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Gallery of the Cold War Warrior
CSgt Skuse
  1. Postcards were produced and sold to passengers to boost 62 Movements & Transport Squadron RCT funds. This is a reconstruction of the "Meet & Greet" with the Soviet officer that used to take place at Soviet Checkpoint Alpha, Marienborn Station, but due to the restrictions on photography at that location it was actually staged at Charlottenburg Station, West Berlin.
  2. BMT Postcard
    BMT Postcard
    Another reconstruction of the "meet and greet", this view shows the older livery of the British rolling stock. In the mid 1980s, it was repainted to match the DB colours of the passenger stock leased from the DB. The coach carrying the RCOT blue livery is the restaurant car now located at the Fort Paull Museum in Hull.
  3. BMT Postcard
    BMT Postcard
    The Berliner shown just after it crossed the Inner German Border, between Marienborn and Helmstedt. The locomotive is a DR Class 112; this was not the normal motive power for the BMT.
  4. BMT Postcard
    BMT Postcard
    The Berliner crossing the border into West Berlin at Griebnitzsee, between Potsdam and West Berlin. The locomotive is of the type usually allocated to haul the Berliner, a DR Class 132 built at the Red October Diesel Locomotive Engine Factory, Voroshilovgrad, former USSR. The DR Class 130 and 132 were only produced for export, never being used within the Soviet Union. The Class 130 was primarily for goods trains, having no heating take-off to heat passenger trains. This didn't stop the Deutsche Reichsbahn using them for our train, especially in the depths of winter!
  5. BMT Postcard
    BMT Postcard
    This is another reconstruction of the "meet and greet" with the Soviet officer at Soviet Checkpoint Alpha, Marienborn Station, actually photographed at Charlottenburg Station, West Berlin.
  6. BMT Postcard
    BMT Postcard
    This shows breakfast being served in the dining car. The waiters Rudi Storm and Helmut Giesel can be seen serving coffee. They were employed by the CIWLT of Orient Express fame. Although not quite to Orient Express standards, the silver service was, nonetheless, excellent.
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    Csgt Taff Skuse and Soviet conscript controller. Such photography was highly illegal, but various Soviet officers encouraged it in order to have their happy snaps, as did we. Five days later, the Soviets withdrew from the checkpoints.
  2. BMT Dining Car, 29th September 1990
    BMT Dining Car, 29th September 1990
    2nd Regiment RMP Sergeants' Mess organised a regimental dinner on the BMT. This meant the OC Train, Train Conducting Warrant Officer and the interpreter, meeting the Soviet Duty Officer at Marienborn, dressed in mess kit. "Onkel" Albert serves an RMP diner and the TCWO.
  3. British Military Train Dining Car Crew - Braunschweig, September 1990
    British Military Train Dining Car Crew - Braunschweig, September 1990
    The British Military Train had three dining car crews, working in rotation. This is one of them, left to right (standing): Dieter Boeker, Albert Lange, Klaus Boehme (head waiter), Rolf Jansen, chef; (sitting) left to right: Peter Unland, Rudi Storm. The crews were all contracted from the CIWLT, of Orient Express fame.
  4. BMT Dining Car - East Germany, 29th September 1990
    BMT Dining Car - East Germany, 29th September 1990
    A picture from the last Soviet checked BMT, coinciding with a 2 RMP Sergeants' Mess regimental dinner on the train. Later that evening, the Soviets called Allied reps to Soviet Checkpoints Alpha and Bravo to inform them that from midnight, the Soviets were giving up all control of movement on the road and rail corridors. Head Waiter Klaus Boehme serves soup to a 2RMP Sergeants' Mess member. Sgt Gus Craig, a REME Russian interpreter is front left.
  5. BMT Dining Car 29th September 1990
    BMT Dining Car 29th September 1990
    A picture from the last Soviet checked BMT, coinciding with a 2 RMP Sergeants' Mess regimental dinner on the train. Later that evening, the Soviets called Allied reps to Soviet Checkpoints Alpha and Bravo to inform them that from midnight, the Soviets were giving up all control of movement on the road and rail corridors. Rudi Storm serves a member of 2 RMP Sergeants' Mess.
  6. BMT Dining Car 29th September 1990
    BMT Dining Car 29th September 1990
    A picture from the last Soviet checked BMT, coinciding with a 2 RMP Sergeants' Mess regimental dinner on the train. Later that evening, the Soviets called Allied reps to Soviet Checkpoints Alpha and Bravo to inform them that from midnight, the Soviets were giving up all control of movement on the road and rail corridors. Rudi Storm and Albert Lange ("Onkel Albert" to my children) serving 2 RMP Mess members.
  7. BMT Dining Car 29th September 1990
    BMT Dining Car 29th September 1990
    A picture from the last Soviet checked BMT, coinciding with a 2 RMP Sergeants' Mess regimental dinner on the train. Later that evening, the Soviets called Allied reps to Soviet Checkpoints Alpha and Bravo to inform them that from midnight, the Soviets were giving up all control of movement on the road and rail corridors. Rudi Storm and Albert Lange ("Onkel Albert" to my children) serving 2 RMP Mess members.
