British Military Train

#1
Dont know if this has been on before.Anyone got memories of the British Military Train.Was it from Brunswick to Berlin.Amazing journey.Like a First Class Pullman service
 
#2
Boarded at Braunschweig and changed locos at Helmstedt. Stopped at Marienborn station for the Train Commander to have all docs inspected by the Sovs. Dinner was always served on the way through Magdeburg, usually nice, thick juicy steaks to upset the Ossi commuters as we went through the station! :twisted: They even had their own label wine!
Loco change at Potsdam before running in to Berlin.

Remember the big Sov tank depot at Kirchmoser? Tons of scrapped tanks waiting for backloading or a complete strip-down and rebuild... I'll bet it took some doing to backload all that scrap to Russia in 1991!
 
#3
The SAT "manager" at St Barbara's Bks, Fally in the 90s was a conductor or ticket collector on the Train. The wall of his office was covered in GOCs commendations and other certificates. Never saw the train.
 
#5
I was OC Train on a number of occasions in the late 80s. Great fun. At Marienborn the OC, Train WO and a military interpreter marched along the platform and halted infront of the Russian Officer and then went into a small office where all the travel docs were inspected and stamped. As the train was returning to Berlin that afternoon the Russians would sometimes ask you to buy bits and pieces for them in Braunschweig (porn, Bosch spark plugs for their Lada etc). The return was often very liquid with the Russians producing undrinkable vodka for toasts etc. Once, just after New Year, I gave them a bottle of Grouse which they insisted on sharing and finishing before the train was allowed to leave. This meant that there were a few trains behind us which were held up much to the Russians' amusement.
I also remember the tradition of "Potsdam Port" where the Train WO, OC, Interpreter etc had to see how much port could be consumed between Potsdam and Charlottenburg on the return journey. Thank God the MT always collected me at the end of the day - it normally took a day or so to recover!
 
#6
Spent plenty of time on train guard during my time in West Berlin. One of the best duties your be stuck on.
 
#7
Excellent thread that brought back some splendid memories of my time in Berlin (1982-1984) ... the best social life behind enemy lines ever!

The Military train really was a symbol of Western opulance; as well maintained and (almost) as lavish as the Orient Express, it was a clash of cultures between socialism and the decadant West! Every journey on the train was a delight, whether travelling on duty or on leave; or on train guard or as observer; brief excursions for a young LCpl into the world of luxury!

Some documentation from those days:
 

Attachments

#12
I have all the above scanned and saved on my hard-drive both in high and low resolution. If anyone would like copies please PM me with an e-mail address and I will forward them.

REgards,

k13
 
#14
The thing that sticks in my mind was the ghostliness of Charlottenberg Station- it felt like it should be busy, but was a run down shadow of a station. Being a teenager at the time, it all felt quite "Bond" like. The old DDR sations all still had the name signs from hitlers time, all in gothic script. Very much a time warp, horses and carts, steam trains, knackered looking apartment blocks in Magdeburg. Edinburgh House was good, we went twice in the 80s for a "cheap holiday in other peoples misery". Used white fleet buses as a cheapo "tour" of the city!
 
#15
BERLIN......79--81

the train guard was the one duty we were all competing for..

we started carrying a 9mm browning working to a s.m.g then we went whole hog and started to carry the s.l.r on the train..
that was bloody awkward carrying that thing on a train..

the 9mm was well better "and far lighter"

the hardest part of that duty was when the train was uncoupled at Marienborn and you had to leave your seat and actualy do something..
 
#16
Great memories from one of the best postings available at the time. Spent many a happy hour on the train, relaxing, eating and enjoying the scenery. The Sneaky Beakies from Brixmix would be in a carriage on their own with their cameras, binos and notebooks trying to look inconspicuous, noting all the Russian military trains. We had to chain all the doors shut when were stationary to stop defectors boarding. Once we arrived at Bruanshweig it was a mince about the town with everyone staring at us in uniform, a trip along to the peep show and spend 5 marks, a few beers and head back to the station. I remember being stopped at one station looking out of the window when a young Russian soldier about my age came up, said hello and saluted me, so I returned the compliment. Dunno why but it made me feel really rather proud.
 
#19
crabbrat said:
The thing that sticks in my mind was the ghostliness of Charlottenberg Station- it felt like it should be busy, but was a run down shadow of a station. Being a teenager at the time, it all felt quite "Bond" like. The old DDR sations all still had the name signs from hitlers time, all in gothic script. Very much a time warp, horses and carts, steam trains, knackered looking apartment blocks in Magdeburg.!
YOU ARE MOST CERTAINLY CORRECT..
i was 19 on my first train guard and i remember thinking about the old steam engines that were still in use at the time..
 
#20
something else that pops into the mind- i remember a whole mob of DDR kids with an adult, more than likely a teacher, in a field by the trackside waving at the train as it went past. as we werent meant to interact with locals in transit i recall feeling a bit of a misery guts in not waving back! No doubt the party used such waving trips to show the youth what arrogant capiltalist pigs we were.

I remember that tank depot with ancient wrecks of tanks, ridiculous commie murals on blocks in Potsdam when the loco was being changed over, seeing what i think was a HIP in distance disgorging parachutists (1985).

and the relief of getting back to the decadant west...
 

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