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British Military Train
 
Rail was a major method of moving troops and supplies for the advancing British Troops at the end of World War 2 and throughout the BAOR Occupation era. Dover/Folkestone and the French/Belgian Channel Ports was the initial sea route followed by rail into the BAOR After the end of hostilities the Harwich - Hook of Holland and Hull/Newcastle - Cuxhaven routes were also used with onward journey by rail to the final BAOR destinations. By 1948/49 the majority of passenger military traffic was concentrated on the Harwich - Hook route using the Troopships SS Vienna and Empire's Parkestone and Wansbeck. A special troop train left Liverpool Street Station London in connection with the overnight sailing to the Hook, similarly there was a breakfast time departure from Parkestone Quay for the inward UK bound passengers. To and from the Hook there were three subsequently two dedicated troop trains daily to serve the BAOR Garrisons. One for the north taking the mainline direct to the Dutch/German border at Bentheim then travelling via Osnabruck/Bremen/Soltau and finally terminating in Hamburg. The second took a more circuitous route via Emmerich/Dalheim, the Ruhr/Hamm/Bielefeld/Hannover and again terminating in Hamburg. For a time in the late 40s there was also an Express service via Osnabruck to the then HQ BAOR/RAF(G) in the Bad Oeynhausen/Buckeburg area and a more convenient connection with the then overnight Berlin sleeper. With the reorganisation of BAOR into the 1st British Corps area the service was cut back to Hannover but with declining demand reduction in troop numbers and the end of National Service (troop drafts were a constant source of passengers), Air Trooping from Luton (subsequently Stansted) to the airheads at Dusseldorf/Gutersoh/Hannover/Wildenrath and Berlin was a more economic method of transport and rail movement ceased in the early 60s apart from the Berliner. Until 1955 there was an additional daily troop train to and from the Hook to Klagenfurt for the benefit of British Troops Austria which may also have been used by military personnel travelling to and from the Cologne area.
 JPW
 
  Braunschweig (Brunswick as us Brits like to refer to it) Hauptbahnhof.
This was where the British troops would begin their 145 mile, rail journey  East. Next stop, Berlin.
Courtesy of R.W. Rynerson.
 
The train first ran in July 1945 bringing members of the British element of the Control Commission Germany to take up their positions in the future British Sector of Berlin. Freight trains and a separate passenger service commenced shortly afterwards with a British Army Escort on board to prevent looting. The locomotive crew were initially professional railwaymen, serving members of the Royal Engineers (Railway Operating Division). In 1947 a regular daily overnight passenger service (in both directions) between Berlin and Bad Oeynhausen and Herford, the then location of HQ BAOR/HQ CCG where there were connections with the British Army Troop Trains from the Hook of Holland, twice a week the train continued direct to the Hook. In 1947 the service temporarily ceased following the Russian blockade of all land routes through their Zone of Occupation (future East Germany). Traffic resumed in May 1949 with the lifting of the Blockade but in the early 1950s the western terminus was cut back to Hannover Hbf.

In the early 1960s the service was reorganised and became a day time train based on a once a day shuttle out and back from Berlin to Brunswick (Braunschweig) linked to the air trooping flights out of Hannover. Duty passengers dropped significantly but the service played a useful role for families based in Berlin who could enjoy a brief shopping trip in Brunswick during the turn round period.

Although nominally nonstop, the Berlin bound train stopped in Helmstedt to change engines between the West and East German Railway systems and carry out frontier documentation.There was a lengthy stop in Marienborn (the first station in East Germany) with an exchange of documentation with the Russian Authorities and a detailed external check including the use of dogs by the East German Border Guards (to ostensibly prevent smuggling of goods or refugees). There was then a brief stop in Magdeburg for operating reasons (the former double track onwards to Berlin had been singled at the time of the Blockade). The train stopped again in the Potsdam area for a further detailed search by the East German Border Guards before crossing into West Berlin at Wannsee and terminating in Charlottenburg. A similar routine was followed during the outward/westbound journey.

With the fall of the Berlin Wall and German Reunification the status of the Allied Forces in Berlin changed rapidly. The Berliner became an expensive redundant facility ceasing in 1990 without ceremony, the planned VIP final train was cancelled due to the operational commitments elsewhere in BAOR created by the run-up to Operation Granby and the First Iraq War.
JPW
 
More info on the British Military Train can be found by clicking here.
 
The British Military Train being towed by a  Deutsche Bahn locomotive, 1969.
Courtesy of R.W. Rynerson.
 
THE SCHOOL TRAINS
Rail was the preferred method of long distance travel within the British Zone and as part of this policy Special Trains to and from Ploen and Wilhemshaven ran at the beginning and end of each term. Initially one train for each school was sufficient but, by 1950, with the increase in pupil numbers two trains were required.

For KAS Ploen the basic routes were
A Train Koln-The Ruhr-Hamm-Munster-Osnabruck-Bremen-Hamburg-Lubeck- Ploen
B Train Gutersloh- Bielefeld- Hannover-Hamburg- Lubeck-Ploen

For PRS Wilhemshaven the basic routes were
A Train Krefeld-The Ruhr-Munster-Osnabruck-Bremen- Wilhemshaven
B Train Bielefeld Wunsdorf (where the through section from Hannover/Celle was coupled on)- Bremen-Wilhemshaven

The trains stopped in all the major British garrisons en route to pick up/set down passengers, some of whom would have to travel by road to their final destinations. Pupils travelling to and from Berlin would change at Hannover to join the overnight Berliner.

It is believed that no special trains were provided for pupils from the Windsor Schools at Hamm, they would use the existing Troop Trains (which stopped in Hamm) travel by civilian train or be bussed to and from their home garrisons which were generally in the south of the British Zone.
JPW
 
A handout/time table given to British Troops can be viewed here.
 
One of the carriages from the British Military train ("The Berliner") now resides at Fort Paull, a short distance from Kingston-upon Hull. More can be found here. See photo below.
 
Railway carriage of the "Berliner" British Military Train. It is preserved at Fort Paull just outside of Hull.
Looks as if it could use a little TLC. Perhaps the piccy will be of some use. There is also the sole remaining Blackburn Beverley transport aircraft based there. Probably well remembered by RASC/RCT Air Despatchers
of a 'certain age'. The only other survivor was at the RAF Museum, Hendon.
It was scrapped a few years ago after it had been allowed to deteriorate in the open.
Photograph and text courtesy of "Flash" Claymore
 
Charlottenburg Bahnhof, 1969.
Courtesy of R.W. Rynerson
 
 
Charlottenburg Bahnhof, 1969.
Courtesy of R.W. Rynerson
 
Charlottenburg Bahnhof car park, 1969.
Courtesy of R.W. Rynerson