Turkey is a country with a landscape full of dramatic contrasts from the largely flat western side in Europe to the rugged, mountainous eastern side in Asia separated by the Bosphorus waterway. To cope with this challenging environment, the railways used simple but powerful steam locomotives and continued to do so until the late 1980s. Turkey was one of the last countries in the world to use steam traction and it became a mecca for steam enthusiasts.
In Part 1, we visited the Asiatic side around Izmir and the Black Sea coast around Zonguldak before moving east to the Euphrates Gorge and then south to Konya.
In this Part 2, we revisit the Zonguldak area and the Burdur system before returning to Izmir and then continue along the Konya and Afyon line. We visit several of the lines in the Afyon area before revisiting the Burdur system and return to Izmir from Denizli.
Although the named express trains were usually diesel hauled, most of the country was steam worked using a variety of steam engines of many different types. Here we see both main line and secondary line, passenger, freight and mixed trains hauled by a mixture of 2-10-2s, 2-10-0s, 0-10-0s, 2-8-2s, 2-8-0s and 0-8-0s passing through some dramatic scenery and weather.
There are double-headed and banked (even some double banked) trains. Prussian, German and USA built locomotives abound. We see some British Stanier 8F “Churchill” 2-8-0s working trains plus a brief glimpse of a steam crane on shunting duties!. In addition to the main and secondary lines footage there are some steam shed scenes. There is even footage of a rail-across-rail level crossing!
An absolutely fascinating record of the last years of steam traction in Turkey!
This all colour film has been brought to life with superb sound and commentary. 75 minutes