Whether West German steam suffered from lack of cleaning in its last days (in the same way that British Railways did), it makes an interesting comparison with East Germany where most locomotives were usually kept very clean - albeit without instances of polished boiler bands. A further comparison can be made with Czechoslovakia, which used a different shade of black(!) - more of a "blackberry black" - that seemed to give their locomotives a much smarter appearance when seen side by side with German locomotives (even in preservation), though their in-service condition did vary considerably.
Eddie, I didn't see much of DR standard gauge steam, but I can certainly confirm that the NG locos were usually very well kept (to the extent that a dirty loco really stood out as exceptional). Have a look at these contrasting locos at Radebeul Ost shed in the link below - 99 1787 has just been sprayed with light oil, while 99 1793 has been sitting in store for a while, presumably awaiting its next visit to Goerlitz works - http://www.fotocommu...mieson/31252864
Regarding the cleanliness of DB locos, my impression is that it varied from shed to shed - Rheine was probably one of the poorer examples, but at Ottbergen, which I visited only once in September 1975, the locos were still kept very smart e.g. 044 599 which was withdrawn only three months after this shot was taken - http://www.fotocommu...mieson/32763670
Edited by Bill Jamieson, 18 February 2017 - 17:04 .