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SUMMER 1946 (July)

Please note that no photographs were taken during July 1946 as these journeys were into the American Zone and my father had no permission to travel in that zone!

After this I had twelve days of duty and hot weather off-duty time in an around the village. The biggest hotel in the district was the Kurhaus which had an open air swimming pool and, when this was filled, we spent much time in and around it. The forest of course was unbearably hot and insect ridden as might be expected among coniferous trees.

My next journey was a day at Bestwig to watch the traffic west of the station. The first thing I saw was another newly repainted loco in black and red; 44.1267 üK of Bw Bestwig fitted with a Kriegslok round-tank tender. About noon, 38.2988 (Bw Düsseldorf Derendorf) went towards Hagen with a five coach special, not apparently carrying passengers, comprising two eight-wheeled clerestory non-corridors, a standard bogie luggage van and two standard corridor thirds. These were marked, on the usual hanging destination board, 'Probezug-Nicht Einsteigen'; test train, do not board. P606 (Warburg—Hagen) due out at 1120, left at 1230 behind 38.2978 having been brought in by 44.733 of Bw Warburg. No doubt this meant a loco failure to the east. It was the first BR 44 I had seen on a passenger working. The 44 returned east later in the afternoon on a P-train.

After two weeks without travelling any distance, I went on July 10th on a two-day trip. The early afternoon train south from Winterberg was double-headed with two BR 93s. Another 93 was on the Frankenburg—Marburg train. At Marburg D 79(Frankfurt—Kassel) came in behind 01.147 which was replaced ,for some reason, by 50.1703 leaving 40 minutes late. 38.2972 and 50.1413 passed through non-stop with a long special full of women and children; an Army special from the U.S. port at Bremerhaven . The Americans were beginning to bring in the families of the troops. D79,in contrast, had ten six-wheelers of various kinds and two 2nd class bogie corridors for servicemen. 

We stopped after 35 minutes running at Kirchhain with faulty brakes and did not restart for 80 minutes, behind another 50 üK of Bw Treysa. During the long wait a U.S. Army mail train (two corridors and seven bogie mail vans) passed behind 01.1099 going north and a military train for Berlin went through behind a BR 50üK. This had 1st and 2nd class DRG corridors, a ‘Mitropa’ diner and a ‘Wagon-Lits’ saloon. It was full of French and American officers. Poor old D79 finally staggered into Kassel Hbf. well after dark, two and a half hours late. This time I went straight to the American Army transit depot in the air raid shelter, outside the station, primitive but clean and with respectable bedding. Next morning I got up early, had a cold water wash but did not try to get an American breakfast, instead eating one of my ration packs. I had this sitting on the platform in lovely summer weather waiting for D198 (Kassel—München-Gladbach via Soest). It came over an hour late from the carriage sidings and had two standard bogie corridors and two of the old non-corridor coaches with a clerestory. The loco was a BR 50. Several BR 52 and 41s were running in and around the Hbf. and the shed. From the station I noticed what was undoubtedly a coach of L.M.S.R. outline, though in DRG green. A German railway man said it was ‘ein sehr alte Bauart’; a very old fashioned style. No doubt he meant its curved profile rather like some of the old Prussian six-wheelers. We decided it must have come from a British hospital train marooned in France in 1940. I collected the numbers of a long row of derelicts outside Kassel, mainly BR 50s.

Two more corridors and a mail van were added at Warburg, the first station over the border in the British Zone. From there we took KBS 340. At Altenbeken was a derelict BR39; 39.090. The great curved viaduct here had been broken in two places and five arches altogether had gone. It had been repaired with the usual steelwork. In the town, I noted that most of the bombing damage had been made good with much new timberwork on buildings. In Neuenbeken stood a German-type 4-6-0; No. 6454, rather like a P8, with high pitched boiler or low boiler mountings. This would be a World War One reparations loco which had drifted back from east or  west. From the train, Paderborn, an old cathedral town, did not seem too badly damaged, though modern guide books speak of very heavy air-raid damage. We were now only fifteen minutes late at Soest, where I got off. In the yards at the east end of Soest there were few locos, but much rolling stock trapped in wrecked sidings. I got a lift in an Army truck over the hills south of the town to Meschede and so on to Bestwig, where I took the 17.50 train up to Winterberg behind 93.999.

