The International Steam Pages

Once upon a time, long ago,
Kriegsloks in Turkey, October 1981

Wilson Lythgoe has been circulating friends with some steam pictures taken some time back and with his permission and encouragement they are reproduced on these pages and will be added to from time to time. Click here for the index.

In the late 1970s, before the days of the internet, I had two major sources of information on world steam. One was the Continental Railway Journal and the other was a marvellous book by Ron Ziel and Mike Eagleson published in 1973 and called 'The Twilight of World Steam'. Twilight covered 54 countries, contained over 550 pictures, and was full of useful details.

Take for instance the following piece on German Railways: "......the famous Kriegslokomotiven - war locomotives - of which an incredible total of more than 10,000 were built between 1939 and 1945. Thousands of these were operated throughout the vast areas of the Third Reich, and even in the final years of European steam, they were the mainstays of the rosters of eight countries and could be found in several more."

Now I was a little late for West German steam and had no desire to penetrate the Iron Curtain, but according to the same book 43 Kriegsloks were supplied new to the Turkish Railways during World War II. The Continental Railway Journal told me some were still being used in Turkey on the two lightly laid lines stretching from Izmir to Afyon where, due to weight restrictions, they were the most modern class available.

The main passenger service between those two cities was the mixed that left Izmir just after noon and took till 4 the next morning to complete the 400 km journey the day I took the train. No sleepers on the train so I travelled first class costing the equivalent of NZ$2. My notes also show the bus would have cost twice that but only taken about 5 hours!

('World Steam' once described the Turkish Timetable as an 'anonymous work of fiction'. Trains ran incredibly late and if you saw one apparently on time then it was probably 24 hours late! RD)

2-10-0 5609 (Henschel, 1943) on a subbie to Izmir Basmane. There were two major stations at Izmir: Basmane and Alsancak. Their lines crossed over one another on the flat, to the right of the signal box, in the middle of Izmir:

57010 (2-10-2, Henschel, 1933) and 56504 (Henschel, 1943) on the daily mixed to Denizli just before the diamond crossing. 

56507 (Henschel, 1943) waiting at Izmir Basmane with the daily mixed to Afyon. The carriages are behind the loco and then the freight. I always thought the Kriegs with smoke deflectors were a classier looking loco than those without.


56504 (Henschel, 1943) leaving Afyon with either an unscheduled passenger train or more likely one that was running extremely late. Apart from the major expresses I found it very hard to get train timetable information in Turkey as nothing seemed to be posted on the station notice boards.


56528 (BMAG, 1943) leaving Afyon on the main line north to Istanbul and Ankara.

 An unidentified Krieg just outside Afyon on the Izmir line with a morning mixed.

Late afternoon another unidentified Krieg and 55017 (0-10-0, Nahob, 1928) approach Afyon with a mixed from the direction of Usak.

Another smokey departure with another unidentified Krieg:

56509  (Henschel, 1943) on the approach to Afyon

Rob Dickinson