FolkestoneJack's Tracks

A cookery lesson at Tinaztepe

Posted in Afyon, Tinaztepe, Turkey by folkestonejack on October 14, 2014

The train departed from Afyon at 9.09am precisely, retracing the steps we had taken last night as far as the junction to the west of the city. From this point, we took the line south and crossed over the top of a motorway. The whistles of our locomotive were soon matched by honking from lorries on the road below us, demonstrating once again the extraordinary reactions that a steam locomotive elicits here.

We reached the first station on the line, Tinaztepe, at 9.50am. In front of us we could see a small, but beautifully maintained station with a huge pile of sugar beet in the yard. At one time the steam hauled sugar beet trains drew railway enthusiasts and photographers out here in the autumn, but that is a scene long consigned to history.

Sugar beet at Tinaztepe

Sugar beet at Tinaztepe

One of the crew took a few of the sugar beet back to the train, clambered up onto the locomotive and placed them in the steam dome – the largest pressure cooker you will ever see! Needless to say, those of us looking up at the spectacle were simply astonished at this demonstration. It is a long way from the art of a fry up on the shovel, but quite fascinating to witness.

We left Tinaztepe behind just after 10am and spent the rest of the morning enjoying a series of runpasts on the line to Kocatepe, without ever getting as far as the next station. The conditions were decent enough, but improved in late morning with the re-appearance of the sun. It was certainly an interesting stretch of line with some great vantage points from the hillside. Once our morning’s work was done we rolled back down to Tinaztepe, arriving at 12.25pm. In the time we had been gone the farmer had sensibly collected his harvest, saving it from any more ravenous railwaymen roaming the area!

The view towards Tinaztepe

The view towards Tinaztepe

It was hard to avoid noticing how little rail traffic we had seen since arriving yesterday, despite this being a significant railway junction. Passenger traffic in the area seemed incredibly light, with just one railbus leaving Afyon in the hour or two we spent milling around before departing (a service to Eskişehir). Aside from this, the only other movement we saw was a double-headed diesel freight bound for the Syrian border.

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