  8. BMT Dining Car 29th September 1990
    BMT Dining Car 29th September 1990
    A picture from the last Soviet checked BMT, coinciding with a 2 RMP Sergeants' Mess regimental dinner on the train. Later that evening, the Soviets called Allied reps to Soviet Checkpoints Alpha and Bravo to inform them that from midnight, the Soviets were giving up all control of movement on the road and rail corridors. Head Waiter Klaus Boehme serves a member of the 2 RMP Sergeants' Mess.
  9. Soviet Office, Marienborn Station, 29th September 1990
    Soviet Office, Marienborn Station, 29th September 1990
    Inside the Soviet office at Marienborn. Here all passports, identity documents and Berlin Travel Documents were checked and stamped by the Soviets, under Uncle Lenin's watchful eye. Photography was strictly forbidden, but they, like us, couldn't resist a unique souvenir. The reason for my being in mess dress is that 2nd Regiment RMP Sergeants' Mess organised a regimental dinner on the BMT. The Soviet Duty Officer Lieutenant Antsybora, was agape at seeing us dismount in our mess kit. Although we didn't know it, the Soviets had decided to abandon their checkpoints at midnight - this was the last BMT to be checked by the Soviets, truly the end of an era.
  10. British Military Train Dining Car Crew - Braunschweig, September 1990
    British Military Train Dining Car Crew - Braunschweig, September 1990
    The British Military Train had three dining car crews, working in rotation. This is one of them, left to right (standing): Dieter Boeker, Albert Lange, Klaus Boehme (head waiter), Rolf Jansen, chef; (sitting) left to right: Peter Unland, Rudi Storm. The crews were all contracted from the CIWLT of Orient Express fame.
  11. Marienborn - Soviet Office 25 September 1990
    Marienborn - Soviet Office 25 September 1990
    Csgt Taff Skuse with Capt Dovbnya in the Soviet office at Marienborn station. Capt Dovbnya was an "afganyets" or Afghanistan veteran; the light blue ribbon denotes the medal issued by a "grateful" Afghan government to all Socialist fraternal comrades who participated in the "intervention". The others are merely jubilee medals. His badges are parachutist, Suvorov Academy graduate and Officer Training Academy graduate. Such photography was highly illegal, but various Sov officers encouraged it in order to have their happy snaps, as did we. Five days later the Soviets withdrew from their checkpoints.
  12. Marienborn - Soviet Office 29 September 1990
    Marienborn - Soviet Office 29 September 1990
    Soviet conscript "controller", Vladimir Il'ich Lenin, Csgt Taff Skuse. Another picture from the last BMT, coinciding with a 2 RMP Sergeants' Mess regimental dinner on the train. Later that evening, the Soviets called Allied reps to Soviet Checkpoints Alpha and Bravo to inform them that from midnight, the Soviets were giving up all control of movement on the road and rail corridors. Such photography was highly illegal, but various Soviet officers encouraged it in order to have their happy snaps, as did we.
  13. Marienborn - Soviet Office 1990
    Marienborn - Soviet Office 1990
    Csgt Taff Skuse, Vladimir Il'ich Lenin, Snr Lt Pochyopko. Such photography was highly illegal, but various Soviet officers encouraged it in order to have their happy snaps, as did we.
  14. Marienborn Station, 30th September1990
    Marienborn Station, 30th September1990
    The day before, the circle was filled with the East German emblem (see "meet and greet" photo). The Soviet authorities had dramatically announced at midnight that they were closing their checkpoints and traffic would no longer be subject to control. A gaggle of interpreters and Train Conducting Warrant Officers travelled on the train to see what would happen at Marienborn - no Soviets turned up, this was the beginning of the end of the Berlin Military Train. L-R WO2 Ken Lawes, TCWO; Sgt Gus Craig, interpreter, Csgt Taff Skuse, interpreter; WO2 Robin Panter, interpreter.
  15. Marienborn Station, 30th September 1990
    Marienborn Station, 30th September 1990
    The Soviet authorities had dramatically announced at midnight, that they were closing their checkpoints and traffic would no longer be subject to control. A gaggle of interpreters and Train Conducting Warrant Officers travelled on the train to see what would happen at Marienborn - no Soviets turned up, this was the beginning of the end of the Berlin Military Train. L-R: Robin Panter RAPC, Ken Lawes RCT, Taff Skuse RRW, WO2 Nick Ford RCT.
  16. Marienborn Station Platform, 1990
    Marienborn Station Platform, 1990
    View eastwards down the platform, from outside the Soviet office. Soviet personnel manning both road and rail checkpoints at Marienborn were accommodated at their tiny Marienborn barracks with their families, if married. Being so remote and rural, it was unpopular with the officers and their families, Magdeburg being the nearest major centre, and also where their children were educated. Such a picture would have been impossible before the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. Shortly after travel by Allied personnel into East Germany was allowed by the Allied authorities, it became possible to enter even once severely restricted border areas such as Marienborn.
  17. Marienborn Station Platform, 1990
