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 Rail facilities at BAOR and RAF bases

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AuthorMessage
Shelldrake
FM
FM
Shelldrake

Number of posts : 3048
Localisation : Camberley
Cap Badge : Royal Artillery
Places Served : Troon, Lippstadt, Devizes, NI, Paderborn, Dortmund, Colchester, Belize, Canada, Cyprus, Gutersloh
Registration date : 2010-10-26

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PostSubject: Re: Rail facilities at BAOR and RAF bases   Rail facilities at BAOR and RAF bases - Page 3 Icon_minitime7/7/2013, 13:49

The Lowland Gunners!! Laughing Laughing Laughing  I remember it well, had to get the Recce Transport to Soltau after that!!
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Hussar100
WOII
WOII
Hussar100

Number of posts : 83
Localisation : Norn Irn
Cap Badge : QRIH/UDR
Places Served : NI, GB, BAOR
Registration date : 2013-05-03

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PostSubject: Re: Rail facilities at BAOR and RAF bases   Rail facilities at BAOR and RAF bases - Page 3 Icon_minitime8/7/2013, 09:30

brum wrote:
steve1226 wrote:

young officer type fired a 120mm blank from a centurion


I don't recall the Cent having a 120mm gun, 105mm mayhap?


D'ya know I didn't notice that. and me an old tank man! Mad 

You're quite correct thought; Cent was a Vickers 105mm QF. It was the Conk which had the 120mm in those days.
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steve1226
SSgt/CSgt
SSgt/CSgt


Number of posts : 47
Age : 73
Localisation : Bristol, uk
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Osnabruck, Plymouth, Hemer, Menden. @ tours NI, 1969 and 1970
Registration date : 2008-11-18

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PostSubject: Re: Rail facilities at BAOR and RAF bases   Rail facilities at BAOR and RAF bases - Page 3 Icon_minitime8/7/2013, 10:40

Hussar,

Any truth in the old rumour that there were a few tanks buried in a bog on Soltau? They couldn't get them out so let them sink. That one was rife in the mid to late sixties. I also heard versions where the ARV was in there as well!
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steve1226
SSgt/CSgt
SSgt/CSgt


Number of posts : 47
Age : 73
Localisation : Bristol, uk
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Osnabruck, Plymouth, Hemer, Menden. @ tours NI, 1969 and 1970
Registration date : 2008-11-18

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PostSubject: Re: Rail facilities at BAOR and RAF bases   Rail facilities at BAOR and RAF bases - Page 3 Icon_minitime8/7/2013, 10:43



I don't recall the Cent having a 120mm gun, 105mm mayhap?

[/quote]

Maybe it was a Chieftain. When did they come in? I think 9/12th had them in Osnabruck in sometime between 65 and 68
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Hussar100
WOII
WOII
Hussar100

Number of posts : 83
Localisation : Norn Irn
Cap Badge : QRIH/UDR
Places Served : NI, GB, BAOR
Registration date : 2013-05-03

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PostSubject: Re: Rail facilities at BAOR and RAF bases   Rail facilities at BAOR and RAF bases - Page 3 Icon_minitime8/7/2013, 10:53

steve1226 wrote:
Hussar,

Any truth in the old rumour that there were a few tanks buried in a bog on Soltau? They couldn't get them out so let them sink. That one was rife in the mid to late sixties. I also heard versions where the ARV was in there as well!

Another rumour I've heard too mate. Can't confirm or deny it, other than to say I heard they were Cents.
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Hussar100
WOII
WOII
Hussar100

Number of posts : 83
Localisation : Norn Irn
Cap Badge : QRIH/UDR
Places Served : NI, GB, BAOR
Registration date : 2013-05-03

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PostSubject: Re: Rail facilities at BAOR and RAF bases   Rail facilities at BAOR and RAF bases - Page 3 Icon_minitime8/7/2013, 11:01

steve1226 wrote:


I don't recall the Cent having a 120mm gun, 105mm mayhap?


