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Author Topic: 1980s stock for military transport  (Read 567 times)

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Offline JayM481

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1980s stock for military transport
« on: June 29, 2017, 02:50:07 am »
Can anyone tell me what DB stock would have been used to transport NATO troops and vehicles around West Germany in the mid-1980s? I was a Canadian infantryman at the time, one of the "speed bump for the Soviet run to the Rhine" lot, and we made a rail move at least once a year, loading up our APCs and piling on to a rake of corridor coaches of some sort with fold-down sleeper bunks (6 per compartment). They were in rough condition.

Offline Gordon

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Re: 1980s stock for military transport
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2017, 12:49:26 am »
First off, the 'fold down bunks' you mention were standard European 'Couchette' overnight cars. The Couchette was developed as a cheap and cheerful overnight option and was very popular in its time. You were expected to remain mainly clothed (berths were available to both male and female passengers). The advent of high speed trains and changing travel habits have seen them decline, especially in western Europe.

Most trains for the occupying forces in West Germany usually used standard Deutsche Bundesbahn UIC X type coaches. I have seen a reference to a batch of the 1953-build version classified Bcm241 (B = 2nd class, C = couchettes, m = over 24.5m long) being specifically built for the US Transportation Command.

Available right now Fleischmann 890902:
eg
http://www.scograil.co.uk/fleischmann-890902-n-gauge-liegewagen-2nd-class-coach-db-9972-p.asp

(note I have no connection with the retailer other than as a satisfied customer)
« Last Edit: July 02, 2017, 01:03:11 am by Gordon »
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Offline JayM481

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Re: 1980s stock for military transport
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2017, 02:55:36 am »
Thanks. I seem to remember them as a dirty green, but that may be just because everything around me seemed to be painted green in those days. We ran as mixed trains with our vehicles (APCs or soft-skins) on flats in the same train as the coaches. Usually one rifle company or support platoon per train.

Offline GScaleBruce

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Re: 1980s stock for military transport
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2017, 11:23:39 am »
In which case, they may well have been the standard DB 2nd class coach which looks outwardly very similar to the couchette coach but was painted green. Although there are a few variants (Bm 233, 234, 235, etc), in essence in the compartment there were six seats, which could be pulled right across the compartment to form a mattress, essentially capable of sleeping three people if the train wasn't too busy. As the train would have been wholly on hire/in use by the military, that wouldn't have been a problem. I've frequently been turfed out of my bed and had to restore the compartment to seating when it's got busy on an overnight service...
Bruce
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Offline woodbury22uk

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Re: 1980s stock for military transport
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2017, 02:26:14 pm »
Arnold recently released the paasenger cars for a french military transport train. Although more modern than your time on them, these are typical of the german cars which would have been used.

https://www.hornby.com/uk-en/arnold-n-1-160-french-military-train-tmfb-strasbourg.html
Mike

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Offline Yeovil

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Re: 1980s stock for military transport
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2017, 04:31:41 pm »
Roco supplied a U.S. Army Transportation Corps coach in 1995 in their minitanks range, # 926K, on Spur N Datenbank it is listed as a Bcum251, in epoche 3 (so 1950's-1960's). This is a couchette coach but not sure if it was still in use with U.S. Army in the 1980's, DB versions are currently supplied by Fleischmann, so the U.S. army coach might get a rerelease. There was also a British Army (Royal Corps of Transport) version, model #927K.

Offline Railwaygun

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Re: 1980s stock for military transport
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2017, 10:26:57 pm »
Roco supplied a U.S. Army Transportation Corps coach in 1995 in their minitanks range, # 926K, on Spur N Datenbank it is listed as a Bcum251, in epoche 3 (so 1950's-1960's). This is a couchette coach but not sure if it was still in use with U.S. Army in the 1980's, DB versions are currently supplied by Fleischmann, so the U.S. army coach might get a rerelease. There was also a British Army (Royal Corps of Transport) version, model #927K.

Picture to follow as soon as I've found mine!

NickR
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Offline Railwaygun

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Re: 1980s stock for military transport
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2017, 10:53:08 pm »
As promised + a bonus!

NickR


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Offline Gordon

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Re: 1980s stock for military transport
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2017, 01:13:27 am »
Arnold recently released the paasenger cars for a french military transport train. Although more modern than your time on them, these are typical of the german cars which would have been used.


various pics of the real thing available on internet search, eg:


https://www.flickr.com/photos/34148515@N03/13783321725



.
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Offline Gordon

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Re: 1980s stock for military transport
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2017, 01:31:11 am »
Thanks. I seem to remember them as a dirty green,

The 'standard' livery for 2nd class from the early days (until the advent of the new colour scheme from the mid 1970s ) was indeed green, so you are recalling correctly. In normal DB service, the UIC X coaches were blue for first class and green for second, however one source describes Bcm241 as  the version of UIC X designed for 'agency use' and all sources indicate that the Bcm241 couchette cars were blue or green - despite both being 2nd class so the 'agency' use must be the reason for blue 2nd class.
Sometime Publicity Officer, N Gauge Society

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Offline Gordon

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Re: 1980s stock for military transport
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2017, 01:32:12 am »
In which case, they may well have been the standard DB 2nd class coach which looks outwardly very similar to the couchette coach but was painted green. in essence in the compartment there were six seats, which could be pulled right across the compartment to form a mattress, essentially capable of sleeping three people if the train wasn't too busy.

I understand what you are saying about the famous 'pull down/recline' German style compartments seats, but I'm fairly certain (in saying 'fold down bunks' ) that the OP was describing couchettes cars. As you can see above the Bcm241 were painted either blue or green it seems.

Incidentally I often travelled in these compartments at night in 'pulled across' mode but the etiquette was to lie (as best as one could) longways (not sideways) so retaining space for six people but squeezed in side by side   


.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2017, 01:37:42 am by Gordon »
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Offline JayM481

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Re: 1980s stock for military transport
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2017, 04:48:06 am »
As a member of the Canadian Army we didn't have the benefit of our own rail service, so as far as I know we leased stock on an exercise-by-exercise basis from DB. Generally we'd do one rail move per year, occasionally two. As described it sounds as if the coaches would be the 2nd class couchette type. I definitely remember 6 to a compartment, with the "bunks" folding down on each side, sleeping a passenger athwart the direction of travel, with 3 per side. We would also have an empty baggage car - no partitions or brake function as far as I know, which would carry any baggage not stored in the vehicles, as well as rations and a bunch of primus stoves as a makeshift kitchen. I'm pretty sure it wouldn't pass current health and safety regulations.

I do wish I'd taken more photos in those days. Would the flats that carried the vehicles have been something specific? I do remember the rather battered wooden decks. We would use metal chocks and turnbuckle-adjusted chains to secure the vehicles. I seem to remember a Roco model in HO with two M113s on it - that sounds like what we used.

Offline Railwaygun

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Re: 1980s stock for military transport
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2017, 12:13:14 am »
I seem to remember a Roco model in HO with two M113s on it - that sounds like what we used.

et voila!

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Offline Gordon

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Re: 1980s stock for military transport
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2017, 12:32:30 am »
As described it sounds as if the coaches would be the 2nd class couchette type. I definitely remember 6 to a compartment, with the "bunks" folding down on each side, sleeping a passenger athwart the direction of travel, with 3 per side.

Indeed. Nice simple page on wikipedia says it all:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Couchette_car

.
Sometime Publicity Officer, N Gauge Society

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Offline JayM481

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Re: 1980s stock for military transport
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2017, 03:04:30 am »
Thge photo on the wiki page looks a lot better than what we had, but that's exactly the configuration.

 

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