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Some of us on MRF are interested in the railways of the former East Germany, the post war Deutsche Demokratische Republik or DDR. Many were drawn to the Deutsche Reichsbahn (DR) of East Germany because steam working continued (officially) until 1988, fully 20 years after the demise of steam on British Railways and 10 years after the end of West German steam. What we found in the East was a preserved railway system little changed from before WWII. An effort had been made to electrify certain routes coupled with a gradual move to diesel traction but steam persisted because of the prohibitive cost of oil and the parlous economic situation of the DDR. Much of the industrial base in the East had been badly damaged in the war and much of what was left was expropriated by Russia as war reparation. In fact, many electric locomotives and many kilometres of overhead line equipment was moved to the USSR.



Now, some twenty years after the end of the Deutsche Reichsbahn and its merger with DB (Deutsche Bundesbahn of West Germany) following the collapse of the Iron Curtain (over 24 years ago), there are many who still feel nostalgia for the old system. Modelling for us is a way of recapturing some of that lost atmosphere and this thread is intended as a place of discussion, both the prototype and the models needed to depict the DR with some degree of accuracy.


A BR 242 ELok hauling a rake of double decker coaches enters Dresden Hauptbanhof high level platforms. I took this photograph on Kodachrome 64.

I hope that this thread proves to be pleasurable and informative.

Best regards ..................... Greyvoices (alias John)
 

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Hi John

Thank you for taking the time to set this up and wish it all the best and hope other members will use it as it is a very interesting subject , and I do hope that you do not mind my input to this thread as my own interested is in the war time use of the railway, as some of you know my intent to building and wartime layout when we have sorted out the selling and moving to a new location, I am at the moment well in to the building and making of all sorts of things to go with the layout.
Best Regards Dave
 
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John,
Many thanks for setting up the thread, hopefully we will have some interesting discussions.

I only visited East German first in 1994 but even then, there was plenty of old time atmosphere still around and I found it all very fascinating. The centre cab diesels seemed a curiosity to me and I was immediately taken with the Ludmilla class BR232 diesels. Many of the locations I visited appeared not have changed in decades with the old buildings and platforms still in place and having that atmospheric bit of decay. Actually, thinking about it the early post unification period is an interesting one too.

Now when I visit some of the stations I went to before or see recent pictures of them, I'm a bit saddened to see the modernisation has swept away the old character but that's progress I suppose. At least on our layouts we can recapture those memories.

As a first topic, maybe we could discuss cross border workings within the Warsaw Pact countries as there are some very interesting models be released,
Best wishes,
Simon
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Your interest and posts are very welcome Dave.

Turning to Simon's idea for our first topic ........... I spent about an hour last night leafing through some DR books looking for instances of "auslander" Loks with through running from Warsaw Pact countries. As I suspected, most trains were subjected to a loco change at the border except for the odd passenger workings.

However, if we go line by line we should be able to identify opportunities to run foreign locos on your DR layout, which may or may not involve slight adaptions of the truth - depending on your need for historical accuracy.

Let's first look at the Dresden <> Decin route along the Elbtal. In one of my books I found an illustration of a Czech (then classified as CSSR in the book) Class T.678 (familiarly known as a Goggle) working a freight in 1977 near Krippen, a location half way between Bad Schandau and the border with the then named Czechoslovakia at Bad Schandau Grenz. The distance between the border and Bad Schandau Hbf is I think about 11 kilometres. The exchange sidings are located at the Hbf.


I hasten to say that this is not the illustration in the book but is a representation of the same class 34 years later but in Brno. The livery of the T.678 was a much duller all over red with a grey band around the lower edge of the body.

The book in question is "Bahnerlebnis DDR", published by Gondrom in 1989 (just before the wall came down). I came across it in a bookshop in Quedlinburg in 1992. I paid about £0.30p for it, books from the DDR period being completely out of fashion by then. Pages 50 and 51 show the T.678 (in colour) and a good overview photo of the Bad Schandau exchange sidings. Well worth looking out for this book. I found one on sale here: A bookshop in Braunschweig amongst many other possibilities. No doubt there is a copy listed on the German eBay.

Whilst looking at the Elbtal route we should not forget the DR/CD Elok Br 230/372:





The DR and CD locos worked turn and turn about on Berlin <> Prague passenger services (initially from Berlin Lichtenberg) plus some cross border freights. I took some slide photos of both these classes in Lichtenberg in 1989 and must get around to scanning them. The Br 372 shown in the second photo is hauling a Rollendelandstrassezug (rolling road train) which ran for a few years after the Mauerfall (the fall of the wall) until a modern autobahn was built linking Germany with the Czech Republic. I think the train ran from somewhere near Leipzig to a location near to Prague.

The DR version became the Br 180 and was latterly used on the Berlin <> Poznan route via Frankfurt Oder, and, when the border gap was electrified over the Oder brucke ran through to Rzepin on the Polish side but that is another story.