    Marienborn Station Platform, 1990
    Soviet Checkpoint Alpha, Marienborn Station. Inside this anonymous office, all documents for Allied train travellers were checked, vodka drunk and goods bartered. Such a picture would have been impossible before the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. Shortly after travel by Allied personnel into East Germany was allowed by the Allied authorities, it became possible to enter even once severely restricted border areas such as Marienborn.
  1. On 7 February 1991, a commemorative last journey was made. There were two dining cars, one for the VIP guests, the second for "the workers" military and civilian. Included were the dining car crews who, for once, were diners, with military chefs and waiters providing the service. Facing the camera is Bernd Lehnert, a head waiter.
  2. The Last Berliner - 7th February 1991
    The Last Berliner - 7th February 1991
    A farewell journey for the British Military Train, redundant after the reunification of Germany the previous October, was run on 7 Feb 91. Here, two of the dining car crew are waited on for a change: Rudi Heymann (facing camera) and Horst.
  3. The Last Berliner - 7th February 1991
    The Last Berliner - 7th February 1991
    A farewell journey for the British Military Train, redundant after the reunification of Germany the previous October, was run on 7 Feb 91. Here, dining crew staff are waited on for a change: Rolf Jansen, chef (bearded, facing camera), Dieter Boeker, assistant chef (bearded, turning to camera)
  4. The Last Berliner - 7th February 1991
    The Last Berliner - 7th February 1991
    A farewell journey for the British Military Train, redundant after the reunification of Germany the previous October, was run on 7 Feb 91. Here, Helmut Giesel (bearded) , waiter, is waited on for a change.
  5. The Last Berliner - 7th February 1991
    The Last Berliner - 7th February 1991
    A farewell journey for the British Military Train, redundant after the reunification of Germany the previous October, was run on 7 Feb 91. Here, L-R, "Mac" McMenemy, RTO Helmstedt, WO2 Bob George, Russian interpreter, RE corporal "Postie"
  6. The Last Berliner - 7th February 1991
    The Last Berliner - 7th February 1991
    A farewell journey for the British Military Train, redundant after the reunification of Germany the previous October, was run on 7 Feb 91. Here, dining car crew are waited on for a change: Klaus Boehme, head waiter, far right.
  7. The Last Berliner - 7th February 1991
    The Last Berliner - 7th February 1991
    A farewell journey for the British Military Train, redundant after the reunification of Germany the previous October, was run on 7 Feb 91. Here, "Onkel" Albert Lange, sipping drink, is being waited on.
  8. The Last Berliner - 7th February 1991
    The Last Berliner - 7th February 1991
    A farewell journey for the British Military Train, redundant after the reunification of Germany the previous October, was run on 7 Feb 91. Here, dining car crew are waited on for a change, L-R: Andreas Schmidt, head waiter, ? chef, Peter Unland, kitchen assistant, Rudi Storm, waiter.
  9. The Last Berliner - 7th February 1991
    The Last Berliner - 7th February 1991
    A farewell journey for the British Military Train, redundant after the reunification of Germany the previous October, was run on 7 Feb 91. Here, the last Commander of the Berlin British Infantry Brigade, Brigadier David de Gonville Bromhead sports his BMT 45th Anniversary Tie.
  10. The Last Berliner - 7th February 1991
    The Last Berliner - 7th February 1991
    A farewell journey for the British Military Train, redundant after the reunification of Germany the previous October, was run on 7 Feb 91. 2 RMP provided two JNCOs for security (when the BMT was operational, security had been provided by a Brigade supplied train guard), hence the orange juice.
  11. The Last Berliner - 7th February 1991
    The Last Berliner - 7th February 1991
    A farewell journey for the British Military Train, redundant after the reunification of Germany the previous October, was run on 7 Feb 91. Fred John, RTO Spandau, is on the left, looking into the camera.
  12. Title 5
    Title 5
    Description
  13. Title 4
    Title 4
    Description
  14. Title 3
    Title 3
    Description
  15. Title 2
    Title 2
    Description
  16. The Last Berliner - 7th February 1991
    The Last Berliner - 7th February 1991
    A farewell journey for the British Military Train, redundant after the reunification of Germany the previous October, was run on 7 Feb 91. Here, L-R: WO2 Geoff(?) Chalmers, TCWO, Frank Carlile, RTO Braunschweig, WO2 Nick Ford, TCWO.
  17. The Last Berliner - 7th February 1991
    The Last Berliner - 7th February 1991
    Front cover of the commemorative programme issued for the final journey of the British Military Train - The Berliner
  18. Title 18
    Title 18
    Second page of the commemorative programme issued for the final journey of the British Military Train - The Berliner
  19. Title 19
    Title 19
    Third page of the commemorative programme issued for the final journey of the British Military Train - The Berliner
  20. Title 20
    Title 20
    Last page of the commemorative programme issued for the final journey of the British Military Train - The Berliner
 
