The International Steam Pages

Case Notes - Steam in Turkey Part 15 (1986)

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.

Click here for the Case Notes Index.

For other tales in this series see:

When I visited Afyon in 1984 it was a busy steam centre, by September 1986 there was little steam action. At the depot a Kriegslok was ready to go off shed with a diesel to run a freight to Dinar. G10s 55022/024 and 044 were in light steam ready for pilot duties, 57026 was being prepared to take over our train later that night. In the yards a G10 0-10-0 and a 57 2-10-2 were doing some shunting. 

Kriegslok 56516 was the tour engine for a round trip that evening to Kutahya and Seyitomer. The branch was one of the steepest lines in Turkey, it climbed most of the 26km to the summit at Seyitomer and I was the lucky cab rider to have the final long stretch. It was a great thrash the old Krieg really shouting away. There were four crew members, one acting as pilot and two firemen taking turns. Two tunnels had to be negotiated on this section and the sparks cascaded by and into the cab. 

Seyitomer was the site of a massive mine complex, a diesel hauled coal train was being loaded. Our engine was rapidly attached to the train for a tender first run back to Afyon. 

57026 hauled our train overnight from Afyon to Karakuyu, here it was exchanged for G8 44071; it seemed remarkable that these elderly 0-8-0s were still in regular service.

56503 was crossed on the Isparta pass, which had been made into a lengthy train with additional coaches being added for the army, making it into a troop train. 

Burdur depot with G8 44069 ready to leave.

At Burdur we had time to visit the small shed; G8 44069 was in steam and departed to the station to work a passenger train. 44055 and 56518 were in light steam whilst 44062 was cold; all the other locos were out on line work. It was pleasing to be in an area where steam still had regular work.

I had a footplate ride on the G8 for the section to Gumusgun, the cab interior was painted white and was clean, the brass work had all been polished, the shovel had been given attention sporting a white shaft and handle. The crew dressed the part in white shirts and wore ties; a slick operators who knew their stuff.

At Gumusgun 56512 was waiting on a sugar beat train which departed promptly. The tour train was held at the station till 56536 arrived looking ridiculous on a on a 1 coach. 

The afternoon was spent on the hillside at Egridir overlooking the bridge as Kriegslok 56550 joined our G8 running a variety of consists for photographers. That should have been a tour highlight, but overcast light and a thunderstorm spoiled the effort. The tour train joined the regular 16.30 to Isparata with the G8 & Krieg double heading. After stopping to collect photographers at the bridge they made a rousing ascent. The line climbs steadily to curve back on itself to pass high over the viaduct and town. 

At Isparata the trains were separated, 56550 continuing alone on the passenger.

The following morning the tour train was hauled from Isparata hauled by the G8. Kriegslok 56550 running tender first was crossed on the two coach express to Isparata.

At Karakuyu. 56518 was seen departing on a lengthy mixed, sugar beat season saw extra wagons are added to such trains.. 

Karakuyu 56518 departs on a mixed.

56518 departs on a mixed, passengers look at the antics of the photographers

There is a hard climb out of Karakuyu to Dinar and the little G8 blasted up the mountainside unassisted with a 5 coach load. 

G8 444071 is having its tender replenished by a steam coal grab on Dinar depot.

At Dinar the G8 was serviced at the small depot, the only other steam here was 57010 under repair. 56531 which had been shunting when we arrived joined the rear of a long diesel hauled freight that it would bank after our train departed. 

57026 took the tour down the short branch to Civril where it was met by school children dressed in black uniforms holding large Turkish flags. The branch still had a steam hauled mixed and 57013 was on the small shed and later did some shunting.

The afternoon was spent riding the line to Pamkkale, there were a few grades. We inspected 57014 at the small depot, it had worked in on a mixed. That night we visited the famous rock pools which were lit by floodlights. The mineral formations looked like snow and ice sculptures. A late night departure then saw us trundle back to the main line. 

The Soke branch featured Stephenson 2-8-2 (R.S. 1932), its regular working the Odemis mixed was instead rostered for a 57 class . 46105 appeared to be a British style loco with continental features added. The sun came out at Soke to light the engine as it shunted the stock, but once underway we had a day of overcast sky, so the video was used to cover most of the action. 

There were some entertaining run-pasts; the branch had some cliff faces that provided interesting background. The engine had its work cut out, returning us to the junction with the mainline at Ortaklar where 57026 was ready to double head us to Izmir.

The train descends to Seljuk.

I had a lengthy spell on the footplate of the 57 class riding all the way from Ortaklar to the Camlik summit. The 57 class worked well below full pressure; and a steady stream of hot water had to be dodged when the regulator was opened. The crew did not seem worried and with 46105 in good form doing most of the work. We had a couple of run-pasts and then approaching Camlik there was a loud bang from underneath the cab, the train was stopped to inspect 57026, the ashpan was damaged; but some quick repairs were made to get us back in action.

In the fields labourers were harvesting crops of melons, apples, olives and cotton, mechanization had yet to make inroads into these activities.

From Camlik there was a steep descent to Seljuk where I had time to buy some fresh fruit and have a cold beer at the station kiosk, whilst the 57 class was detached, leaving the crew to shovel out the fire as the ash-pan had totally collapsed. 

Rob Dickinson