Best regards ................ Greyvoices (alias John)

PS. Once again I am indebted to W & H Brutzer for the use of their photographs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you Neil.

In post #4 mention was made of the Berlin Warsaw corridor. I have fond memories of the complicated locomotive arrangements needed at the border which for many years involved a Polish diesel loco hauling through trains between Frankfurt Oder and Rzepin. This was usually a PKP SP45 class. By the time I was travelling on this Berlin <> Warsaw route the mainlines in both Germany and Poland were electrified with only the border crossing over the Oderbrucke not modernised.

I was intrigued to find that in the late seventies there is evidence of through running of PKP locomotives through to Berlin Hauptbahnhof (which is now named Berlin Ost). The DR International Passenger Trains link shows several East <> West trains passing through Berlin complete with a through running PKP SP45. The locomotive exchange must have been at Berlin Hbf (now Ost) with a Br 232, Br 118 or 119 providing traction to the West German border. I was once double headed between Marienborn and Berlin Zoo by a 232/119 combination.

So, a major incursion into Germany by a PKP locomotive such as this:



Models of this loco are available from EFC Loko, a Polish manufacturer. Link to a copyrighted image of the EFC SP45 model

I am trying to find out if there are any accommodating distributors of EFC but so far have not come up with anyone. I have written to EFC Loko and await a reply. Their website: EFC Loko link. I have searched for any other models of this interesting loco but have only found paper models!!!

Best regards ............. Greyvoices (alias John)
 

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Fascinating - thanks for starting up this thread. I laughed my head off at that Goggle - perfectly named, could be a character from Cars. Was there ever a model of it eg maybe by Brawa as they are a bit funky.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This is the livery as mentioned in post #4 Reddo. I followed your link:



I feel sure that Roco have produced this in H0 sometime in the past so a careful search in model shops and online may prove to be fruitful.

The DR period is from about 1950 to 1992 which equates to Epoch III and IV. The formal merger of DR and DB was preceded by a general renumbering post 1989. As Simon has said, there was much of the DR that survived intact right through to the year 2000 but much has changed since then. Some of my most interesting observations were made up to that date as, for example, a double headed Br 119 passenger working arriving in Gorlitz in early 2000. (I must scan in those photos).

As we have started a review of foreign locos on the DR I will continue with this in my next post.

Best regards ................ Greyvoices (alias John)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Good of you to search for some Roco examples Richard. All three are Epoch 5 and this side of the year 2000.

The starter set does look good value but is wrongly described as Czechoslovakian when both the loco and coaches are clearly branded CD. Slovakia and the Czech elements became independent of each other in 1993 which prompted the wholesale rebranding in the Czech Republic to CD.

The 00 modellers approach would be to buy them anyway and repaint but H0 modellers have been spoilt and expect the correct livery out of the box.

Just for fun ......... and the fact that I took the photo whilst on holiday in 2006:


One of the many liveries now to be found on Slovakian Railways (ZSR). A Goggle on a passenger working at Kosice in 2006

Sorry to be so off topic.

Best regards .............. Greyvoices (alias John)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
One last post from me on the Goggle locomotive.

I have found that the Epoch III/IV model by Roco is catalogue number 62918. I searched for this, appropriately on Google, and came up with possible examples still available with Reynaulds in the US plus this Czech company: Czech model shop link.


Roco Cat # 62918. Introduced as a new item in 2011.

Best regards ........... Greyvoices (alias John)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I thought it a good idea to post a reference to an actual DR locomotive to counter balance this drift towards the former Czechoslovakia and Poland. Well perhaps not exactly devoid of a Czech element because the locomotive I have in mind is the Br 107 which was imported into the DDR from ........ Czechoslovakia. Link to Wikipedia article. It is very interesting.

Twenty of these locomotives were bought in 1962 for shunting and works train duties in and around Leipzig. Initially designated V 75 (the Czech class T435.0) but Br 107 from 1970. They were used by DR up to 1986 but I believe that one was working later than that in the Karsdorfer Cement works.

I bought a model of this locomotive from Mount Tabor Models some years ago. Goodness knows why he had it in stock.


CS Trains Br 107

another view:



I searched though my records to see if I had photographed the prototype but if I have it is a slide photo and packed away in a box somewhere ...... unscanned. What I did find is this:


What a pretty little locomotive. Yet again travelling in Slovakia proved to be very interesting.

I intend fitting a DCC decoder to my model and first thought of using this handy instruction web page: Fitting DCC decoder in Br 107 but then I realised that this refers to a TT scale model. I have yet to prise the body off my H0 version.

Best regards ................ Greyvoices (alias John)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well found Reddo. It just goes to show that if you keep searching the right loco will probably turn up. As to the window surround, Czech liveries have slight variations between depot allocations, sometimes subtle and sometimes quite marked.

