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 79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings

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tommoid
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79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings - Page 4 Empty
PostSubject: Re: 79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings   79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings - Page 4 Icon_minitime25/8/2010, 18:10

You'll have to look at my other sets to see other rotting trains.
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tommoid
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PostSubject: Re: 79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings   79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings - Page 4 Icon_minitime13/9/2010, 23:38

At the beginning of October I am going on a weekend conference on Wagon Lits coach restoration in Europe. I am going to try my best also to generate interest in saving one of those ward coaches. The problem is that most preservation societies are interested in coaches with seats which they can press into revenue generating service. Sleeping cars are the Cinderella, used for volunteers to sleep in, and sadly are allowed to rot. One would need to be imaginative with one of these coaches. What about using one for cadet night-time billetting? Assuming it would cost £10,000 to get one across, and another few thousand to put it into a reasonable condition. How much would it cost to build similar accommodation for, say, 30 cadets? And the usual bunk-house wouldn't be nearly so much fun!
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tommoid
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PostSubject: Re: 79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings   79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings - Page 4 Icon_minitime27/10/2010, 20:59

I went on the conference which was very interesting. In particular I met Chris Elliott who is very interested in the topic of railway army movements and has been making further enquiries on my behalf with the aim of saving something from that ambulance train. We believe we know who the owner is of these coaches!
Chris has indeed co-written a book called:
SHOW ME THE WAY TO GO HOME
The Story of Medloc 1945 - 1955
79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings - Page 4 5121486440_57b4ee93c3
This excerpt from the Forward explains it better than I could:

"Medloc or Mediterranean lines of Communication was first set up in 1915. It was used again in ten years following the end of the second world war. During that decade, it carried over three million passengers.

Official records on Medloc are few and far between. This book aims to bring together the sources and facts available and the tales and souvenirs, recounted to us by hundreds of people who worked and travelled on Medloc from 1945 to 1955. Collecting, sifting and browsing through information supplied by so many people has been sometimes a painstaking endeavour, always an enjoyable one. Three different routes, millions of journeys. We have sought to weave these tangled threads into a readable yarn."

79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings - Page 4 5120882971_e44d08f2a5

(A small sample)

This book is 103 pages long and Chris is selling it for £9.50 including postage from France. If you wish to add this book to your collection, please contact Chris direct:
christopher.elliott@club-internet.fr
He only has about 30 copies left!
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jim
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PostSubject: Re: 79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings   79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings - Page 4 Icon_minitime28/10/2010, 13:24

Great stuff., thanks mate.
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tommoid
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PostSubject: Re: 79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings   79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings - Page 4 Icon_minitime18/3/2011, 17:41

Don't know if anyone's still watching this topic?
These ward coaches were originally built for the USATC and subsequently acquired the Union Jack.
I've been contacted by someone looking for information relating to the USA Nato bases in Western France, to be exact close to Niort.

Apparently these bases which were open in the 1950s did have a rail connection to the SNCF network. It may be that the Ambulance train originally worked out of one of these NATO bases?

He is trying to find anyone who might have information about the USA ’s rail operation.

I imagine that there were freight trains that were run into the base?

Any feedback gratefully received.
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JPW
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PostSubject: Re: 79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings   79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings - Page 4 Icon_minitime20/3/2011, 13:50

Tommoid

Thanks for the update on the Ambulance coaches, your info confirms the brief notes I jave regarding the origins of them.

I may have details of an American enthusiast who might be able to help with the Niort query. Will PM you with details if/when I can locate them

Finally has the whereabouts of the ex Wagon Lits Kitchen Restaurant Car which was part of the BAOR White Train from the Hook-Villach route for many years ever been discussed by your group? It was brought to the UK in the 60s as part of a theme pub in Iver Bucks. The pub closed/rebuilt in the late 90s and attempt was made to keep it in the UK, but failed due to lack of interest/cash, It was subsequently re exported back to Europe I believe.
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tommoid
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PostSubject: Re: 79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings   79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings - Page 4 Icon_minitime20/3/2011, 15:23

I would be interested in your notes about the ambulance coaches and any good pictures or articles about them in service?

I hope your American enthusiast comes up trumps!

The coach you're interested in seems to be 2757 which was actually stationed next to the Denham Express public house. There was a MEDLOC appeal for funds to keep it in the UK but it went to a preservation group in Holland.
You might find these links interesting:
Medloc appeal
2757 at Denham
I know who to ask about this coach. I'll be back!

Cheers: Tom
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tommoid
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PostSubject: Re: 79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings   79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings - Page 4 Icon_minitime20/3/2011, 15:36

Actually here it is!. It is currently at Goes in Holland (pronounced Chchooss - like a rough germanic ch sound). I've even met the guy who is restoring it!