A few days later, I went with two of my pals to Marburg. They, of course, knew of my wanderings and wanted to see an American Zone town. One was a Scot and the other from Berkshire and very voluble. The Scot, G., and I, let K. do all the talking and we got very good snacks in an American Army club in the undamaged town. Marburg is a very old university town and was full of Americans. I remember we took a photo at the entrance to a synagogue; it had a notice board in English and German, stating it to be for the use of German Jews and American troops. Back at the station, I got a close look at 52.439 and saw how closely these early 'Kriegsloks' resembled the final engines of 50 üK in the 3Oxx and 3lxx series, apart from the closed cab. On the way back, our second train, that from Frankenberg, was pulling out of Bromskirchen station, at the Zone border, when there came a wailing of sirens and two armoured cars roared up. The driver of 93.209 had to push the train back into the station. The Americans were in the Constabulary, something of an elite force of military police, formed to control the smuggling of foodstuffs, especially potatoes and other vegetables or fruit, from their Zone into the British Zone. They wore yellow bands around their helmets and armbands. We agreed to let K. do all the talking and sat on the step-boards of the ‘Dienetabteil’ whilst the Americans did a pretty thorough search of the passengers’ luggage. K. had fifteen minutes of hilarious conversation with a sergeant. He put on a very exaggerated accent and then even G. joined in with the broadest of Scots. I kept quiet. The Americans were delighted to meet ‘you Britishers’ and of course never asked for documents, of which only I had any, fictitious at that. ‘These God-dammed Krauts will keep smuggling food into your Zone’ was all he had to say about the unhappy people being searched through the train. Those were the ‘Hamsterjahre’ with a vengeance.

A few days later I made my last unofficial trip into the American Zone. This time all went smoothly. At Marburg was a row of five newly-transferred P8s from RBD Hannover and a newly repainted BR 50 üK; 50.2261 of Bw Wetzlar. This latter was not, however, in black and red but in battleship grey. D79 had the same stock as before and this time we had 01. 095 of Bw Frankfurt 1. All the way we gained much time and had to stand at every stop. At Gensungen and at Guntershausen, I had the chance to note in full the huge collections of derelicts; BR 41s, 44s and 50s awaiting overhaul or repair. An odd-looking foreign outside cylinder 2-6-0 was shunting in Wabern yard and a Belpaire boilered 2-10—0, 58.2366 was dead at Guntershausen. This was a former Polish loco of class Ty23. On a river bank at Grifte, at a temporary bridge, lay 44.068 half buried in mud, with its tender on top. It looked as if the bridge had been bombed and that the engine had fallen into the gap. At the junction with KBS 500 to Bebra, 01.1081 was waiting for us top pass. It. was on D86 (Hamburg-München dep. 09.59 arr 06.43 the following day and third class only; those certainly were the days!) At that time this train could only be used with special permit, ‘nur mit Zulassungskarte benutzbar’ as the ‘Kursbuch’ said. I stayed at the same transit depot, as before, but did not venture onto the streets. Even on a summer’s evening the ruins of Kassel were no place for sightseeing, especially with both U.S. Military Police and prostitutes around in numbers.

I was up very early again next morning, to see as much as possible before train D8O left for Marburg and Frankfurt at 0655. In the station were a BR 56(rebuilt from a BR 55) and a P8, both in plain grey livery, and on local trains. D167 from Kassel to Wesermünde had 01.166 of Bw Hannover Ost.  Wesermünde and Bremerhaven formed a tiny American enclave within the British Zone, so as to give the Americans a major seaport. D167 was really only a Bremen train extended. D80 had 01.1102, still with streamlining, and was from Bw Kassel. As we passed the shed I noticed no less than three condenser tender Krieglsoks, 52.1930, 52.1967 and 52.1858 and later at Guntershausen  52.1989. Among more derelicts at Grifte was 89.7339, an aged Prussian 0-6-0T built around the turn of the century. It was only when one saw the odd ancient, that it came home what a modern loco stock the DRG had, at least in Westphalia and in Hessen. A British loco of the age and style of this BR 89 would have passed unnoticed in the U.K. in 1946. Shunting over the ‘hump’ in the yard at Treysa was 38.3319, this being the 800th DRG loco which I recorded as “new” . The rest of the journey ‘home’ was nothing untoward. The two-day trip out produced no less than 86 new locos plus 23 others seen before. During one of the visits to Kassel, I noted from the timetable on the station the following D- and E-trains running to and from Kassel or passing through. There were, in addition, numerous P-trains on the five main lines which meet in or near Kassel and on the several branch lines, some now closed, which lead to the city. The Wesermünde mentioned above and in the following list is now known as Bremerhaven.  

