Steam & Railway Image Library - The Alan Ledger Collection

Picture of the week: 038-039
Picture of the week: 038-039

Merry Christmas!

One of my favourite foreign steam engines, not big by any means but they were really photogenic. What lovely proportioned engines they were. Over 4000 were built from 1906. Here is an ex Prussian P8 4-6-0. West German class 038 number 039 (038-039) at rest on it’s over night stay inside the shed safely under cover at Freudenstadt, Wurttemberg deep in the Black Forest region of Germany.
It’s fitted with an electric generator behind the chimney, then a sand box in front of the dome, and look at that gleaming air pump on the running board with the main air reservoir tank ahead of it.
The last few engines of this large class were still working passenger turns out of the university town of Tubingen, the final depot to have them in West Germany. Four or five of Tubingen’s allocation would turn up back at home late every night and we were able to photograph them being serviced. The rest would be tucked away far and wide as here at Freudenstadt until the next morning. They worked amazingly complex diagrams taking them all over the place and miles away from Tubingen due to the nature of the railway network in the area, disappearing for hours even days on end and then all of a sudden reappearing. A car was really essential to keep up with them we found out. We had my old Ford Anglia completely out of place in Germany on the next visit for 2 weeks the following year.
This was quiet a large modern building here at Freudenstadt for a depot in such a small place but now only housing this engine and if memory serves me right an ex Prussian T18 4-6-2 tank, 78-482 from Rottwiel, a tank engine version of the P8 which had arrived light engine for some reason as an unexpected visitor. Also along with a DB bus to keep them company.
We knew 038-039 was here having arrived late at night on the last train from Eutingen on the Stuttgart to Singen, (Switzerland) and we couldn’t miss the chance of an atmospheric night time shot like this. One by one they were withdrawn over the next three years, replaced by Diesels. The last three finally finishing work in May 1973 after 60 odd years in service. Two still exist in use in Germany and there is at least one left in Poland.
27th August 1970.


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