BMT Postcards
 
Berliner Finale - Part II
 
Berliner Finale - Part I
 
Official postcards produced by the Royal Corps of Transport
 
 
September 1990, and the final week of Soviet-checked Berliner operations
 
 
The last Berliner of them all - the ceremonial run on 7th February 1991 that brought the curtain down
 
 
  1. BMT Compartment Reservation Card
    BMT Compartment Reservation Card
    This was used to reserve compartments, either to a group or individuals.
  2. BMT Print Ken Howard 1985
    BMT Print Ken Howard 1985
    To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the BMT, Mov Tp 62 Tpt & Mov Sqn commissioned this print by Ken Howard. This one is 88/100. They had initially approached Terence Cuneo, hoping that with two of his main interests being military and trains, he would be unable to resist, mouse and all. Unfortunately he either was unable or unwilling to take the commission. We will never know where he would have put the mouse! Some were presented, train associated personnel bought copies and the remainder of the run were sold to passengers. When these ran out and permission for more was refused, they commissioned a 62 Sqn LEC to produce their own, unlimited version for sale.
  3. British Military Train Ticket 1 November 1990
    British Military Train Ticket 1 November 1990
    A ticket issued for the BMT, with dire warnings about conduct on the back. Since this ticket is dated 1 Nov 90, and the Soviets stopped checking Allied traffic at midnight on 29 Sep 90, these instructions were out of date. The train's days were numbered, soon travel to and from Berlin was by normal civilian trains
  4. BMT Matches Inner
    BMT Matches Inner
    These match books were produced by CIWLT for giving away on the BMT
  5. British Military Train Ticket 1 November 1990
    British Military Train Ticket 1 November 1990
    A ticket issued for the BMT, with dire warnings about conduct on the back. Since this ticket is dated 1 Nov 90, and the Soviets stopped checking Allied traffic at midnight on 29 Sep 90, these instructions were out of date. The train's days were numbered, soon travel to and from Berlin was by normal civilian trains
  6. BMT Warning Window Sticker 1980s
    BMT Warning Window Sticker 1980s
    Sometime after I arrived in Berlin in 1984, someone had the idea of reinforcing the "no binoculars or cameras" rule by producing these stickers for the compartment windows of the train.
  7. BMT Knife
    BMT Knife
    This is a knife from the original cutlery for the British Military Train dining car. This side shows the "CCG" emblem (see close up of this for more details). By the mid 1980s, this cutlery, dating back to the Crossed Swords Train running from the Hook of Holland to Hannover, and then on to Berlin, was so depleted by souvenir hunters that a brand new set of WMF cutlery was ordered. Sadly, this was not marked.
  8. British Military Train Anniversary Plate Reverse
    British Military Train Anniversary Plate Reverse
    To commemorate the 45th anniversary of the BMT, this plate was commissioned from Chatsworth Ceramics. This plate is 24 of a limited edition of 250.
  9. BMT Commemorative Tie
    BMT Commemorative Tie
    The design for the tie commissioned for the 45th anniversary of the BMT. Ironically, it turned out to be the final year of the BMT. This was a central, single device. It depicts the Movers' wheel surmounted by a Soviet lance corporal's shoulder board, over a merged Soviet flag and Union Jack with "BMT" in cyrillic script. A design I opposed, but was overruled on.
  10. BMT Commemorative Plate
    BMT Commemorative Plate
    To commemorate the 45th anniversary of the BMT, this plate was commissioned from Chatsworth Ceramics. This plate is 24 of a limited edition of 250. The plate has the crests of Berlin, Braunschweig, The Royal Corps of Transport, Potsdam, British Berlin Infantry Brigade, Marienborn, Royal Engineers and Helmstedt. The Royal Engineers are included since until the formation of the RCT in the 1960s, the RE ran all military trains.
  11. British Military Train Carrier Bag Side 1
    British Military Train Carrier Bag Side 1