KASSEL HBF. STATION TIMETABLE JULY 1946 (long distance services only)

Through Trains

Train No.

Route

0113/0130  

Dus624

Wesermünde—Frankfurt  

0256/0328

D176

Wesermünde—Hannover—Frankfurt (Friedrichshafen from 1st July

1059/1110  

D87

München—Würzburg—Bebra—Hamburg

1925/1940 

D88 

Hamburg—München (as D87)

2200/2215  

Dus623

Frankfurt—Hannover—Wesermünde

2348/0009 

D175 

Frankfurt—Wesermünde (from Friedrichshafen from July 1st)

Arrivals

 

 

0944 

E161 

Fulda—Kassel

1605

D197

München-Gladbach—Soest—Kassel

1610    

E186

Wesermünde—Hannover—Kassel (Frankfurt from July 1st)

2100   

D79  

Frankfurt—Marburg—Kassel

2207  

E341

Düsseldorf—Hagen—Bestwig—Kassel  

Departures  

 

 

0645

E342 

Kassel—Düsseldorf (as E341)

0650  

D80 

Kassel—Frankfurt (as D79)

0700

E185

Kassel—Wesermünde

0840

D198

Kassel—München-Gladbach (as D197)

1550

E162

Kassel—Fulda

Notes:

1) Trains E185/6 became D185/6 from July 1st.  

2) In the timetable (for today’s KBS 250) in the Summer 1946 British Zone Kursbuch appears the following note in heavy type (translated)-'Journey into the American Zone is only allowed on permit by the Military Government. American Military Police carry out rigorous checks of documents at Eichenberg'.

3) At Warburg, on one or other of the longer journeys, I noted that E341/2 above had been demoted to P-trains. However, by Autumn they were E-trains again .  

4) 'Due' trains were U.S. Army leave trains with limited civilian accommodation.

BUCKEBURG AND HAMBURG

I come now to a period of 33 days- late July to late August 1946 when I notched up no less than 588 new locos. The Forces were slowly beginning to release not only the ‘old sweats’ - regulars who had joined before the War and volunteers and conscripts who had been in since 1939 - but also younger men who had joined in 1941 and 1942, so both the Army and the R.A.F. were running courses for Educational and Vocational Training (E.V.T. for short). Most of the R.A.F. courses were at Air Force H.Q. at. Bückeburg on the former DRG main line from Berlin to the Ruhr and Köln (KBS 200) between Minden and Hannover. I had put in for a course in secretarial work and I was accepted. My companion on the course from Winterberg was A.B. He was not the ideal companion for journeys of any kind and was more at home on a dance floor than on a station platform, let alone in an engine shed. Still all went well; we did all our course work together perfectly- after all I had been with him since the summer of 1944- but we parted company socially afterwards. We went by truck to Hamm, but had missed the midday military train through Hamm to Hannover. So we waited for D3 (Köln-Deutz—Braunschweig). There seemed to be much traffic through Hamm, D-, E-, and P- trains hauled by Pacifics, large and small, 41s and 39s and  of course, the P8s. When the train arrived behind 01.196 of Bw Hannover Ost we found it packed, but as usual we were comfortable in the Dienstabteil. A small girl, of about 9, was in the compartment in charge of one or other of the railway men. The stock was eight of the Russian non-corridor clerestory bogies and two standard DRG corridor. There was traffic everywhere with all of the usual DRG and Prussian locos. The great gap in the double viaduct near Bielefeld had been covered by a permanent avoiding line, built very quickly by the German army, so one of the railway men told me. This turned off very steeply downhill to the south, across the valley floor and back steeply up the opposite hillside. It was very carefully banked and we seemed to shoot round it at high speed. The bridge itself was an awful sight and the whole area was pock-marked by flooded bomb craters. It was still being used in the same way when I saw the line again in the summer of 1949, though the rebuilding of the viaduct was then in hand. Derelict at Löhne, I noted two BR 17s, 17.1135 and 17.1167. The journey to Bückeburg took exactly three hours; today it takes 65 minutes to Minden and 7 minutes on to Bückeburg

