to, as I hope, a running N-scale model of Bombardiers EMU Regina.
An intercity train developed for regional traffic in Sweden.

  Part 1  -  Preparations                               2002-12-05
  Part 2  -  Resizing the chassis                2003-01-03
  Part 3  -  Restart with new technique    2005-11-06
  Part 4  -  Painting                                      2005-12-01
  Gallery - Photos of model and prototypes.  
 

 
Background
The rolling stock on the Skultuna layout is mainly based on N-scale models of  Swedish modern image. In H0-scale that wouldn´t be a problem. There are a lot of Swedish models in the market, both exclusive short series and standard items from Märklin, Fleischmann, Lima and Roco.

In N-scale there are just a few models available. Fleischmanns two engines SJ Du2 and SJ RC4, a few coaches and waggons and there is a total lack of EMU:s and DMU:s. It makes things more difficult, but it is at the same time the challenge that makes this type of modelling interesting.

Most of my models are therefore scratchbuilt items. There is quite a job to find chassis that will suite my needs to model both engines and DMU:s. For the moment I have used chassis from Minitrix, Fleischmann, Graham Farish and Tomix. 

The main traffic theme on the layout is regional passenger traffic with EMU:s and the running models are from the period around 1990, the time when the line at Skultuna was withdrawn. On the pictures below are my models of those EMU:s. An orange X21, originally built in the mid 50:s and the blue and white X10 built in the 80:s. Both types of trains are still operating lines in mid-Sweden, though in other colours and with other operators.
     
On my layout, the Skultuna line is still running and now it´s  time for some modernisation of the rolling stock. The choice of train was rather easy to do.

Regina class X50- X54
In the summer of 2001 Bombardier introduced the EMU Regina on services in mid-Sweden. The trains are assembled in Västerås, just 15 km away from Skultuna and the first operator to run the train was "Västmanlands Länstrafik", which is one of the the local operators in this county.

The Reginas are made in different classes, X50 - X54 and delivered to
SJ the Swedish State Railways and to many local operators. 
It is probably the broadest EMU in Europe. With it´s 3,4 meters it exceedes most standards.

The trains had a lot of negative attention during the first winterperiod. There was problems with bad wheels, frozen watertanks and stuck pantographs which forced many of the trains to repeatedly servicestops. The passengers could never be sure that there would be a train at scheduled time.

The problems was corrected by Bombardier during the spring and summer of 2002 and now the trains are well operating.

June 2002 - Time for planning
During the summer I took a lot of photos of different Regina units at Västerås station which is situated just one minute´s walk from my office. 

Two double sets of X52 from SJ

Local operator "Västmanlands lokaltrafik"
has got Reginas of class X50 which was the first class on track.

Two more X52 waiting to get in service.

With the photos and some datasheets with dimensions I made a first "mockup" made of papersheet. It is just a preliminary sketch, 
the nose is not correct.

Click to see the drawing scale-size

Challenges
The size of the unit and the specially formed nose makes it necessarily to really think of how to make this model.

  • To have a chance to make more than one train set I have to figure out some way to mass-produce the nose.
  • Another problem is that the chassis is longer than the normal chassis.
    In N scale (1:160) the wheelbase would be 119mm, while normally a long chassi is about 95 mm. You have to extend such a chassie with 24 mm if You can´t find the right chassis by any luck.

Chassis
Most hobby shops usually have a minimal amount of items in stock.
Thats a pity when you are looking for chassis to adapt to scratchbuilt bodys.
I really want to look and "squeeze" a little before purchasing anything and that could hardly be done by looking at pictures. 

While searching for a chassis I found a second-hand Fleiscmann unit, DB litt 612, cat.nr 7434. The wheelbase was almost exact. But the model wasn´t good enough, driving only on one boogie and that boogie was even short of one cog wheel, so the driving was only on one axle.
  
Passing San Francisco a couple of days in november I made my way to Franciscan Hobbies, a quite well-stocked shop at Ocean Avenue.

Among all other N-stuff they had not less than five different plain chassis suitable for motor units, some from Green Max and a couple from Kato. 
The Kato 11-102 was a 20 meters chassis that was running nice and smooth, though a little bit too short. The price was about 30$ and with that price you could take the risk to make some surgery to extend the lenght of the chassis. 

 It is a low-built chassis, which gives possibilitys to make a nice see-through body if necessary. But the prototype has dark tinted windows and in N-scale it could be enough to have black-painted windows, but still the possibilty is there. 

22 Nov 2002
Next chapter will cover the surgery that was made to extend the chassis from 95 to 119 mm.

 

Photos and drawing: Olle Frykmo aug 2002

 

 
Next chapter, extending the chassis --->