The International Steam Pages

Case Notes - Steam in Turkey Part 13 (1986/1989)
Erzincan 8F

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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Erzincan was reached around midday; like other depots there was a dump of withdrawn locos, in this case oil burning Standard class. A leap in oil prices had seen their withdrawal. Erzincan only used steam on the pilot, but with a tour engine being replaced here and together with the pilot, Stanier 8F 45156 it briefly appeared busy.

Stanier 8F (TCDD 45156) pilots Standard 56124 

The 8F rode surprisingly well despite being hustled along by the big engine behind that seemed about to run over it! 

False arrival at Kemah.

The Kemah stationmaster supervised the detaching of the 8F

Underway again we did not get far before the Standard dropped part of its motion from the front driver. A protracted delay ensued as the crew isolated the front drivers and had us ready to go again as a six coupled loco.

In 1989 we again reached Divrigli, there was no longer any regular steam duties, but incredible scenery to be seen running alongside the Euphrates River.

G8.2 45016 running alongside the Euphrates River. 24the August 1989.


We only had a short time with oil burning 56052 (Krupp 1940) before we reached its home depot of Malatya, but the run pasts were energetic!

This was our reception at Malatya. The pipe and drum combo was enough to have railwaymen join an impromptu dance as many other staff and passengers looked on.

Malatya had no working steam, 56052 was reserved for railtour use. Apart from dumped standard class 34064 and 34066, 2-6-0s were also dumped.

In steam was a Middle Eastern class 46235 (Alco 1942). This engine had come overnight from its own depot of Diyarbakir where it was used as a pilot. The crew had run 253km to reach Malatya and now were struggling to get the Westinghouse pump to work, before we could get underway.

A water stop at a station with semaphore signals which were being replaced with CTC and so they too were becoming rare.

In 1986 and 1989 we had several runpasts over a most impressive viaduct set amongst hills near Golbasi, 56052 performing on 3rd September 1989

In 1986 on a day of searing heat the crew of the Middle Eastern class had to contend with the Westinghouse pump which continuing to malfunction. I had an unnerving footplate ride after the runpasts at Golbasi. The engine was an oil burner and only had a two man crew with no inspector or second fireman present. At one stage both driver and fireman were out on the running plate with the train in motion. To my horror I saw a tunnel ahead, I was glad my fellow rider was an experienced fireman. I was really relieved when the driver returned to the cab, but I still think of the consequences if the engine had gone into a spin or stalled. Conditions in the lengthy narrow tunnel were hellish and the fireman did not return till we were out, he looked absolutely wrecked as we gave him our water bottles to pour over his head.

In 1986 the last photo stop of the day was a marvellous run along the straight with the train catching the glint as it passed us onto a curve, with young shepherds looking on.

Rob Dickinson