The International Steam Pages

Case Notes - Steam in Turkey 1984, Part 4
Afyon to Konya

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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On 5th October 1984 we were back on our tour train for the remainder of the trip. I had decided to have breakfast in the dining car before the train departed, scheduled for 08.00, the actual departure was over an hour late. Instead I became distracted and had a good early morning session in the yard.

This is 46052 a Henschel 2-8-2 is seen in the station area.

This locomotive had been assigned to the tour train for the next four days, but the organisers added a bit more variety by having 56070 a Henschel “Standard” 2-10-0 built in 1941 switched from the 07.30 freight, that was re scheduled to run behind us.

My tight film budget went out of the window as there were so many shots to be had of the shunters and locomotives coming off shed, these included:

Krieg 56518 (MBA 1943) for the Kutahya freight
Pilots, all 2-10-2s, 57001,  57002 and 57009 (Krupp 1933) 
2-8-2 46052 (Henschel 1937) Konya freight
Krieg 56531 (BMAG 1943) Usak freight, double-headed with another Krieg, this train had still not left at 09.15 when we departed.

Locomotives coming of shed with a steam coal grab and pilot at work in the distance.

56518 was assigned to the Kutahya freight.

46052 is re-assigned to a Konya freight working.

56070 passes one of the three 57 class 2-10-2s on pilot work.

56531 backs out of the shed yard.

56070 works a photo run-past alongside a pristine lake.

I found the baggage car with its wide open doors provided an excellent post to listen to the locomotive and view the countryside whilst chatting to fellow railfans.

I was soon on the footplate joining Andy Clarke who was spotting run-pasts and Melhi our guide, translator and fixer. The crew was augmented by an inspector, this was usual practice for the tour. I was surprised at how high the cab was from the rails, I had expected a small-wheeled locomotive to have a cab a bit closer to the ground; however they were designed to make full use of the European loading gauge. I was told that the boilers of the (first) batch were the same as those for the Henschel mikes, whilst the Standards are a large locomotive to be hand fired they are free steamers. These locomotives would normally slug it out on lengthy freights, but were capable of running freely. The fireman would have been having a holiday working this 3 coach train, although at times he worked hard converting the power into speed. We kept ahead of the freight behind us and had ample time for photo runs.

When the crew tried their hand at photo stops they set well back, it would have been superb video! The only distraction was the “shriek” whistle. Nils Huxtable with whom I shared a compartment described the whistle as “like a dying canary”.

Around lunchtime the locomotive was put in a loop at Argithan and took water whist waiting to cross the mixed from Konya. Some of us walked forward to a hillside from where we recorded Standard 2-10-0 56098 (VF 1948) arrive on train 217 at 13.45. This was a lengthy mixed, with three coaches at the front, we vacated the hillside, which had been set ablaze by 56098, even on level track the locomotive had been worked hard! 

Following a water stop and false departure in the mid afternoon session I had another cab ride before the train made the ascent to Bozdag summit. We were treated to a series of photo stops, running forward to save time and scrambled in four shots as the sun sank. The descent to Konya was broken by a cross with 56106 (BP 1948) at the head of a lengthy freight.

Dinner was served in the dining car before we arrived well after dark at Konya. Here another civic reception was waiting us; (thanks Melhi!). This time there was a bonus in the form of the mayor leading us on a tour of the “forbidden” roundhouse, allaying the shed master’s fears. Turkish Mayors were sufficiently high in the political hierarchy to be able to direct the local police to interpret the law the way they saw it. In the roundhouse and in steam were Henschel 2-8-2s, including:- 46051, 46055, 46056, 46057, 46059, 46061. 2-10-0s on shed included:- Standard “Improved” 2-10-0s 56132 and 56133 (CKD 1949). So I had seen Standard 2-10-0s from 4 builders and 3 countries during the day. Also on shed were 56140 and 56152. The Konya pilots were also here:- G8.2 2-8-0s 45011 (Nohab 1928) and 45192, together with a S160 2-8-0 (Baldwin 1943). That gave me quite a variety of classes seen that day.

In the yard waiting departure on a freight train was another Standard 2-10-0, whilst a diesel with a train heater van was waiting to work the night “Posta” pass (in this week working in turn with a steam loco on alternate nights).

The evening was spent drinking in a beer hall, Melhi, our guide / organiser came along as well. At this time Turkey was still a secular state and many still praised Ataturk for separating it from its Islamic past.

Rob Dickinson