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'BEYOND THE WALL' ... is a photographic diary of a nine day rail based trip around the central and southern parts of East Germany during September 1978. This was still very much in the 'Cold War' era and the notorious Berlin Wall, the Friedrichstrasse entry point of which marked the commencement of this journey, would still stand for another twelve years. By this date, railway photography was supposedly permitted, although the message did not appear to have permeated everywhere. Visitors to the country were not given complete freedom to roam at will and overnight stays had to be arranged in advance and it was not always possible to stay in the town of one's choice, resulting in significant amounts of repeat travel over routes already traversed. Nonetheless, a great deal of the country was seen, and a good insight into the steam operations of the State Railway of East Germany was obtained.
At the time of this visit, the Deutsche Reichsbahn (D.R.) still had almost 1,000 steam locomotives in capital stock, on both standard and narrow gauges. Both oil and coal fired steam locomotives were in use at this time and no less than fifteen classes of standard gauge locomotives were noted in use, as well as three different types on narrow gauge lines. Some runs behind steam were enjoyed including two high speed top link journeys. Reasonable access was granted for photography at steam locomotive sheds and the country was well known for having some classically designed stations, those at Leipzig Hauptbahnhof and Berlin Ostbahnhof particularly providing memorable visits. Several classes of elegant Pacifics were photographed on passenger trains, together with a variety of heavy freight
2-10-0s, a few mixed traffic 2-8-2s, and a good number of impressive tank locomotives, all part
of the steam scene 'Beyond The Wall'.
The book's contents are all "real steam" ..... no special trains, runpasts, tarted up locos, arranged smoke, plandampfs.
This is the real steam railway, as it was.