Cheers: Tom
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JPW
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PostSubject: Re: 79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings   79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings - Page 4 Icon_minitime20/3/2011, 17:43

Tom

Thank you

Will have to order a copy of Chris Elliott's book

Your links confirm it is the coach I was thinking of, good to know it has gone to a good home, though I doubt whether the new owners will paint it in British Army camouflage green!a
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tommoid
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PostSubject: Re: 79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings   79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings - Page 4 Icon_minitime20/3/2011, 20:43

The fact that it was painted in camouflage green is another interesting piece of information. Maybe you should contact Stoomtrein Goes Borsele to suggest this to them? They may not be aware of this part of the coaches' history and it would possibly match the dark green of their other stock. Is there some pertinent anniversary coming up to suggest this paint colour? (They all speak good English)
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kevin collins
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PostSubject: 79 railway squadron   79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings - Page 4 Icon_minitime15/4/2011, 22:34

I was a member of 79 Railway from 1981 - 1984 and returned 1986 - 1990 our trade was an A trade the most membs at the squdron was approx 29 which also included a contingent of REME.
The pictures that you have posted are of the ward coach which where aquired from the Americans we also had ramp wagons built by the LMS in the 40's as well as new ones deliverd to the squdron built by Barclays of Kilmarnock Scotland (sorry for the spelling) we also had over 100 warflats built again in the 40's which had additional planking put on the sides due to the width of the tanks some of these were returned to the UK after the unit moved back to the UK.
The unit also had various wagons which where used for ammo guards accomadation and VRE's which where purchased as guard vans for the movements of Challanger tanks on wagons called Samms.
We also had three kit dinners which where kitchen cars with a seating area and had under slung generators as well as 2 Utillity cars which would supply power to the ambulance train when not coupled up to a Locomotive these also had steam boliers to heat the whole train.

The unit also had a number of 0-4-0 and 0-6-0 Diesel Shunters.

I would be happy to help in any way I can 79 Railway Squdron also have a yearly get together.
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Brianr
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PostSubject: Re: 79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings   79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings - Page 4 Icon_minitime26/5/2011, 01:56

Dear Colleagues,
I have just found this site and was immediately drawn to this thread. Having gone through it I feel sure I can answer many of the queries. I had some 15 years involvement with Ambulance Trains and spent 9 years in Command of the Ambulance Squadron RAMC(V) and subsequently the Ambulance Train Group (V). I suspect that I know a number of the contributors to this thread and also know 79 Railway Squadron RLC and 275 Railway Squadron (V).

May I go back to the original post concerning the sad coach at Montzen sidings. This is indeed an ambulance coach. It is an ex-US coach designated Bymk dating from 1952. It had 42 berths and was intended for the long haul of RCZ - COMM-Z ie: back to the Channel Ports. There were 32 of these coaches in the fleet and this was one of 3 different types of ambulance coach in the total fleet. When the writing was on the wall for the ambulance trains I made strenuous attempts to preserve one of these coaches but without success.

What I was responsible for was the ambulance coach at the RAMC Training Centre at Keogh Barracks at Mytchett. This came from BAOR and not from the Museum of Army Transport that was implied in one of the posts. It took 8 years from writing the first letter to the coach rolling off a low-loader onto the panel of track. This coach was smaller than the previous type, ex-DB passenger stock and designated Byk. There were 12 of them in the fleet. This coach was brought across by sea in the Landing Ship Tank, Arakan, along with the dining car from the Berlin Military Train. This was dropped off in the North East for delivery to Beverley and our coach was brought round to Marchwood Military Port. I regret I do not recall the date although I have it in my archives. It stayed at Marchwood whilst Ambulance Train personnel lovingly refurbished it. It was in splendid condition when delivered to Keogh Barracks but sadly has deteriorately since. It may be of interest that the panel of track it stands on is also of historic interest. It is of Second World War vintage and came from Marchwood Military Port where it had been lifted in a major track relaying programme.

Hope this help with a couple of the queries and I shall be pleased to give any other information that may be of interest.

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PostSubject: Re: 79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings   79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings - Page 4 Icon_minitime26/5/2011, 07:07

I am sure your input will be very welcome Brian.Welcome to the site.
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JPW
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PostSubject: Re: 79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings   79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings - Page 4 Icon_minitime26/5/2011, 11:01

Brian

Welcome and thank you for your authoritive information on the ambulance train coaches
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BobG
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PostSubject: Re: 79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings   79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings - Page 4 Icon_minitime27/5/2011, 18:27

Brianr
Do you know if the Berlin Train Dining car is still at Beverly. I have in my possess a bottle of Berlin train Claret given to me by the CO 24 Tpt & Mov Regt after the final trip. It is only gathering dust and may make an addition to the display. Hate to think what the wine is like now!!.
Bob
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Brianr
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PostSubject: Re: 79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings   79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings - Page 4 Icon_minitime27/5/2011, 19:03

Thanks Bob,

I agree the two should be married up again - however the Museum of Army Transport closed several years ago as far as I am aware. I have no idea where this coach is now. I am sure there will be others who know much more about the RLC side of things than I.
Sorry not to be more helpful.

Kind regards,

Brian
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Nige P
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PostSubject: Re: 79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings   79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings - Page 4 Icon_minitime27/5/2011, 20:56

Bob/Brian,

My first contribution to this excellent forum. I believe the Berlin Kit/Diner moved from Beverley to Fort Paull along with the Beverley aircraft. I must admit, I can't find a reference to it on their website.

