A Ride on a V 200 Diesel Locomotive

A Ride on a V200 Diesel Locomotive

By Roger Heid

 

During the mid 1960’s, I commuted from my home town to Stuttgart in order to attend a Tech College, about 5-6 times per month. One day, I was about 19, on my way back home, I got to the Station a little early. The train was already standing by, waiting for departure time.

This train was classified as a ‘Fast Train’. My destination was the City of Aalen, almost 50 miles due East from Stuttgart. There were numerous stops in between, but this train would stop only twice, on the way. The passenger cars were of the rather long 4-axle type. I cannot recall their exact models or numbers, something I never really paid any attention to, anyway. My main interest had always focused on the different locomotive types.

Naturally, I was very curious to see which locomotive this train will be pulled by, and, after a short walk, I found myself standing next to the engine. Oh Boy! She was big! A huge red monster she was, indeed! I had never seen anything like this before. Wow!!

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No, the guy you see standing next to the loco, wasn’t me, but you can clearly appreciate the dimensions. To make the long story short: Once again, I climbed up into a locomotive cab. The friendly engineer motioned me to do so, as we had about 10 minutes before departure time. I think he saw genuine interest in my face. Maybe he sensed the emotion coming from my very soul.

From up there, the tracks appear to be a lot narrower than when you stand right next to them on the ground. The control panel was not as complex as I had expected. But then again, I had no idea what to expect, in the first place. The engineer tried to answer all my questions, about a hundred per minute, or so.

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Departure time arrived way too quickly. There were about 30 seconds left. Wouldn’t you believe, the engineer allowed me to stay in the cab. You may figure out by yourself that I had hoped and planned for this. I had won my conniving gamble. Yes, yes, yes!!!!! Ain’t I a stinker?

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The ensuing trip to Aalen was just simply glorious. On the downside, though, it did not last long enough. I felt like I could have stayed in that cab for the rest of my life. Once in Aalen, I climbed off board, with clean hands and face and no black soot on my clothes. Wow! I hurried to get to my connecting train, which turned out to be pulled by the familiar BR38.

During the last leg of my trip, I dwelled on this new experience. Maybe I should have pursued on old plan of mine, namely to become a locomotive engineer instead of an electronics technician. Oh well, I had chosen my path. Maybe I will ride this train again, this time in a passenger car. I did so, numerous times, and I enjoyed the heck out of it, every time. I have fond memories of those days.

The V200 was first commissioned sometimes in the late ‘50’s. She is of the 4-axle Diesel Hydraulic ilk. Initially, the V200 was primarily used for Express Trains, replacing famous steam engines, such as the BR01 and BR03. Later on, you could also encounter it on local commuter lines. I am not familiar with its entire history, but I do know that, toward the end of her tenure, a 6-axle version was introduced. There were only a few of them manufactured. Those were the V300 type, a model of which is in my collection.

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 Maerklin has this model in their catalogue (#37805). Roco and Fleischmann also offer this model. Check it out.

In the meantime, you will see new types of Diesel engines in Germany or Europe, if you will. I will deal with that in a future Blog. Just give me some time, please.

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