Maybe it was a Chieftain. When did they come in? I think 9/12th had them in Osnabruck in sometime between 65 and 68

Conks had them first.  Cents couldn't be modified to take the 120mm so the powers that be had the Conk designed with it and attached a troop of these to every Cent regiment as "heavies".

It's not the same gun as was in Chieftain though which was just coming into service in that period.  The Conk's gun had a single cartridge so was technically a Quick Firer too.  With Chieftain the L11A1 only had a 14in recoil with only about 18 inches between the breech and the back of the turret, there was no room for swinging 12omm cartridges into place.  What they did with the L11 was to use split ammunition like the navy or dropshorts use.  Projectile first, then bag charge, topped off with a wee brass cartridge about the size of a .303 rimfire which was magazine fed into the back of the breech block venturi and it was that which set the whole shebang off.

Challenger still uses that system which is one of the reasons it doesn't sell well overseas - adjusting to split ammunition seems to be a problem for Choggies so they won't buy it.
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Mike_2817
LE Maj
LE Maj
Mike_2817

Number of posts : 643
Localisation : North Yorkshire
Cap Badge : RAOC
Registration date : 2009-08-27

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PostSubject: Re: Rail facilities at BAOR and RAF bases   Rail facilities at BAOR and RAF bases - Page 3 Icon_minitime13/7/2013, 15:19

Rail facilities at BAOR and RAF bases - Page 3 L1A4BallsolidbrassDummy

The 120mm Tank Gun used a 'Tube Vent Electric .625"' and the size more mor akin to a .50" Round!

_________________
Sua Tela Tonanti
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Hussar100
WOII
WOII
Hussar100

Number of posts : 83
Localisation : Norn Irn
Cap Badge : QRIH/UDR
Places Served : NI, GB, BAOR
Registration date : 2013-05-03

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PostSubject: Re: Rail facilities at BAOR and RAF bases   Rail facilities at BAOR and RAF bases - Page 3 Icon_minitime13/7/2013, 15:35

Mike_2817 wrote:
Rail facilities at BAOR and RAF bases - Page 3 L1A4BallsolidbrassDummy

The 120mm Tank Gun used a 'Tube Vent Electric .625"' and the size more mor akin to a .50" Round!

Nah, nowhere near the size of a .50. More like a fat .303. Remember I was surrounded by the flipping things in my position as loader/operator.

We loaded a magazine of 20 of these things which fitted under the breech and after shoving the projectile up the barrel the procedure was to hit the white "mushroom" at the back of the breech which initiated the plunger and shoved a vent tube in, after which you grabbed a bag charge and shoved it up after the projectile with much gusto before closing the breech and deploying the shield.

It's still easy to remember these repetitive tasks which we learned "parrot fashion". Smile
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brum
FM
FM


Number of posts : 2808
Age : 79
Localisation : Sandbach Cheshire
Cap Badge : RA/QOH
Places Served : JLRRA (Hereford) Nienburg Paderborn Colchester Munster Maresfield (Cyprus) Hohne Hemer Op Banner x4 Woolwich
Registration date : 2010-03-02

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PostSubject: Re: Rail facilities at BAOR and RAF bases   Rail facilities at BAOR and RAF bases - Page 3 Icon_minitime13/7/2013, 17:28

steve1226 wrote:


I don't recall the Cent having a 120mm gun, 105mm mayhap?


