Hello Jon G.,
Jon G. wrote:
takata_1940 wrote:..l. Car placings rose because there is more cars on-hand... But, there is also more tracks (and distance) and more stuff to move around - then not enough car and not enough placings! Proportionally its harder to cope with traffic.
But that is just the other side of the equation
More cars, more distance, more stuff to move around, sure - but conversely also increased demand which did not necessarily grow out of Germany's many early war conqests. I.e. more demand for steel, Italian coal shifted entirely to railroad, railroads taking over road-bound traffic, Wehrmacht transports and so on. As you say, we do need regional figures for car placings before we can decide what was chicken and what was egg.
Simply said, traffic was highly prioritized, meaning that all daily traffic could not be delivered. Yearly global figures don't explain by themself where and why bottlenecks have appeared. On the other hand, the operating area being vaster and rolling stock more abundant, figures for tons moved and car placing rose (to come back to your original remark) but they don't tell us if performance was better or worse than before as the basis changed from one year to another.
Your examples tend to prove that situation was going worse due to added burden on railway from goods that were moved previously by other means, mostly sea shipping. Road-bound German traffic was negligible (in volume, not in value) but international trade of raw material that could have moved otherwise in peacetime was certainly important. On the other hand, war caused also recession in many sectors, so it is not even possible to acertain that demand was expanding above the means or that it was the means that decreased below demand.
My point was that 1940 coal traffic inside the Ruhr was seriously affected, as far as 81% of 1937 level, while steel output went down from 16 million tons to 13 million tons (and it's also 81%) while coal extraction remained stable.
Jon G. wrote:
I would contend - and for now it remains only a contention - that the RB did manage to increase inland (or Altreich) goods traffic, in part by introducing various measures (overloading of cars, for example), in part because its inventory of rolling stock and locomotives had been gently rising (though it's nothing compared to what happened later) from 1938 on.
Overloading cars measures are a good indicator of crisis extent. If cars were being overloaded, it means that car number was inadequate but it doesn't explain why it was. Looking at car rotation is a clue. Peacetime traffic rotation rate was 3 days and grew to 6-7 days. Consequently, more than twice the number of car was needed to maintain the same rate of traffic. Then shortage of cars was not directly linked to an inadequate number of cars but to rotation rate. This is a good proof of traffic bottlenecks. Then overloading cars was an expedient resulting from other causes that were not addressed by this solution, neither adding more and more cars would have fixed the problem.
Jon G. wrote:
...can we assume that the additions to the Reichsbahn's assets (more rolling stock, captured locomotives and so on) grew at the same pace that the additions to the RB's obligations (i.e. the obligation to strip conquered countries of their raw materials) grew?
For example, the railroads in annexed Sudetenland may well have been laid out to serve centers of production and consumption in Czechoslovakia, rather than in Germany, so being more of a burden than an asset overall. Likewise, can we assume that there were enough captured/confiscated French locomotives and rolling stock to move iron ore from Alsace-Lorraine to the Ruhr, or did the RB have to contribute staff and rolling stock themselves?
It looks like the Germans pooled everything from "annexed territories" into DRG and completed their means by taxing "occupied territories" railways. So I don't think it might have caused more burden than good. On the other hand, those "occupied territories" railways were only left with the remmants while having to deal in priority with traffic for German economy and the Wehrmacht.
Jon G. wrote:
Right, but in terms of car placings and assigned rolling stock, the wild East did not count for all that much in the big picture. Part of that, of course, was due to the chaos of first building, then running and protecting long distances of railroads in a short timespan, but in and of themselves, the eastern railroads were just a small part of the big picture.
For example, as of 01.01 1943, daily car placings in the east (excl. the Generalgouvernement) were 13,012 as opposed to 1,575,572 in the Reich (that is, not including occupied Europe) and 3,625 in the 'Gedob' (Generaldirektion der Ostbahn in the Generalgouvernement); locomotive stocks at the same date amounted to 4,671 in the East, 2,088 in the Gedob, and 28,630 in the Reich.