After settling in on the course an in our billets, my first off duty task was to get hold of a timetable. I got one without any trouble from the R.A.F.  N.C.O. in charge of the station. It was the complete British Zone ’Kursbuch’ of standard size with 236 pages and had come in use on July 1st. It included all services passing through the Zone and the tables of the adjoining American and French Zones which had services beginning in the British Zone. The only reference to the Russian Zone was the L11/12, the ‘Nord Express’ of which more later. There appeared to be no other crossing points into the Russian Zone for passenger trains. The military trains of the three Western powers apparently all went via Helmstedt. The Flight Sergeant also gave me the military train service through Bückeburg. The complete train service, civil and military is given below.

 

BUCKEBURG STATION TIMETABLE JULY 1946

Train No.

From

Bückeburg

Via

To

WESTBOUND CIVILIAN TRAINS

D8

Braunschweig

(00.40)

Altenessen

Köln Deutz

P234

Vorsfelde

00.51

Altenessen

Köln Deutz

P214

Hannover

06.41

Altenessen

Duisburg

D24

Braunschweig

07.34W

Essen

Köln Deutz

P258

Hannover

08.49

-

Minden

D312

Hamburg Altona

(10.38)Z

Altenessen

Köln Deutz

D4

Braunschweig

(11.24)W

Wuppertal

Köln Deutz

P284

Helmstedt

11.41W

Altenessen

Düsseldorf

P240

Hannover

15.02Su

-

Minden

P246

Lehrte

15.46W

Altenessen

Köln Deutz

D14

Hildesheim

(16.16)W

Altenessen

Oberhausen

P242

Stadthagen

17.18W

-

Minden

L12

Berlin (M.W.Sa)

Copenhagen (Tu.F.Sa

(18.40)

Wuppertal/

Köln

Paris

P250

Lehrte

19.11W

-

Bielefeld

P248

Hannover

22.53

-

Minden

D6

Braunschweig

(23.16)

Wuppertal

Köln Deutz

WESTBOUND MILITARY TRAINS

M5

Hamburg Altona

07.49

Osnabrück

Hook of Holland (leave trains)

TpM53

Hamburg Altona

10.17

-

Bielefeld

M1

Hannover

10.50

Osnabrück

Hook of Holland (non leave train)

M9

Cuxhaven

16.09

-

Krefeld

M7

Hamburg Altona

17.05

Osnabrück

Calais

M19

Hannover

18.54

-

Brussels

TpM57

Hamburg Altona

19.50(not Sun)

21.29(Sun)

-

Bielefeld

M13

Bad Harzburg

19.30

Osnabrück

Münster (every four days)

EASTBOUND CIVILIAN TRAINS

D7

Köln Deutz

(02.35)

Altenessen

Braunschweig

P233

Köln Deutz

03.31

Essen

Vorsfelde

D5

Köln Hbf.

(04.25)

Wuppertal

Braunschweig

P247

Minden

04.44

-

Hannover

P249

Bielefeld

05.30W

-

Hannover

P235

Hamm

08.55W

-

Hannover

L11

Paris

(10.55)

Wuppertal

Berlin (Tu.Th.Sa.) Copenhagen (Su.M.F.)

D13

Oberhausen

(11.15)W

Altenessen

Hildesheim

P259

Minden

11.34

-

Hannover

D311

Köln Deutz

(13.35)Z

Essen

Hamburg Altona

D23

Köln Deutz

(15.00)WZ

Altenessen

Braunschweig

P201

Duisburg

15.22W

Altenessen

Helmstedt

P241

Minden

16.27W

16.43Su

-

Stadthagen

D3

Köln Deutz

18.18W

Wuppertal

Braunschweig

P215

Köln Deutz

19.37

Altenessen

Hannover

EASTBOUND MILITARY TRAINS

TpM58

Bielefeld

09.35

-

Hamburg (restricted)

M20

Brussels

09.52

Osnabrück

Hannover

M14

Münster

10.04

-

Bad Harzburg (every four days)

M10

Krefeld

15.27

-

Cuxhaven (release only)

M8

Calais

16.39

Osnabrück

Hamburg Altona

M2

Hook of Holland

19.19

Osnabrück

Hannover

TpM54

Bielefeld

19.27

Hamburg (restricted)

M6

Hook of Holland

21.15

Osnabrück

Hamburg

Notes: 

Bracketed times are working timetable passing times. 

