The IVA88 Exhibition Train
|During the early summer of 1988 the International
Transport and Traffic Exhibition (IVA88) was held in Hamburg, Germany. British
Rail was asked to participate and sent a representative train of vehicles to the
exhibition. I was asked to organise the transit move from Derby to Hamburg and
back. I enlisted the assistance of Railfreight International, who were the main
agents for shifting freight to and from the UK. They dealt with all the
paperwork necessary for the journey. It was unusual being a train of seven
vehicles (including locomotives and passenger vehicles) so a great deal of work
went into these preparations.
This was a very interesting project as since the last time vehicles had been sent abroad, the cross channel train ferry had been replaced and the operational methods upgraded. In former days (of the Night Ferry Trains) the ferry had a special enclosed dock facility with lock gates. As the boat tied up within the dock the gates were closed and the water level adjusted such that the train ferry was level with the dockside. Vehicles were loaded and unloaded on the level.
The modernised version of this did away with the special dock and
instead had an adjustable drawbridge (known as the Linkspan), which could be
configured to allow vehicles to run down (or on the level) onto the train ferry,
whatever the state of the tide. Dunkerque had a similar arrangement.
The train consisted of the following vehicles.
interesting challenges arose with the need to accommodate the Sprinter within
the formation. This train had BSI couplers and Westcode electric brakes. The
problem of the couplers was overcome by equipping the two redundant ex-SR vans from
Eastleigh with BSI couplers on one end and these were used as match wagons.
The vans were also used to take various pieces of equipment to Hamburg which
were required for the exhibition and were specially re-painted in the
Here is a pictorial record of the journey to Hamburg, the exhibition and the return trip.
Click on the pictures for a bigger image - all photos by the author unless otherwise credited
|150263 in the
sunshine at Cardiff Canton depot prior to its departure for the RTC where it was
marshalled into the Hamburg train.
|The Class 89 en route from
Bounds Green to RTC on 25th April 1988 - pictured at Cossington near
D R Towers
|One of the International coaches
in the EDU workshop at RTC Derby.
|The International coaches at the
|The locos pictured
at the RTC
|The train at the Old Dalby test
track whilst undergoing brake tests
After it completed its brake testing at Old Dalby the train returned to the RTC for final preparation before commencing its journey to Germany on 22nd May
|On the afternoon of 22nd May the train is pictured in the yard outside Dover Western Docks having just arrived from Derby||In Western Docks Yard the shunting was carried out by a couple of class 33 locos. Here is 33203 marshalling the vans.|
|89001,90008 and 91003 wait in the yard ready to join the ferry||The scene in Western Docks Yard on 23rd May 1988 as the train is marshalled ready to be propelled onto the ferry.|
|A view of the LinkSpan in its raised position with a glimpse of the new SNCF train ferry 'Nord Pas-De-Calais' (NPDC) beyond||The locos are propelled down the gradient onto the LinkSpan|
|The view from the ferry's train deck as the three locomotives are propelled over the LinkSpan by 33203||The view from the cab of the Sprinter at Dover Western Docks as the train is propelled down the slope towards the LinkSpan and onto the ferry|
|Freight wagons were also being loaded - here the class 33 propels a couple of Ferry wagons onto the ferry||One of the International Coaches is securely chained to the deck for the journey across the Channel. Freight stock occupies the roads either side.|
|The view of the SNCF LinkSpan from the bridge of NPDC as the ship docks at Dunkerque||
The NPDC train ferry at sea.
