The Railway - History

The idea of building a railway in the forest at lake Örkaggen was born in 1969. That year my parents bought a forest farm by the name Örkaggsnäs. To finance the purchase, a lot of trees were taken down and sold. The logs were transported out of the forest during the winter, so when the snow melted quite a number of forgotten logs were found. I made trials with ropeways to get the logs down to the lake. Even a log railway was considered. The thought of a real railway was very distant.

Loco 1 with wagon
Loco 1 with wagon

In 1974 I did my military service in Karlborg. Once when driving a car during an exercise I passed a closed peat bog close to lake Örlen outside Tibro in Västergötland. Beside the road was a heap of rails ! Immediately the idea to build my own railway came to me. I found out who owned the rails, went their to negotiate a fair price, and was suddenly the owner of 20 tons of rail ! I sold about half to a scrap iron dealer. This financed the lorry that brought the rails, spikes, wheels and switches home to Örkaggsnäs.

Track laying
Track laying started immediately. I spiked rails onto ties cut from the forgotten logs in the forest so when the raiway reached the place in the forest were the trees were cut down, all logs were already consumed as ties ! At the end of the 1970's the railway was 800 meter long. The following winter during a new tree cutting activity a tractor managed to drive along and on top of 100 meter of railway. No trains could use that section of the railway after that incident !

After a couple of year with low activity the situation became worrying. The ties, which were not impregnated, started to rot away. the railway became shorter with each year. An electrical cutting disc and a welding machine was what changed the situation and saved the railway. I started to weld cut pieces of rail as ties to the rails. This way I manufactured track sections, each 5 meter long. I used a heavier rail I got for free from another closed down peat bog. Since 1994, all track is exchanged to welded frames.

Up till now I have bought, or got for free, rails at five different instances. Each time 10-20 tons plus switches wheels and other stuff.

As I needed more swithes than I could find I had to start manufacture my own. After some initial trials this turned out to be real easy. I am especially fond of building stub switches. They are the easiest to build and as I have wagons with double flanged wheel sets they are a must.

Loco 1
Loco 1 as it looked when found in 1974

The first locomotive
I found my first locomotive at Alebäcken outside Tibro. It had been standing outside for many years and was in a lousy condition. A friend bought me a cheap car engine and installed it. Since then I have built three locos on my own and renovated an English made Simplex loco. I even built a small steam locomotive once, but it was not powerful enough so it was never used.

The railway is not finished. Plans of extensions and modifications are ever present. An additional wagon or carriage is built now and then. The combined distance travelled by all locos is 150-200 km per year and this on a railway that is only 2.3 km long.