Maybe it was a Chieftain. When did they come in? I think 9/12th had them in Osnabruck in sometime between 65 and 68[/quote]

I can't say when the Chieftain came on general issue but do remember a time when Profumo, (defence minister), came out to visit a very demoralised BAOR and we all gathered at a RV alongside the Soltau road so that he could have a look at us. At this RV was a Chieftain, first one we'd ever seen, I remember being struck by its low silhouette.
Shortly after that the Profumo Affair blew up and he was out of office but he did get us some improvements before he went.
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brum
FM
FM


Number of posts : 2808
Age : 79
Localisation : Sandbach Cheshire
Cap Badge : RA/QOH
Places Served : JLRRA (Hereford) Nienburg Paderborn Colchester Munster Maresfield (Cyprus) Hohne Hemer Op Banner x4 Woolwich
Registration date : 2010-03-02

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PostSubject: Re: Rail facilities at BAOR and RAF bases   Rail facilities at BAOR and RAF bases - Page 3 Icon_minitime13/7/2013, 17:40

steve1226 wrote:
Hussar,

Any truth in the old rumour that there were a few tanks buried in a bog on Soltau? They couldn't get them out so let them sink. That one was rife in the mid to late sixties. I also heard versions where the ARV was in there as well!

Having watched the Donkey Wallopers slinging themselves, with gay abandon, into the Schwinndebeck I would attach a lot of credence to that "rumour" steve.
Having said that, I can't imagine the recovery chappies giving up on the job somehow, expensive things tanks !
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Bins Newman
LCpl
LCpl


Number of posts : 8
Localisation : London
Cap Badge : RCT
Places Served : Colerne, Monchengladbach, Colchester, Cyprus
Registration date : 2012-12-01

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PostSubject: Re: Rail facilities at BAOR and RAF bases   Rail facilities at BAOR and RAF bases - Page 3 Icon_minitime10/7/2020, 20:59

Hello

Military Railways in Germany were operated by 79 Railway Squadron RCT based at Monchengladbach.  from here they would travel out to various depots to support what ever was going on Railway wise.  The depots I seem to recall were:-
Rheindahlen Holt 1 (79 Railway's operating base) & Holt 2 (Nicknamed "The Other side" as this was the RAOC VSD also know as disposals.  Now home to Monchengladbach football club.  Think it was called Ayrshire Barracks)
Raf Bruggen
RAF Wildenwrath (Believe now owned by Siemans Rail as a testing facility)
RAF Gutersloh
Arsbeck
Sennerlager
154 FAD Wulfen
3 BAD Bracht (main line rail provided by the Kaldenkirchen Klien Bahn)
Willich (Cold, barren, miserable & windswept open space that also used to have a narrow gauge railway at one point)
Wetter (Command workshop of some sort)
Hohne Railhead
Mark Hamm (Same sort of shit hole as Willich)

79 Railway also provided the maintenance support for The Berliner.  Once a year a group of us would go to Berlin (on The Berliner) and service both of the trains
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JPW
Let Gen
Let Gen


Number of posts : 1114
Age : 79
Localisation : Berkshire
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Rotenburg Ploen Lippstadt Hamm Wetter Minden Munster Bielefeldt Dusseldorf
Registration date : 2008-11-09

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PostSubject: Re: Rail facilities at BAOR and RAF bases   Rail facilities at BAOR and RAF bases - Page 3 Icon_minitime19/7/2020, 20:48

Bins

As a lifelong railway enthusiast who spent many years in BAOR and had first hand experience of many facets of the military railway systems sponsored by the Sapper/RCT organisations, the Transport and Movement Control Organisation and Deutsche Bundesbahn proper, read you input with interest.

You can add the major siding complex at Fallingbostel used by the major units of 7 Armoured Brigade based in the Garrison. There were also many more locations such as the Lodenheide complex in Munster which was served by a lengthy spur of a mainline ending in a substantial concrete off loading
platform where tanks and APCs could be easily loaded/off loaded on to the special military bogie flat car wagons. Think there was only sufficient traffic at the RAF Stations you mention plus the ammunition depots to warrant a small diesel shunter to be permanently based there. These were owned by the MOD but operated under contracts let by 23 Regt/79 Squadron by German Civilians.

