White Train Holds Atatürk's Memories

The White Train Hosts the Memoirs of Atatürk
The White Train Hosts the Memoirs of Atatürk

The wagon, which is the only unique example of the White Train used by Atatürk during his country trips (1935-1938), has been exhibited since 1964 in Ankara Garda beside the “Atatürk Residence and Railways Museum in the War of Independence”. It was registered by the Ministry of Culture, General Directorate of Monuments and Museums in 1991 as the “cultural asset to be protected by Atatürk”.

Technical Specifications of the White Wagon

  • Weight: 46.3 tone
  • Length: 14.8 m.
  • Manufacturer: LHV Linke Hofmann-Werke, Breslau, 1935

This wagon, which Atatürk used in all his country trips between 1935 and 1938, also "hosted" on his last trip.

On Saturday, November 19, 1938, Atatürk's body was taken from Dolmabahçe Palace and placed in the battleship Yavuz in Sarayburnu. There was a ceremony at the middle table in this wagon of the "White Train" waiting in Izmit. It was 20.23. Six torches were burned around the body, and the six officers started their vigil with their swords in respect. When the division band went to mourning, at 20.32, the train moved to Ankara between the tears of those gathered at the train station.

The train arrived in Ankara on Sunday, 20 November 1938 at 10.04. Inonu, deputies, soldiers, police, officers, students and the public were waiting at the station. Ata's coffin was taken from the window of the wagon at 10.26 and made his last farewell to the nation he saved, and his last trip with the "White Train" he placed in the ball cart waiting in front of the famous "Steering Building" in which he directed the War of Independence.

White Train Wagon

  • Kitchen
  • Guard / Suite toilet
  • Guard / Suite compartment
  • Women's compartment
  • Bathroom
  • Atatürk's bedroom
  • Living Room
  • The rest consists of its parts.

To date, there has been no detailed publication about the feature of the White Train composition, which was built in Germany in 1935 for our great leader Atatürk to use in domestic trips. We regarded the technical aspect of this train as an assignment to present our memories of those beautiful days regarding the application to the information of our valuable Railroad friends.

The White Train consisted of 9 wagons. These are Atatürk's dining and sleeping halls, a hall for the General Secretariat of the Presidency and the Chief Justice, a Restourant with two sleeping cars for the invited Government notables, plus two II. It consisted of a wagon and a 4-axle position.

The length of the first five of these halls was 21, while the others were 19.6 meters. Wagon lounges are very natural according to the conditions of the time, equipped with the most modern and technical facilities. Each wagon Görlitz system was fitted on heavy bogies, equipped with Ürdinger-type bumpers, hand and air brakes.

There was a balcony-shaped doorway at one end of Atatürk's bedroom. The windows of the antenna were kept wide enough to see the surroundings comfortable and panoramic. Although there was a door to the other wagons at the front, this passage was not gusseted like any other. The stair steps of the wagon were made foldable.

The interior walls of the hall were covered with Caucasian coconut and ceilings made of light ebony. There was also an ebony-covered table, a large epengle-covered seat and other smaller-sized seats in the lounge. The window curtains were made of yellow red transverse thick striped (Akilla) taffeta. There was a radio, two electrical outlets, three ringing senses and a telephone in the hall.

A large bed in the adjoining bedroom section, the walls were covered with moire pink rose, the ceilings were covered with ebony. Again, there was a dressing table with a mirror and armchairs that could be used as a writing desk when closed. All mine parts were nickel plated.

The ventilation of the wagon (Wendler) worked with the air intake device. Although the wagon is connected to the train's sofa system, there is also a hot water kazanIt was equipped to be heated with I. Electrical equipment is provided with two accumulators and dynamos, and there were wooden blinds with special gas covers in front of the windows to prevent flies and similar insects from entering.

