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Monster Moves Turkish adventure


article by: Ian Crowder
posted on: 28 March 2011
updated on: 01 May 2011

It could have been ‘journey’s end’: The two 8Fs in a siding at Sivas, having been stored for 20 years.  The sleepers under the second locomotive are so rotten that the engine has dropped between the rails.  The one nearest the camera is no. 45170, the other is 45166 (Photo: Mike Hoskin)
It could have been ‘journey’s end’: The two 8Fs in a siding at Sivas, having been stored for 20 years. The sleepers under the second locomotive are so rotten that the engine has dropped between the rails. The one nearest the camera is no. 45170, the other is 45166 (Photo: Mike Hoskin)   Click to view larger version

Journey’s beginning: the unmistakeable lines of two British-built 8F 2-8-0s, nos. 45170 (nearest the camera) and 45166 are shunted at Sivas yard before being added to a freight train that would take them 850 miles across Turkey to Izmir ready for shipping to the UK (Photo Mike Hoskin)
Journey’s beginning: the unmistakeable lines of two British-built 8F 2-8-0s, nos. 45170 (nearest the camera) and 45166 are shunted at Sivas yard before being added to a freight train that would take them 850 miles across Turkey to Izmir ready for shipping to the UK (Photo Mike Hoskin)   Click to view larger version

New beginning: the rescue team with 8F no. 45166, safely arrived from Sivas at Izmir docks before being shipped back to the UK.  Left to right are: on the locomotive, Mike and Kevin Hoskin, in front are Chris Brooks and Andrew Goodman (Photo: Guven Ogaz)
New beginning: the rescue team with 8F no. 45166, safely arrived from Sivas at Izmir docks before being shipped back to the UK. Left to right are: on the locomotive, Mike and Kevin Hoskin, in front are Chris Brooks and Andrew Goodman (Photo: Guven Ogaz)   Click to view larger version

Don't miss the History Channel on Tuesday evening (29th March) at 9pm: Monster Moves traces the story of the move of two British-built Stanier 8F class 2-8-0 locomotives across Turkey from Sivas to Izmir, ready for shipping back to the UK.

This story has been widely told already in the railway media.  The Churchill 8F Group are responsible for this huge challenge, which involved taking the locomotives - which had not moved a wheel for at least a decade - within a freight train over 850 miles from one side of the country to the other, and without so much as a hot axlebox developing, although there were plenty of other challenges en-route!  The documentary traces every step of this extraordinary journey.

The locomotives are now safely in the UK.  The Toddington-based Churchill 8F Group are already well experienced in 'monster moves' of this sort: their ex-Turkish 8F no. 45160 was returned to steam on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway in 2010 and the programme includes clips of this engine working on the line. 

Mike Hoskin, who has developed a close relationship with the Turkish railwaymen and Government departments who have enthusiastically co-operated with the project, says: "I'd particularly like to acknowledge the help given by Fahri Polat of Sivas shed who couldn't have been more helpful, and travelled with us on the freight train.

"The film is a real epic - and although many might think that this is a crazy venture, it is saving a vital piece of British railway heritage and tells an extraordinary story about how these engines came to be so far from home in Turkey in the first place."

He adds: "I'm certain that the friends we have made in Turkey think we are more than a bit mad.  And just to prove it, we plan to go back to get two more - leaving two preserved examples remaining in the country!"

Both locomotives will eventually be returned to steam.  No 45170 is privately owned and is currently on display at the National Railway Museum's Shildon centre; the other is owned by the Churchill 8F Group and is currently stored at Barry in South Wales: close to the site of the infamous Barry scrapyard where some of its British sisters ended up.

No. 45160 will be one of the mainstays of services between Cheltenham Racecourse and Winchcombe this year, which start on 22nd April.

Meanwhile, the 8F will be appearing at the Gr8 Escape gala event over the weekend of 9th and 10th April.

For more information and a clip, you can go to http://www.history.co.uk/videos.html?bctid=791119451001&title=Monster-Moves:-Titanic-Train







12 comments for “Monster Moves Turkish adventure”

  1. Gravatar of Mike BondMike Bond
    Posted 29 March 2011 at 21:34:18

    I'd watch that if it was on freeview...

  2. Gravatar of dutboydutboy
    Posted 30 March 2011 at 10:02:41

    I think its on a freeview channel in June.

  3. Gravatar of Geoffrey BaskervilleGeoffrey Baskerville
    Posted 31 May 2011 at 10:18:57

    Here in Sydney Australia, have just watched, on TV Monster Moves, your exciting trip from Sivas to Izmir with the two locos. A fascinating programme and an exciting event. I was brought up at Newton-le-Willows, Lancashire and I recall as a boy Liberation Locomotives were made, is the Churchill loco one of these or a different class altogether? How are the renovation works going? It appeared to me that you were facing a mammoth task restoring these rust buckets, but as the saying goes where there is a will there is a way. All best wishes.
    Geoffrey Baskerville

  4. Gravatar of Michael MillarMichael Millar
    Posted 26 December 2011 at 20:14:51

    Does anybody know what the original LMS numbers were for these two Class 8's? Obviously the numbers they have at the moment weren't them because on B. R. they belonged to two Black 5's, so I assume they are the Turkish State Railways numbers.

  5. Gravatar of Allan LewisAllan Lewis
    Posted 25 February 2012 at 10:38:49

    Just watched the Monster Moves Turkey 8F show on TV tonight in Adelaide South Australia 25/2/12.It was a great show.Would like to see one restored as it ran in Turkey,only an idea.

  6. Gravatar of Josep AlifonsoJosep Alifonso
    Posted 16 March 2012 at 15:34:32

    Hi, I always admired the determination of UK citizens, today I have seen a documentary on the Catalan TV channel TV3 when four courageous Brits recovered two locomotives from Turkey, amazing when decided walk along the track to find a part of missing half piece of bushing, congratulations.

  7. Gravatar of Adam PatrickAdam Patrick
    Posted 01 May 2012 at 20:09:21

    Just saw the Monster move on channel 5 catch up TV. Good Work, you are the type of persons who put the Great into Britain!!

  8. Gravatar of MarkMark
    Posted 29 July 2013 at 21:00:16

    Fabulous documentary. Well done. It bought a tear to my eye.

  9. Gravatar of Ann ChamberlainAnn Chamberlain
    Posted 29 July 2013 at 22:49:02

    Brilliant programme but missed the first 15 mins where there was a clip of one of them working!? I would love to do a trip like that.

  10. Gravatar of rob daviesrob davies
    Posted 01 August 2013 at 20:40:05

    Where are they being preserved

  11. Gravatar of Tom CunninghamTom Cunningham
    Posted 04 August 2013 at 21:59:04

    Inspirational, well done lads what a way to save the 8Fs. Just wish I had the skills and ability to do that.

  12. Gravatar of Alastair.E.Mclachlan@gmail.comAlastair.E.Mclachlan@gmail.com
    Posted 21 October 2013 at 20:51:40

    Fantastic effort guys. Must have been a real adventure.
    Would love to know how things are going.


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