Saturday, May 12, 2012

The British Miltary Train

21 years ago the curtain came down on one of the most difficult and yet smoothly and consistently delivered trains in the history of European railways. The British Military Train was born in the wreckage of defeated and broken Germany, and spent its life on the front line of the Cold War. It was operated in a unique and highly politicised partnership between British Army railway operators and the two state railways of the divided Germany. There had been nothing like it before, and it is unthinkable that we will ever see the like of it again. It ran without fuss, with a very British understatement of the political minefield surrounding it.

On 12 May 2012 we acknowledge and celebrate the calm professionalism of railway people, civilian and military, British and German, who did the job, day in day out, without triggering a Third World War. Steam loco 03 1010 will head a train of 1960s carriages, including a dining car, from Berlin to Hannover and back. Proceeds from the train will go to the Royal British Legion in Berlin, and the military guest of honour will be Major General David Burden CBE, retired Colonel Commandant of the Royal Logistics Corps and a former OC Train of the Berliner. The dining car will serve a typical Royal Corps of Transport menu and wine list.

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