You meant (including Gedob):
. 17,537 vs 157,572 = 11.12 % of Greater Reich's car placings;
. 6,759 vs 28,630 = 23.60 % of Greater Reich's locomotives;
. 743,832 vs 1,415,569 = 52.54 % of Greater Reich's operating manpower;
. 1,398,613 vs 857,000 = 163 % of Greater Reich's operating kms.
I think this is not "just a small part of the big picture" but something very considerable. Arguably, the number of daily car placed is low but, at the same time, it is clearly disproportionate with all the other means affected to the East. Of course, operating conditions and facilities were definitely not like inside the Reich and East productivity many times bellow: 42.4 men/placed-car (East) vs 9 (Reich).
Jon G. wrote:...1943 was the Reichsbahn's peak year, by every parameter, but it certainly wasn't the Germans' best year on the battlefields of Europe.
Right, but 1943 is also the year where rolling stock is starting to fall back into Germany from the east, distances and network are reduced, the Wehrmacht is operating closer to its factories... and, lokos output is better than ever. Also, Reich bombardment is not what it would be the next year.
Jon G. wrote:Locomotive output was even higher in 1944. Anyway, my point was that the RB's successes (in terms of ton-miles, car placings and so on) don't follow the same pattern as Germany's conquests. In fact, 1942 seems to have been the Reichsbahn's worst year until quite late in the war, when Allied bombings caused renewed disruption.
Well, I'll go further than you: RB's successes (in terms of ton-miles, car placings and so on) were achieved prewar if the relative deduction is made of all networks annexed with traffic and rolling stock. After war breakout, situation degradated in opposite way of military successes: situation was the worse at peak territorial extension (1942) and recovery was due to Wehrmacht losing ground in the East (1943). Next came the bombers and it was over.
Beside, you should verify your data, but deliveries of locomotives and cars peaked in 1943 (by 1944, priority was set about making tanks...
Jon G. wrote:
Well sorry, I do admit it was a bit blured...
Umm, I am still a bit lost
But I still fear that I misunderstood you
Not easy to explain, isn't it?
We have to assume that the number of car placings (coal or freight) is an indicator of the maximum efficiency achieved as the economy was clearly rationed. This rationing was due to bottlenecks meaning transport system congestion. As many cars as possible were placed daily and priorities were given to move x while y had to wait until space was made available.
This was certainly not due to track capacity. Rail capacity -in absolute number- was not the problem inside the Greater Reich area. Traffic could be redirected almost at will considering network density.
This may be due to rolling stock problems, like an inadequate number of freight cars, but as the rotation rate increased, this will point to other causes:
1. inadequate number of locomotives;
2. maintenance overburning: less stock -lokos & cars- serviceable (considering the number of foreign stock impressed into DRG service).
3. service manpower (specialists) inadequate;
4. Transbording facilities and manpower inadequate.
My bet would be 3 & 4 as being the main bottlenecks, followed by 1 & 2 as a side effects. If one look at the average distance covered by trains, the result would be that cars were rolling very few km/day during their rotation time. Consequently, they had to spend most of this time waiting for being loaded/unloaded.
Jon G. wrote:
some expedients could get more bang for the same buck, so to speak, not just car overloading, but also paying premiums to coal consumers for returning cars early, loading and unloading cars on Sundays, more efficient car running schedules and so on.
They are only expedients to face a limited-time crisis but do not work in the long run. People needs day off -particularly when we are talking about several years effort as the situation was already tense from years before war. Paying premiums was not the solution as finding manpower could not be resolved with money. Overloading was only patching and a subsequent trade off for maintenance issues.
Jon G. wrote:
It seems to me that you basically mean that the supply of coal car placings has a definite upper limit? I am sure it does, but I don't think you can describe the coal supply:coal car placings relationship linearily [is that a word?];
Yes in some way, car placing number is the function of something, but linearity is not certain.
Jon G. wrote:
For all we know, the overall increase in coal car placings in 1940 as opposed to the drop in coal car placings in the Ruhr in the same year could denote a conscious effort to shift some of the burden of supplying Germany's industries east.
It might also reflect the fact that manpower was more available in Poland and much less in the Ruhr. Then, the stock of cars will end being better used here than there.