Memories of the BR 64

Memories of the BR 64

By Roger Heid

 

Back in 1954, living in West Germany, I started to commute to school, on a daily basis. Quite often, the commuter train was pulled by a BR 64. Often, I stood right next to it, giving it a thorough inspection, sometimes engulfed by a sudden cloud of hot steam. That’s what you get if you’re too nosy.

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On the way to school, I merely accepted the fact that it was a BR 64, and I tolerated it. There was no choice in the matter, anyhow. On the way home, however, I just loved it, for obvious reasons. The passenger cars I rode in consisted of a multitude of types and designation numbers. That is a science all of its own. I never followed through on this because I could care less about that, at the time and never thereafter. But one particular type, namely the so-called ‘Thunderbox’, sticks in my mind.

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The interior was relatively roomy, but the seats were not very well suited for long distance traveling. The noise could easily become annoying, after some time. This is what supposedly gave those cars their name. They were of an all metal construction without much of noise insulation. The suspension system appeared to be crude. If there was a fly speck on the tracks, you could feel it.

The other passenger cars I encountered I cannot list by name or type. Instead, below you see model pictures of those.

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My tenure of commuting on this branch line lasted until spring of 1966. That’s when I got my first car. During those years, I saw changes in the locomotives and passenger cars. The BR 64 became rarer and was increasingly replaced by BR 75’s. In appearance, they are very similar to the BR64.

On occasions, I also became familiar with the BR 23. That one I will address in a future blog.

 

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