Best regards .............. Greyvoices (alias John)
 

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In keeping with the idea of foreign loco incursion into the DDR I now turn to Guben which is situated just to the south of Frankfurt an der Oder hard by the Polish border. It is the main route for cross border freight movements between Germany and Poland. I have fond memories of the location as I was involved in the use of Class 66 locomotives on Belgium <> Poland services, with a change to a Polish loco in Guben.


PKP ST 143 loco on a rake of coal hoppers at Guben. A lot of coal is moved from the Silesian fields to all parts of Germany. The Silesian coal is lower in sulphur and cheaper to extract than coal from the Ruhr which goes a long way to offsetting the cost of haulage over extended kilometres.

If you are tempted to build a layout which justifies the operation of PKP and DR (or DB AG) locomotives and stock then Guben would be a fine choice. OK, so the complete layout might be a bit ambitious but a more limited range of exchange sidings should not prove to be too difficult.

I can do no better than to urge you to follow this link: W&H Brutzer Flickr collection of photographs of Guben 1990 - 2011

Looking for models of the ST 43 I was pleased to find this web page from an undoubted ST 43 enthusiast (thank goodness for the Google webpage translation option): ST 43 model enthusiast page..

I know that models of the ST 43 have been produced but they seem elusive. It seems strange to me that the ST 44 seems to be the prefered model, the ST 44 being the M62 or DR Br 120. The St 43 has in many areas outlived the ST 44 which is surprising.

Anyway, if you have followed the link to W & H Brutzer's photos of Guben you will appreciate the range of classes that can still be seen at that fascinating location. I particularly like the lines of Kriegloks and Br 120's which hint at pre-mauerfall activity but what about this taken in 1990, still with the DR number system:



Best regards ............. Greyvoices (alias John)
 

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It was whilst I was researching Guben that I started to think about the reasons why locomotives were invariably changed at the border with fellow countries in the Warsaw Pact. Sometimes it makes no sense at locations such as Frankfurt Oder and Gorlitz. It would have been sensible to continue with diesel haulage right through to the towns in Poland which have been electrified.

In the case of Frankfurt O. the Br 119 or 132 could have continued to Rzepin and there exchanged for a PKP electric locomotive, (of British design), avoiding the need for a PKP Class SP45 to haul the train across the border. The same for Gorlitz where the cross border train was hauled between Gorlitz Hbf and Legnica (former Leignitz) where the PKP overhead commenced. The DR Dresden <> Wroclaw (former Breslau) service would thus have been accelerated by avoiding one of the two locomotive changes.

When what would be an obvious improvement to operating practice is ignored then there has to be another reason. Sometimes it is a route restriction such as weak underbridges or clearance issues but in the two route I have used as illustrations we know that these were formerly German built main lines so such restrictions will not apply. But that is the clue ........ "formerly German built main lines". With that thought we look back in history for the answers. First we look at the area in 1790, yes that far back:


Neither Poland nor Czechoslovakia exist, consumed by the three empires.


By the end of WW1 old nations had re-emerged following the decline of middle European Empires.


Just prior to the outbreak of WW2 we can clearly see the annexation of the Sudetenland and the pressure being brought to bear on the Polish corridor to the Baltic (the port of Gydnia was created as a replacement for the facilities of Danzig (now Gdansk).


Finally we have the situation post WW2. The borders once again redrawn and now all dominated by foreign powers.

It is the defence of borders and national identity that these maps so aptly illustrate. The fact that Germans were forced to leave the Sudetenland areas of the newly formed Czechoslovakia and the expunging of German place names and even the language in Poland, clearly defined the relationship between these countries. A border was a border and it has taken many years, the fall of the wall (Mauerfall) and accession to EU membership of former Soviet satellite states for those borders to be finally broken down.

Railway operation is not just about what is practical, what is economic, the provision of the swiftest transit times. It also reflects the political and cultural climate, no more so than in post WW2 Europe. In most cases the border locations of East German Railways are artificial cuts through what were substantial through routes. Some became insignificant dead ends, most noticeably to the West, but many of the border locations between the DDR and its Warsaw Pact neighbours were downgraded because the final destination of that route was no more needed to be connected to Berlin.

The case of Kostritz is an apt example. This had formerly been the first major stopping point on the main line between Berlin <> Danzig and Konigsberg (now Kaliningrad) in East Prussia:


In the DDR era this route was principally used for punters to reach the Berlin horse racing track at Hoppe-Garten and the sleepy Berlin suburb of Strausberg. Thoughts of the far distant East Baltic element of the empire long forgotten.

Best regards ................. Greyvoices (alias John)
 

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Thank you John for a most detailed read , It is a most interesting subject, I have found it very hard to get much info on the 1939 / 45 era.

Dave
 
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