It is still in existence having been converted into a conventional Ro-Ro
ferry around 1995 after the opening of the Channel Tunnel. Look here
for some pictures of the inside and out of the ferry Look
here for pictures
of it docking at Dover
|The author enjoys a spell on the bridge||The NPDC train ferry docks at Dunkerque|
On arrival in Dunkerque the train was re-assembled and examined by the SNCF prior to being loco-hauled by various locomotives via Tourcoing, Brussels, Aachen and Dusseldorf, to Hamburg where it arrived on the afternoon of 25th May.
|On 24 May 1988 at 1 o'clock in the morning the train is pictured in Tourcoing yard, on the Belgian/French border, en route to Hamburg.||Later in the morning the train is pictured awaiting a French locomotive to continue on its journey to Hamburg|
En route through Belgium the train consist can be clearly seen in this photo from the rearmost International Coach. Note left hand running.
|The train pauses at Aachen en route|
|The train is pictured in the yard at Aachen prior to departure behind a Class 140 Bo-Bo. Note the barrier wagons which DB marshalled into the formation for additional braking capacity.||
The train approaching the German border - note right hand running
|A picture taken from the rear of the train en route through Germany||On arrival at the site in Hamburg the train was stabled next to the main line and the abattoir.|
|A fine shot of 89001 with the Sprinter in the background. The wire was not energised - the pantograph is raised purely for the photographer - me!||The Class 90 locomotive 90008 with its pan up|
|The Class 91 locomotive 91003||Visitors walk between the vehicles. Access to the vehicles was supervised by the BR staff on site.|
After arrival the train was stabled next to the local abattoir whilst awaiting marshalling into the final positions - I remember the awful smell.
|For the exhibition it was necessary to turn the Class 91. The picture shows a diminutive DB shunter hauling the loco to a convenient triangle nearby||The view from the cab during the turning move|
The class 91 in Hamburg Altona station during the turning
|The class 91pictured here after the move and awaiting allocation to its final position|
|The International coaches await the visitors||The view from the roof of the Class 91 shows the British stock, the Class 90 and Class 89 behind the Class 91 and the Sprinter behind the International Coaches, still with the match wagons attached.|
|A map of the site of IVA88 including the exhibition site and the sidings where the vehicles were stabled||This was my entry badge for the show|
The exhibition hall plan
|Inside the exhibition hall the British Rail stands are empty - before opening time|
|Another shot from the information desk - note the model class 91 and Mk4 coach||And another view - note the Networker mock up in the right background|
|The cover of the magazine which was handed out at the BR stand||The cover of the British catalogue of companies|
After the stock was positioned and everything set up we had to tear ourselves away and fly back to the UK. Two weeks later after the exhibition had finished we flew back again to prepare the train for the return journey.
|The landmark TV tower dominates this picture of the International Coaches and Sprinter outside the exhibition site.||A DB express hauled by a Class 103 electric loco passes 91003 at the head of the re-formed train awaiting departure from Hamburg on June 15th 1988|
|The train leaves Hamburg heading for home||The train is seen passing through Germany on a nice sunny evening en route for home|
|Another shot as the train runs through Germany||In the late afternoon of 16th June, the train undergoes a check by the SNCF C & W Department at Tourcoing Yard on the way home|
|The Sprinter with its match wagons waits at Dunkerque before being propelled onto the ferry||A close up of the side of one of the match wagons ADB889015 photographed at Dunkerque on 17th June.|
|The train is propelled towards the train ferry at Dunkerque on 17th June 1988||This SNCF Alco A1A A1A diesel loco dates from the Second World War|
A view of the complete train as it was being propelled towards the ferry at Dunkerque
|The ferry awaits||
The NPDC train ferry in its later SeaFrance livery
entering Calais harbour
|Back home in Dover Western Docks yard, the Class 33 has just hauled the Sprinter off the ship and had dropped it off in readiness for the locos to be marshalled in front.||The Class 89 is placed next to the leading match wagon and the 91 can be seen in the background ready for the last leg.|
|One of the IVA88 match wagons B889009 repainted and looking good at Totnes Riverside on the South Devon Railway on 17th August 2008||One of the IVA88 match wagons B889015 at SDR on 17th August 2008|
The train returned to the RTC overnight on 17th June 1988 after which the various vehicles were returned to their rightful owners. An undertaking of this nature is highly unlikely ever to take place again.
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