Z—marked in timetable as requiring special boarding ticket.  

W-Mondays to Saturdays  

Su -Sundays only. Other days shown in similar code.  

T — ‘Triebwagen’ or diesel multiple unit train 

L11/2 were the ‘Nord Express’ alternatively to Berlin and Copenhagen. Barred to travel within Germany.

With the exception of the ‘Nord Express’ only D5 ran to Köln Hbf. over the extremely heavily used temporary South Bridge. All others ran to and from Deutz station only; the Hohenzollern bridge not being repaired until later in 1946. Trains from Essen Hbf. to and from Köln ran along KBS 307 to Lintorf and at Wedau ran along the former KBS 232 through Mülheim-Speldorf to rejoin KBS 300 near Essen Hbf. The Ruhr bridge between  Mülheim and Duisburg was still out of use at this time. Most east to west trains ran north of Essen through Altenessen.

As our course kept us very busy during the day from Monday to Saturday noon, I did all my railway observation in the evenings and at weekends and must have missed a great deal of freight traffic. Much of the coal exported to the east as reparations went over this level route. I was never able to find just where the coal sent east through Bestwig behind all those BR44s crossed the border but I have always suspected it to have been via the Bebra—Eisenach crossing, though the American military trains certainly did not go that way. Quite a lot of BR 42s and BR 52s were used on this route through Bückeburg together with the ubiquitous BR 50. P8s handled almost all the P-trains but the military and civilian expresses were in charge of 0ls and 03s indiscriminately , with the occasional BR 41. The small wheels of the latter were no hindrance when on so-called fast duties.

One evening, the westbound ‘Nord Express’, the Copenhagen to Paris run on this occasion, was slowed at signals through Bückeburg and I noted the coaching stock; - two SNCF, one Belgian, two ‘Wagon­Lits’ (all running from Copenhagen to Paris) and four DRG and one ‘Wagon­Lits’ running from Hannover to Brussels. The loco was 01.172 of Bw Hannover Ost.

On the first Saturday afternoon, I went to Minden, 9kms to the west. Fifteen derelicts were stored at the shed, two BR 50, three BR55, two BR 17,four BR 58 and a modern Polish 2-10—0 of class Ty23; over 400 of these were built in the 1920s and 1930s. There was also a small American-built 2-8-0 of Polish class Tr20, taken over by the DRG like the previous engine in 1941. The next day, Sunday, I went on M20 to Hannover. At Wunstorf, where KBS 210 from Bremen joins KBS 200, among a flock of derelicts was 56.3006 a former Lübeck-Büchen Railway loco of Prussian G8.2 class, but fitted with full-sized smoke deflector plates. 41.108 was on a train of flat wagons standing in a lay-by loop; they were loaded with tanks from Wesermünde en route for the American Zone. In Seelze yard, just before Hannover, were many freight trains ready to go south, behind BR 50s, to the American Zone, most of them having a guard of armed U.S. troops. In the Hbf. at Hannover was 18.302 from Bw Bremen, a rather spindly looking Pacific from the former Baden State Railway. There was also what I recorded as a 'white painted diesel-electric U.S. Army medical train'. I cannot remember a thing about this; it was probably one of the pre-war high-speed D.M.U. trains. I went out of the station to Hannover Ost shed but did not press the foreman about going round as he seemed rather reluctant to let me. The Army was very thick on the ground in Hannover and clearly it was not like Bestwig, Arnsberg and Warburg. I did however, see a streamlined 03; 03.193 and an ancient 0-6-0T, 89.7099. On that July Sunday, Hannover was dusty, battered and hot so I returned to the station. 01.1102 from Bw Kassel was in and also two Berlin trains behind Pacifies. Neither of these was heavy and comprised first and second class DRG stock with ’Wagon-Lits’and ’Mitropa’diners. I returned to Bückeburg in mid-afternoon on M9 from Cuxhaven to Krefeld. It arrived from the north, via the Lehrte direction behind an Uelzen P8 and an 01, leaving behind 03.090 of Bw Osnabrück Hbf. At Wunstorf, we passed an American families train going south behind a Bremen P8.

Next page (August 1946)