Orient-Express 10: Usak Express (50 p.)

Railroadforums.com is a free online Railroad Discussion Forum and Railroad Photo Gallery for railroaders, railfans, model railroaders and anyone else who is interested in railroads. We cover a wide variety of topics, including freight trains, passenger and commuter railroads, rail news and information, tourist railroads, railway museums and railroad history.


Proud Earthling

To the previous part of the series:
Orient-Express 9: Esme Market Day (50 p.)

To the video of the trip:

Detailed TCDD rail map (Attention - 12.9 MB):

September 25 2013

We return to lunch break at Esme where we were visiting a pide place already tested by my roommate the day before. We were guided to the upper floor of the establishment where apart from other members of our group mainly female farmers were waiting for their meals. The chaotic service proved to be a fascinating object for studies, especially since it became obvious that we received preferential treatment compared to the rural population. At one table the ladies only were served once we were already leaving. I also shocked the waiter by ordering pide without cheese (of course several kinds of cheese bearing different names here), only just in time we noticed that I was about to order pide without any topping... ;-)

Back at the station: onion transport to the market - the poor guy first had to circumvent our steam special, then the bag was lifted onto the platform in a joint effort...

Two elderly ladies at Esme.

After lunch we returned to bridge #2 situated on a steep grade behind Güneyköy. Some vegetation reminded me of "alpine gardens".

Further photo runs towards Esme.

View of bridge #2 from the hillside, to the left the hamlet I had explored the day before.

After the photo session at the bridge we continued to Türkmentepe halt, then the steam train did another uphill run across the bridge in the distance. I combined this picture with an image taken while stopping at the station the other afternoon.

We took a short break at Konaklar before it was time for evening light shots at bridge #1.

Goings-on could be followed best wearing mum's clogs... :)


Gang of little rascals at Konaklar. Meanwhile we observed "Turkeys in Turkey" on a field nearby.

Subsequently we rode the pure steam composition up to bridge #1 where I walked along the mountainside to reach this position together with a few others. Before the first steam run-past took place we had to wait for this already known draisine to pass...

Steam photo special above our Euphrates replacement gorge with view into the wide valley.

For the second run I chose a spot where I could place the train in front of the hazy mountain range in the background.


Next we once more visited Tünel #1. Upon arrival I noticed this lovely view across rocks and along telegraph poles - at first I was the only one walking this far back.

The wide open view into the other direction.

It slowly was about time to clear the line for the express trains, the diesel already had arrived. Still, one more run-past could be arranged.


Shortly after 6 p.m. we once again passed the raisins laid out to dry at Gümüscay.

As we reached the plain we came across a pair of additional organic insulators on a telegraph pole.

In last evening light we dieseled up the grade to Alasehir.

With Dg53752 and Karabük I awaited the meet of both Usak Express trains. The little girl was a little too shy for the official portrait...

After the crossing, DE24341 accelerated its "Ekspres Usak" towards Izmir.


A couple worked on this professionally constructed building between blocks of flats. Its purpose stayed a mystery to us

Afterwards our photo train started shunting. The level crossing barriers were secured by an ingenious solution: a light bulb hanging between two sheets of red glass.

On the way to the hotel it already had become dark.

September 26 2013

Next morning we once more assembled at 6:30 on the platform, but this time we would receive an even worse message: 3 hours delay! We also learnt another reason why we were not allowed onto the line earlier: the next crossing station, Konaklar, would not be staffed until 8 o' clock.
So, we scouted the surroundings - the most interesting of the four water towers at the former depot had been constructed from an old tender of a probably 19th century steamer.

In India I had spotted five schoolchildren on a motorbike - here at least three generations: daughter - father - grandfather on the way to school!


We recognized one more obstacle for concrete plannung as the level crossing guard prepared for Izmir Mavi, which was terribly late. Only after some time another rail official came by and informed him about the delay. Obviously stations were relaying information one to the next, so getting a full picture of train delays was difficult. At least the level crossing staff had made themselves at home on their post, later the female baker from the shop in the background joined them.

We could follow the busy traffic in the streets, for example our "burning" Alasehir-based bus company came by - somehow all of its vehicles looked better than ours from Ankara to Usak - as well as schoolbusses, city busses...
We also managed to statistically evaluate the success of traffic planning by introducing a centre strip. Intelligently no gap had been left for the next side street. This led to almost all turning traffic changing to the left lane at the last possibility - on the level crossing. This poor horse was directed so roughly around the corner, it almost fell.

Usak Express arrived once more punctuall<, the turntable to the right.

But we were not kept by this train, Izmir Mavi - this time hauled by class DE24000 - would only follow almost an hour later. Around 9:30 a.m. we finally managed to depart.

Upon request we did a first photo run-past in the vineyards of Gümüscay.

Our little train had grown to maximum length, due to low boiler pressure we had pleeeeenty of time for shots.

Pumpkins were growing between vines.

Tünel 12, now from the uphill side.

Short photographer's rest inside the crew carriage. Of course all essentials were provided, even a kitchen could be found.


On bridge #2 we were set off in the middle due to unplanned circumstances, a diesel had lost oil on the rails. At least it provided opportunity for an unusual perspective.

A few attempts were made to cope with the steep, slippery grade hauling the three passenger coach plus freight load, but they all failed.

Only with diesel help the train reached the other side.

For the third time lunch break at Esme - this time we wanted to catch Usak Express out of town and found a spot at a level crossing behind a curve leading into the station. Shortly before it came by a tractor pulling agrarian workers had passed us.

After we had photographed this decorated house together with our DE24249, we looked for börek but only found remainders. I was satisfied with ice cream for lunch.

Later we relaxed in the cool shade of a platform-side cay salon - it was the hottest day of the trip with temperatures reaching 30 degrees at Alasehir, but now we were approaching 1000 metres above sealevel again. One of the Okey (similar to rummy)-players used the hollow steel pipe holding the backrest of his seat as an ashtray...

Subsequently we ventured out once more onto the vast Anatolian plateau. Shortly before passing Ahmetler we were forced to extinguish a fire, but due to its location inside a cutting it did not spread. The only dangerous situation developed as the train started rolling with open doors at about heads' height of the firefighters.

In this uphill section we stopped several times to take pictures featuring magnificent backdrops.


We made it to Inay punctually, shortly before five o'clock the express - which just had left Usak - rolled past this tunnel formed of trees in front of a modern road bridge.

We continue with a sunset photo session in the next part! :)


Ronik, Just another set of outstanding photographs. Thank you for posting your work on this forum. I really enjoy seeing your photos.

RailroadForums.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

RailroadBookstore.com - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section.

ModelRailroadBookstore.com - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)