The International Steam Pages
Notes - Steam in Turkey 1984, Part 3
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 earlier tales in this series see:
A map of the area is included at the bottom of the page.
On 4th October 1984, after a midday visit to Civril we settled back for the long journey and a race against time to reach Egridir in time for the 16.30 to Isparata, so why bother with the Civril detour? The number bashers had to have their turn.
We travelled through some beautiful mountain country, with villages sheltering at their bases. The coach was not air-conditioned and it was hot, but there was plenty of cool water, which they distribute free of charge on normal road service. I could see why the coaches were attractive to the locals when compared with the grubby run down condition of carriages supplied for many train services.
On reaching Egridir we headed for the famous bridge and leaving the comforts of the coach I started to scramble up the steep hillside, with pauses to catch my breath and gaze at the pristine lake below. Just in time to catch my breath as the engine whistle was heard from the station. Fans desperately encouraged others to complete the climb, or “GET OUT OF MY SHOT”, it turned out to be a shunt of the empty stock. Gasping at the top of the slope and now looking down on the viaduct I drank in the heady view. What anywhere else would have been a tourist hotel in the best position was a Turkish army headquarters; we had passed a group of soldiers below the viaduct in a truck, but they were not interested in our antics.
When the engine did appear it looked great in the late afternoon sun with the aqua blue water below and it was clagging gamely with elderly G10 55022 at the point. This was a perfect setting and that was worth coming all this way for. The line goes into a sweeping climbing curve after the bridge and as we scrambled back down the hillside we were able to see the train again high above us, with the G10 slogging away on the tremendous climb out of Egridir. What a superb location and how lucky to see the train in such good conditions.
The coach took us towards Burdur en route we found a G8 0-8-0 44071 tender first heading a single coach train rolling along near a road crossing, it made a nice shot in the low light.
Arrival at Burdur was after light failed, G8 44043 was ready to depart tender first on a mixed, the engine had been cleaned and looked splendid, but the driver kept yelling “Aziz” (police).
Another lengthy drive took us back to our hotel in Afyon, where some of our fans found the energy to go and ride the night steam hauled Posta to Konya. We did not know at the time that this service had only a week or two to go before diesels took over. I thought the day had been terrific and had enough steam action to satisfy me.