The dining room was 8 meters long. It also had a wardrobe room, half and full compartments and toilets. The wall was made of palisander, the ceiling was ebony, the wall of the wardrobe was oak, again ebony, the wall of the four-person compartment was mahogany, the walls in the small compartment were drape-mahogany, the doorway was painted white with milk.

When it was fully opened, there was a large dining table of 5 meters, two large seats, these were surrounded by 16 small seats covered in blue leather, and there was also a radio speaker. In one corner of the hall, a furnished buffet was the same as the equipment in the bedroom.

There were 4 sofas, komi and similar auxiliary personnel compartments, toilets and washing places, as well as a kitchen and a cellar to be used as a bed instead of a bed in the Başyaver and Secretariat. The pantry had a refrigerator separate from the shelves. The wagon had compartment with washbasins, offices, and a small hall.

One of the other wagons had a small hall and the other had sleeping compartments. The dining hall was in two parts. Next to the kitchen there were four tables for three and four people, two rows for two in the large dining room and 24 for four people. The next two wagons had 8 leather-covered compartments. When the backrests of two compartments of each compartment were lifted at night, four bunks were formed. These wagons, which also had toilets, warmed them with a sofajack as in the furgon. All the wagons were dark dark blue along the bottom row of the window, and painted white to the outer ceiling. Some wagons had radio antenna wires on their roofs.

White Train is moved from Ankara to Ankara, and from Haydarpasa to Haydarpasa staff, wherever they go to the country, they will return, the same staff will return, only the machines for coal stock and maintenance at the warehouse centers would change. These trains would definitely have a boost, sometimes there would also be a special train sent from the front as a pilot. All the staff of the train are selected from experienced, careful, who have been tried in their duties, clothes are clean and ironed, I remember very well that the locomotives of the Machinists worked with white gloves when entering the Garlar ...

These coal-powered locomotives were very clean, well-maintained, their yellow mines were gleaming, and their areas used many Traction Inspectors, and the control staff would hardly get off the mark. Vgo, I and II Inspectors, Telegraph and Telephone Surveys with all their materials were present in the trains of these trains, and repair teams would not take their bags off their backs. The General Order No. 501 is applied in the course of the train, the sealed candles of the envelopes of that month hidden in the boxes of the Station and Stations are opened by removing the sealed candles, the password is learned, those who know the password are moved to the train when their help is needed.

Again, these trains were accompanied by Road Inspection and Branch Chiefs, Train Inspection Officers, Part Physicians, Chief Inspectors of active services, and mobile telegraph and telephone chests were kept ready for orders. The stations were cleaned with special care a few days in advance, at night with luxury lamps in their hands, the people of the surrounding villages gathered in the station platforms with the hope and excitement of seeing Ataturk, and in terms of security, the lines and passages were kept under control by the local gendarmes and the police in the cities.

Governors, District Governors, District Officers, Commanders, Mayors, and similar institution managers in the provinces, districts and towns that the train will stop for that day welcome the train with their brand new clothes from jeketatay, frock, redingot or black smoked fabric, rubbery at night, station buildings with flags and navy lanterns at night. It is equipped, if Ataturk will land in the city, the main roads and crossroads are made with various ornaments of victory. The news of Ataturk's future would bring a happy, enthusiastic joy to everyone.

Another feature of that period is; It was the discovery of the Red Ribbon Medal of Independence, which is proud of participating in the War of Independence under the command of ATATÜRK, on ​​the breasts of many, from its governor to its commander to the most modest peasant. Nowadays, they appear infrequent at national ceremonies, as these people decline over time.

Ataturk made his last tour trips from Ankara on 12.11.1937 at 17:50, before the White Train, directly to Eastern Provinces, Kayseri - Sivas - Diyarbakır - Elazig - Malatya - Adana and Mersin, then Konya ' They went to Afyon by passing the night, by staying there for an hour, they returned to Ankara on 21.11.1937, 23:30, over Eskişehir.

A. Lütfi Balamir, (Retired TCDD Inspector)

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