    Another gimmick, again advertising the CIWLT, "BMT carrier bags", used to bag the BMT wine, white, red and sekt which was sold on the BMT. Also to carry "stale" bread rolls in, to feed the ducks in the Buergerpark in Braunschweig when the family was on a day out on the train!
  12. British Military Train Carrier Bag Side 2
    British Military Train Carrier Bag Side 2
    Another gimmick, again advertising the CIWLT, "BMT carrier bags", used to bag the BMT wine, white, red and sekt which was sold on the BMT. Also to carry "stale" bread rolls in, to feed the ducks in the Buergerpark in Braunschweig when the family was on a day out on the train!
  13. BMT Matches Outer
    BMT Matches Outer
    These match books were produced by CIWLT for giving away on the BMT.
  14. BMT Print S Rieleit 1985
    BMT Print S Rieleit 1985
    After the success of Ken Howard's 40th anniversary limited edition BMT prints, Mov Tp 62 Tpt & Mov Sqn commissioned one of their locally employed civilians Herr S Rieleit to produce this water colour. It depicts, with artistic license, the return to Berlin of the BMT through the Wall at Griebnitzsee. Quite why the West Berlin Funkturm has been placed in East Germany is not clear, but few passengers who bought the print at 10 DM a throw noticed and/or complained.
  15. British Military Train Menu Holder
    British Military Train Menu Holder
    In the mid 1980s the BMT dining car was refurbished with new upholstery. As part of the package, new cutlery was purchased, and these menu card holders were produced, replacing the simple blocks of wood used previously.
  16. Title 33
    Title 33
    Description
  17. Last British Military Freight Train 29 - 30 June 1990 Way Bill
    Last British Military Freight Train 29 - 30 June 1990 Way Bill
    As well as the daily "Berliner" passenger train, the British also ran less regular freight trains in and out of Berlin. From the mid 1980s, the frequency of these dropped dramatically as NAAFI invested in more lorries (presumably under the Berlin Budget!) and trucked their goods in. By the time the next Freight Train was due after this one, the Soviets had given up controlling Allied traffic in and out of Berlin. This is the Way Bill for the Escort Coach on the last Freight Train. Despite the earnest plea for "Besetzter Begleiterwagen" (manned escort coach) and "Vorsichtig Rangieren!" (Shunt Carefully!), both Deutsche Reichsbahn shunters in Spandau and Deutsche Bundesbahn shunters in Helmstedt tended to be anything but careful!
  18. BMT Dessert Spoon
    BMT Dessert Spoon
    This is dessert spoon from the original cutlery for the British Military Train dining car. This side shows the "Crossed Swords" (Rhine Army) emblem. By the mid 1980s, this cutlery, dating back to the Crossed Swords Train running from the Hook of Holland to Hannover, and then on to Berlin, was so depleted by souvenir hunters that a brand new set of WMF cutlery was ordered. Sadly, this was not marked.
  19. Dining Car Sign British Military Train, Berlin 1980s
    Dining Car Sign British Military Train, Berlin 1980s
    During the 1980s, the organic rolling stock for the BMT was refurbished (passenger coaches were leased from the DB). After the refurbishment, which included reupholstering the dining car from plastic to cloth seating, this sign was produced for placing by the kitchen exit to discourage passengers wandering down the train looking for the Train Conducting Warrant Officer.
  20. British Military Train Wines 1980s
    British Military Train Wines 1980s
    Three wines were sold on the train, to drink with meals or take away as a souvenir. The Franz Reh was priced at 5 DM (about £1.50) but eventually went up to 5.50 DM. The same wine sold with a normal vineyard label in NAAFI, was 2 DM. One evening we had a party of NAAFI bigwigs on the train, including their wine buyer. He snorted that the wine was worth no more than 2 DM and suggested our suppliers were ripping us off. He asked who we got it from, to be told "you". Red faced, he stammered an explanation about how of course, specially labelled orders were more expensive!
  21. Title 29
    Title 29
    Description
 
BMT Memorabilia
 
Miscellaneous souvenirs of the
British Military Train