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European Railroad Discussion > A European where is it?


Date: 09/17/05 04:57
A European where is it?
Author: Pattenburg

In going through a pile of old photographs, I came across this photograph. There was no indication as to where this scene is. I will speculate that it was taken somewhere in Europe, perhaps in the 1940's. Any information about this scene would be appreciated to satisfy my curiousity. Thanks for any information...




Date: 09/17/05 10:58
Re: A European where is it?
Author: SOO6617

Certainly looks like a US built locomotive with those large outside cylinders, like a Baldwin built 2-8-0. Tender wheel arrangement is odd though. Locomotives number looks British to me. The Brits liked slamdoor stock too.



Date: 09/17/05 15:49
Re: A European where is it?
Author: rosenth

i also would guess somewhere in Great Britain. The single headlight looks very british...



Date: 09/17/05 15:55
Re: A European where is it?
Author: birdman

The number on the front of the locomotive is not a typical british number or font. In addition, british locomotives of that era often were named rather than numbered. The slam door passenger car could be british, french, german, or italian. The buffers seem to indicate that the location was somewhere in Europe. I agree that the locomotive has some USA characteristics including the font of the numbers on the front, As for the location, my gut reaction is Italy, but it would be really neat if someone could say for sure. Thanks for posting this interesting puzzler.



Date: 09/17/05 16:08
Re: A European where is it?
Author: up833

My guess is that its a lend lease loco to the british. The ladies hat looks very british to me!
Roger B



Date: 09/17/05 19:13
Re: A European where is it?
Author: newtonville150

birdman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> In addition,
> british locomotives of that era often were named
> rather than numbered.

They may have been named, but they certainly would have numbers too.

...John Reay





Date: 09/17/05 20:58
Re: A European where is it?
Author: airbrakegeezer

Well, I hate to disagree with such a nice bunch of guys -- but I'm gonna do it!

1. "It looks British". Sorry, no way; the stack and cab are too tall for restricted British clearances, and there are no "headcode" (train classification) lamps or discs showing. The cab roof and windows do not look British either, but please excuse me if I'm wrong on this; as a Heritage member, I'm squinting at a 2" x 1-1/2" picture!

2. "The single headlight looks very British...". Sorry, no again. British steam locomotives (and early diesels & electrics)had *no* headlights at all.

My first thought was that the loco is an ex-KPeV (Royal Prussian Railways) P8 4-6-0, later DR and DB (German RRs) Class 38, also widely used between WWI and WWII in Belgium, France, Poland, Romania and heaven knows where else; but the bottom edge of the cab does not look right for that, and the headlight does not look right either (few European locomotives of that period were fitted with permanently-mounted electric headlights; they usually had three equal-size oil lamps). Then I began to think: *where* did locomotives use that type of headlight in that specific location? I can think of only one country on this earth: Australia! My knowledge of Aussie steam power is not that great, but I think this may be a New South Wales Government Railways 4-6-0; that would also account for the slam-door coaching stock, and the lady's British-looking hat...



Date: 09/17/05 23:02
Re: A European where is it?
Author: gkcfl

Hi,

It is a Belgian (SNCB/NMBS) Class 38 (2-8-0) Steam Locomotive. The lettering and style of the numbers are very Belgian. The cab of the engine and large single headlight are also very Belgian.

I am not sure what Station, maybe "Ath".

Greg




Date: 09/18/05 05:02
A clue to this European where is it?
Author: Pattenburg

Those two signs on the building, located above the tender, say "Esschen". Where might that be?



Date: 09/18/05 05:43
Re: A European where is it?
Author: birdman

I think that Greg has nailed it. In the book "Steam Passenger Locomotives" by Hollinsworth, he shows a 1910 Belgium 4-6-2 with the identical font and number placement and other similar features. Hollinsworth also comments about the wagon top boiler and some other features which were copied from american locomotives of that era including a large grate helpful in burning poor quality coal. He goes on to say that other classes of locomotives were subsequently developed along the lines of the 4-6-2s but with certain french features developed by Chapelon. The locomotives often ran into Luxembourg and, quite possibly, Germany. I find no mention of Esschen in my Michelin Atlas of Europe. There is a town called Essen on the Belgium - Dutch border above Antwerp. Could Esschen be a flemish spelling? There is also Essen in Germany which is a large city in the Ruhr.



Date: 09/18/05 05:57
Re: A European where is it?
Author: Pattenburg

In doing a search on Google for "Esschen", the search results came up for Belgium. If that is the case, is this station still standing and currently in operation?



Date: 09/18/05 15:04
Re: A European where is it?
Author: birdman

I stopped at the public library this afternoon on my way home from the New Jersey Live Steamers. Indeed, there is a town called "Esschen" in Belgium. The town is also known by it's alternative name and spelling of "Essen". Esschen and Essen are one in the same. The town is located just south of the Belgium-Nederlands border near the city of Antwerp.



Date: 09/18/05 21:24
Re: A European where is it?
Author: airbrakegeezer

I stand corrected! Must apologize to my Belgian friends, else they may not welcome me back to that charming country...



Date: 09/19/05 04:13
Still more info on this European where is it?
Author: Pattenburg

A friend in England sent me this information about the scene...
This is one of a batch of 150 2-8-0 locomotives built for the Belgian State Railways in 1920, half being built by ALCO at Schenectady, half by Baldwin at Philadelphia. (The photo shows the third of the BLW locos). The locos were shipped in kit form and assembled in Antwerpen and Salzinnes works.
The type lasted until 1957. The photograph was probably taken in the late 'forties/early 'fifties (despite the ancient looking carriages), as the class was only renumbered in the 38.001 series after 1946 (originally 5201-5350, becoming 3801-3949+5350 in 1931). During WW2, 3861 and 3863 were taken by the Germans, 3861 being further removed as a "trophy" locomotive by the Russians, being adapted to five foot gauge and renumbered TO-3861 it saw service in what is now Ukraine.
A bit off topic but rather appropiate is that gathering information about this photo via TO is pretty fascinating. When you consider that a post to this forum has garnered so much information in such a short time from around the railfanning world community is pretty interesting. I think it certainly demonstrates the power of the internet. Thanks again to all those that responded...



Date: 09/19/05 13:11
Re: A European where is it?
Author: birdman

I couldn't agree with you more Pattenburg. This was an extremely challenging and fun topic to pursue and the latest information that you posted was most interesting and informative. I found the entire set of posts to be one of the best to ever appear on Trainorders. As for the apology from "geezer". No apology is necessary. We are all in this together and it was great to see how our collective knowledge and deductive abilities - to say nothing of the use of the internet and other resources - provided the answers in such a short time. Congratulations all around. This was a good one!!!



Date: 09/19/05 20:13
Re: A European where is it?
Author: airbrakegeezer

Thanks, Birdman -- I agree wholeheartedly with all your comments -- that's one reason my first stop on "Trainorders" is always the "International Discussion"!



Date: 09/19/05 20:46
Re: A European where is it?
Author: gkcfl

Yes this was a very interesting thread.

Now how about a weekly International Railway trivia question or a weekly International Railway photo where is it!

Thanks,

Greg




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