The International Steam Pages

Case Notes - Steam in Turkey 1984, Part 2
Kutahya and Afyon

Terry Case writes about his travels for steam. Further tales will follow from time to time covering more of Australia, India, South Africa, Indonesia and Pakistan.

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A couple of days were spent visiting steam locations prior to re-joining our tour train at Afyon. A map of the area is included at the bottom of the page. Kutahya’s pilot 8F 2-9-0 45168 (NB 1941 WD), was just brewing up and ready to move away from the water tower as we arrived in the early afternoon of 3rd October 1984. It engaged in a spot of shunting with European type semaphores providing the backdrop, quite exotic for an old 8F.

Contrasts, British built 8F amidst European semaphores.

In the yard was another W.W.2 locomotive, Kriegslok was 56517 (MBA 1943) at the head of a freight which was evidently ready for departure to Afyon. The Krieg made an interesting contrast to the undersized British locomotive.

To get a departure shot we drove out of town, this was my first opportunity to see a Krieg at work and it was quite a performance as it hurtled along the mainline with a black smoke trail, the whistle screaming, as it sped past.

A visit to Tavsanli and on to Tuncbilek, enabled fans to ride or photograph the branch mixed. Power was a G10 0-10-0 (although Standard 2-10-0s shared the working). Approximately mid-way along the short branch was a village halt from where the the line took a sweeping curve a nice spot to view G10 55041 (BMAG 1924).

The villagers still used a water wheel, old technology but cost effective! 

 The noisy departure from the village as the elderly machine dragged it lengthy mixed along was a pleasure to listen to.

Most of the fans wanted to visit the shed at Tavsanli, this gave a few of us time to walk to the yard entrance to be rewarded by a late afternoon shot of the G10 arriving, with steam on…very nice.

I walked back to the coach and was able to see G10s 55030 and 55047 together with standard 56100 (VF 1948), all in steam outside the shed together with dumped G8 44057 (Hanomag 1906). Other fans reported more Standard 2-10-0s and G10s on shed. The G10s seemed to have replaced the two 4-8-0s and a G8.2 which had been used as pilots as recently as April when the shed had an allocation of 12 locomotives.

Despite having a permit to visit the shed and our TCDD official accompanying us the shed master had not only refused to accept a visit, but also sent for the police. A decree from the military government had recently been published to the effect no shed buildings were to be photographed and a recent terrorist attack on the Turkish embassy in France was somehow dragged in to justify this crack down!

Cliché Island, we left town in a hurry and even Siambe our TCDD minder was a worried man! The authorities were again no longer tolerant of fans. I later met a small group of fans who had visited Tuncbilek shed without a permit in May and the shed master had invited them in for tea. On their October trip they had been arrested for a short while for taking photos of trains.

Next morning saw us traveling by coach to a position in a river valley, not far out of Afyon for the 07.05 departure to Usak which ran over an hour late. By the time the Mixed reached our position we had lost the best light of the morning. A shame as this affected the shots further on near the summit. However once again I saw a Krieg being thrashed; if noise was anything to go by. It was the same locomotive we had seen the previous afternoon, 56517.

This next shot involved running a fair distance and climbing a steep hillside to see the train running alongside a river with hills overlooking, not bad but little exhaust. (In those days I was fitter and my knees did not protest at the thought of strenuous exercise). Most fans stayed in the village near where the coach was stopped to take their photos. The locomotive did a spot of shunting which allowed some to join the Mixed (a coach was positioned next to the locomotive). In October the sugar beet harvest increased the loading on these trains.

The final shot of note was at the summit, the locomotive was working hard, but the late morning heat and a skilled fireman meant no clag, if only I had a video then! It had been a pleasant morning to see an locomotive working hard in beautiful scenery.

We left the Krieg and its train to drive to Civril a small town at the end of a branch line where 57007 a 2-10-2 was a large presence in the small two road shed, with its two empty coaches still attached! I was underwhelmed.

Rob Dickinson