FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Burdurm

Posted in Burdur, Turkey by folkestonejack on October 16, 2014

The group assembled at 7.30am in readiness for an early departure, although some mischievous souls started running a book on when we would actually leave. Sadly, the joke was on us when even the wildest of the predictions turned out to be too early – the air pump was yet again proving to be problematic. Whilst we waited for news we settled down in the station’s Büfe, rather delightfully mis-translated as ‘sideboard’ on the english language signs!

One small compensation for our extended stay in Burdur was that we got to see a mini-diesel gala as the station-pilot got to work shunting container wagons in the yard.

Burdur station pilot 18 108

Burdur station pilot 18 108

The station pilot here, 18 108, is one of a handful of survivors from a small class of 20 diesel locomotives. To put some context on the numbers, these light-axle load locomotives were ordered at the same time (in 1968) as the class 24 diesels, of which some 418 were eventually built. The pilot had been well hidden amongst the lines of containers yesterday, but today it was busy at work shunting around the crane and loading point.

The plates on the side of DE 18 108

The plates on the side of DE 18 108

In the meantime the crew took the air pump apart, cleaned out all the gunge and re-assembled it. A former engineer in Izmir instructed the crew on everything they could do, but the air pump still failed to co-operate. Finally, it was agreed that an expert in air pumps would have to make the journey from the Usak museum depot (some 5-6 hours away) with the necessary spare parts. The hope is that they can get it working for the run tomorrow.

In any tour that relies on a single engine you are taking a risk, but it seemed like a good risk to take at the outset – this locomotive ought to be good for another ten years. In recent years she has received new wheels, a new firebox and a new boiler (from Meiningen) so it was disappointing that after all that the air pump let us down (the first time that anything like this has happened in the tours run here over the last seven years).

I had to remind myself that even a newbuild like Tornado had contended with similar problems – in April 2013 she suffered from a high profile failure of a new air pump whilst working a tour and had to be rescued by diesel (her second air pump had failed previously and was already awaiting repair). Maybe the problem on our trip will have a positive result if the museum depot acknowledges the need to overhaul a second locomotive.

Blocked in!

Blocked in!

At 2pm we were finally ready to leave with a plan for a few runpasts (albeit with the diesel atached to provide air pressure whilst the air pump was out of action) but then DE36 002 arrived with a freight, blocking the line out!

We eventually departed Burdur, under diesel power, at 3.55pm. In the run to Dinar we managed three runpasts. Although the set up for the runpasts was not the most ideal, it was still a pleasure to be back at the lineside taking photographs. There is only so much diesel excitement that anyone can take in Burdur yard…

On our way to Dinar

On our way to Dinar

Our train finally reached Dinar at 6.40pm and we made the short transfer to our hotel by minibus. Soon after we ate at one of the oddest restaurants of the trip – it was perfectly fine but opened out onto the forecourt of a petrol station, complete with the occasional waft of petrol fumes through the unshuttered sides! A strange end to a strange day – one that I suspect most of us are happy to say farewell to. I hope that tomorrow brings us better fortune.

Gallery

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