Brian, I am ex 275, so I have had a bit of hands on with the ambulance train. I remember the Kit/Diner arriving at Hull Docks on the Arakan. 275 provided the rerailing gear to shift it into it's then resting place alongside the Museum of Army Transports cafe. 79 Rly Sqn personnel came across on the Arakan to help out. Your ward coach remained on board, as you say, to be offloaded at Marchwood. I seem to remember some of 275 going down there to assist in preserving it. I always thought those British Ward Coaches were really nice looking vehicles.

regards

Nige
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Mike_2817
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PostSubject: Re: 79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings   79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings - Page 4 Icon_minitime27/5/2011, 22:12

Nige P wrote:
Bob/Brian,

My first contribution to this excellent forum. I believe the Berlin Kit/Diner moved from Beverley to Fort Paull along with the Beverley aircraft. I must admit, I can't find a reference to it on their website.

It did, you can spot it in some of these pics:

http://www.pbase.com/haunted_chipshop/fort_paull

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Nige P
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PostSubject: Re: 79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings   79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings - Page 4 Icon_minitime27/5/2011, 22:23

Thankyou Mike. Can't see that on the works computer Very Happy

Nige
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Brianr
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PostSubject: Re: 79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings   79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings - Page 4 Icon_minitime29/5/2011, 19:59

May I offer some more facts about the Berlin Diner and the Ambulance Coach at the RAMC Training Centre as both have been a source of interest on this thread and I have been able to find my file!

The Dining Car from The Berliner British Military Train made its last run from Charlottenburg in Berlin to Braunschweig on 7th February 1991.

The Byg Ambulance Coach fleet was retired in 1989 and coach number 50 80 02-11 002-3 was earmarked for this preversation project. The move of the two coaches from Monchengladbach to the Port of Emden took place over the 20th and 21st August 1992. All the arrangements were made by the Railway Liaison and Advisory Staff based in Hannover. The coaches were both out of revision and a "red label" move was arranged with the DB. As has been mentioned by another contributor staff from 79 Railway Squadron accompanied the move as did a Salmms 90 flat wagon that carried the lengths of rail on which the coaches would stand onboard the Arakan. The ambulance coach was eventually offloaded at Marchwood Military Port on 28th August 1992.

The ambulance coach spent some 13 months at Marchwood being restored at weekends by staff from the Ambulance Train Squadron RAMC(V) and 275 Railway Squadron RLC(V). Needless to say I do have a photographic record of the project.

I mentioned in a previous post that the panel of track used at Keogh Barracks also had history. The rail used was BS75R flat bottom 75lbs/yard and was rolled in 1942. It came from Marchwood Military Port along with a sufficient number of Ministry of War pattern precast reinforced sleepers made between 1939-1942. The tracklaying work was done for us by Staff of 507 Specialist Team Royal Engineers (Railway Construction) (V) over the course of 2 weeks.

The ambulance coach was finally transferred from a low loader onto the panel of track at Keogh Barracks at 2000hrs on 23rd September 1993.

A booklet entitled "The Preservation of Ministry of Defence Ambulance Coach 002-3" was prepared for the RAMC Museum and made available to visitors. I am aware the coach is now in very poor condition and I have no knowledge what are the plans for it. I do hope that it will continue to be preserved as it represents a key period, namely the Cold War, in the long history of ambulance train use by the British Army and is the only piece of BAOR ambulance train rolling stock to have been preserved.

Brian
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Mike_2817
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PostSubject: Re: 79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings   79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings - Page 4 Icon_minitime30/5/2011, 13:15

So if the carrage at the RAMC Museum is not the Ambulance Train Carriage that was at the Museum of Army Transport prior to its closure in the early 2000's then where is it?

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Brianr
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PostSubject: Re: 79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings   79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings - Page 4 Icon_minitime30/5/2011, 20:11

I really didn't think that the Museum of Army Transport had an ambulance coach or I am not sure the system would have allowed me to bring the Byg back from BAOR. What sort was it? I think they had a narrow gauge ambulance wagon but I again I am not sure whether it was authentic or reproduction.

Brian
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Nige P
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PostSubject: Re: 79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings   79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings - Page 4 Icon_minitime30/5/2011, 21:27

I don't remember an Ambulance Coach in the museum. I visited there a couple of times and only remember the Berlin Diner. However, the last visit was when we moved the Diner. We did finish at silly o'clock in the morning and my last tour of the museum was through half closed eyelids, so I may have missed it.

Nigel
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PostSubject: Re: 79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings   79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings - Page 4 Icon_minitime31/5/2011, 15:44

You got me thinking now. There was a German Waggon outside with Union Jacks on the side, and I was sure it was an Ambulance Waggon? now not so sure??

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PostSubject: Re: 79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings   79 Squadron ambulance train rotting away in Montzen sidings - Page 4 Icon_minitime31/5/2011, 17:11

Mike,
The Fort Paull website shows the Berliner Dining Car, now used as a refreshment facility. Not much info except a claim that Elvis Presley sat in it going to Berlin during his Mil service, no mention that the Berliner was an exclusive military train not available to the public - so much for Mil history??
Bob
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