Note your comments about the Berliner, did you ever witness the antics at Potsdam and Marienborn involving Soviet Border Force personnel designed to ensure that no East German refugee escaped to the west by hiding in the under carriage of the coaches. There was also the exchange of train documents on the platform at Marienborn (rumour control had it that the length of time it took was a direct reflection of Soviet/Nato political relations at any particular time)

Were you involved with the routine preventive servicing/maintenance of the BAOR Ambulance train vehicles stabled in the military sidings adjacent to Ayrshire Barracks? Did you have anything to do with the pool of small Military Guards vans held by 79 Squadron which were attached as additional security to any dedicated British military freight train containing sensitive equipment or ammunition?
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Bins Newman
LCpl
LCpl


Number of posts : 8
Localisation : London
Cap Badge : RCT
Places Served : Colerne, Monchengladbach, Colchester, Cyprus
Registration date : 2012-12-01

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PostSubject: Re: Rail facilities at BAOR and RAF bases   Rail facilities at BAOR and RAF bases - Page 3 Icon_minitime21/7/2020, 11:51

hello JPW

Think it is fairly safe to say that railways do get under your skin. I joined 79 Railway in 1982 at Monchengladbach just before they got a multi million pound make over. Major repairs to the track upto Holt 1 (known as "the other side") refurbishment to the stabling sidings at Holt 2 and best of all, nice new shiney locomotives from Hunslet in Leeds.

I don't recognise any of the sites you mention probably because they may not have been owned by 79 railway however the emergency provisions of the new laws that came into force after the second world were were never actually repealed with regards to the railway. Although they were never used in anger, technically, the military could take control of any aspect of the German Railway. In reality this just meant we got to use some of their old facilities which the Bundesbahn may have prefered us not to have use of. Some of these sites were well maintained because the Americans had a war role for them, which meant they paid for the maintenance etc. Holt 2 (79 railways operating base) was set up to shift vast amounts of Abrahams tanks as a part of its war role. I remember on one occasion begging the bundesbahn not to drop the air on a train of 20 warflats containing Abrahams because the old 600bhp ex-wehrmach loco we were using would have taken for ever to charge it back up.

Our work at RAF stations mainly consisted of Aftag and large ammunition deliveries which the bundesbahn didn't like to pull for us because if the IRA weren't trying to blow it up Green Peace tried to throw things at it (Paint bombs mostly)

I have seen the document ceremony at Marienborn when we went into the corridor. something quite to see. Very formal and respectful. As for escaping refugees, probably best I don't comment on that one

As regards the servicing of the ambulances coaches (and everything else), hell yes! That was my forte. I loved all aspect of working on the railways but the mechanics of the regiment were my true love (hence today I'm the Lead Technician on the London Overground) The maintenance was fairly basic in relation to modern day servicing schedules, but it gave me a great grounding for my current job. The guards vans were used quite a bit for ammunition trains and the like. It was good fun going on day trips to the seaside with enough explosive power to ruin the whole worlds day. I remember on one occasion being sent to Zeebrugge to pick up a "naked man" that customs had found in one of the protection wagons of an ammunition train. Basically it was guy from the regiment who had annoyed someone so he had been tied up in his underwear in one of the wagons with the intention of letting him out in the morning. Unfortunately the train left early on a special path so no one released him, we covered up for him (or so we thought) in the regiment, but he was found at the port. The blame game went everywhere upto the point that even the lady in the NAAFI van was under suspicion of some sort of involvement !

I remember that one of the old guards vans at Holt 2 was used by a german civilian called Helmut who was the daytime shunter. He had a cosy little set up in there and was as snug as a bug in a rug.

The ambulance coaches were really only used for exercise accommodation by us or by the medical corps for Exercise Maximash" The coach to be involved with on these exercises was the Utility Wagon which was a mobile power station and steam heating generator, a great job to have.

The squadron also had a couple of catering cars which were just kitchens and a buffet area (a sort of G10 wagon on rails)
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