The International Steam Pages

Case Notes - Steam in Turkey Part 14 (1986/1989)
Kopruagazi to Ulukisla

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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For other tales in this series see:

Kopruagazi 2-6-0 34062 (Henschel 1933), posed with some wagons prior to taking over the tour train for a run on the Kahramanmaras branch. The engine was an oil burner re-conditioned for the tour.

34062 pushes back prior to a runpast, in the foreground is an encampment for cotton pickers.

On the return to Kopruagazi 56109 whisked us along in the dusk, but when we reached Fevzipassa there was no sign of the engine booked to pilot us. The decision was made to go it alone. A small group gathered in the baggage car to listen as the engine tackled this mountainous area with grades of 1 in 38 and a 4km tunnel. 

I woke at Yenice and took a look at 46016 taking water, the sun was not yet up and 56153 was ready to be added to the train. We were now back in the zone for burning locos. Unfortunately the 46 class 4-8-0 was in poor condition, it was used as a pilot at Mersin and had been substituted for the selected Henschel that had failed. After a number of runpasts we detached 46016, 56153 taking train into the Taurus Mountains. See also Through the Cilician Gate.

In 1986 Standard 56153 is prepared for the run through the mountain pass to Ciftehan.

Approaching Ciftehan.

Not far out of Ciftehan heading to Ulukisla, a solid climb to tax the engine and crew:

The fireman will be relieved that Ulukisla Junction is not far away where there was a crew change scheduled.

At Ulukisla there was time to relax in the station beer garden. At first it appeared there was no longer a steam pilot, but 56153 did not continue to its home depot of Konya. A new tour engine 56112 (BP 1948) was provided by Konya, leading to speculation that this was part of an exchange of shunting engines. What a great day and a fantastic line. Of course I would love to have done this when it was still rostered for steam, but that was long ago.

Rob Dickinson