In addition to the simplification of the nomenclature of locomotives, the rationalisation of the tracks begun. Pre-1920, each Staatsbahn would build a bridge or tunnel above or under the tracks of another company's tracks in order to avoid cross tariffs and payments to others. With the creation of one entity, the tracks could be simplified and easier, better and faster transport was a result.
As reparations were due to the victorious nations and in order to secure future payments, the National Railway was included within the Dawes Plan of 15th August, 1924. The Railway was ultimately restructured and renamed into “Deutsche Reichsbahngesellschaft – DRG” (German National Railway Company) and thus became a public holding corporation, which was requested by the creditors. This was fulfilled on 30th August, 1924 with the implementation of the „Gesetz über die Deutsche Reichsbahn-Gesellschaft (Reichsbahngesetz)“ RGBl. II p 272pp. § 3 states the creation of the DRG with 15bn Reichsmark in subscribed capital, separated in 2bn RM in preferred stock, 13bn RM in common equity
Reparation payments of up to 600m RM by the DRG were foreseen for the upcoming years. Until 1932, when the Reichsbahnw as exempted from all further payments, after the Conference of Locarno, the Young plan had been implemented by now, it had paid a total of >3.2bn RM to the allies.
As times had gotten settled for the DRG, the next episode will deal with the weak years of engine production (less than 200 in 1928) standardisation and further advances to a centralised railroad system up until 1942.
These are statistics, I have compiled, showing freight load and train capacities etc. during the war.
A few important abbreviations up front, as they will be encountered often, also in the following text passages...
Einheitslokomotiven (standardized locomotives)
Generaldirektor (director general)
Lokomotiv-Normen-Ausschuss [LONA] (no clue)
Reichsverkehrsministerium [RVM] (Reich Transportation Ministry)
Reichsbahn-Zentralamt [RZA] (Reichsbahn Central Office)
Vereinheitlichungsbüro [VB] (bureau for simplification)
A deeper view into the development of the German railroads in the early and mid 1920s
While the respective Reichsverkehrsminister (transport secretary) was head of the Reichsbahn from 1920 until 1924, with the creation of the DRG the duty was transferred to the newly created position of a Generaldirektor (director general). Until his death in 1926 Rudolf Oeser headed the DRG followed by Julius Heinrich Dorpmüller who in turn headed the DRG until his death in July 1945. During Dorpmüllers reign, the Reichsbahn was undergoing a process of dramatical changes, especially during his later years as it's director.
Along the development of the DR itself, the Reichsverkehrsministerium [RVM] (Reich Transportation Ministry) played a pivotal role in the development of the future German steam engine industry. The creation of the Vereinheitlichungsbüro [VB] (bureau for simplification) in October 1922, headed by August Meister, with the aim to simplify tools, machinery and enhancing standardisation of all future engine designs, the ministry created a powerful entity for the years to come. According to Bönig, this was also done due to pressure from the DR and the locomotive producers. From 1923 on, all initial designs and constructional planning of the German railroad industry originated from this bureau in Berlin, located within the Borsig factory premises, as Mr Meister was Borsig's chief designer. All 22 major locomotive producers were part of the VB and had their top level engineers involved.
While the RB itself simplified the nomenclature and the stockpile of available engines, the VB worked on the simplification of the future output. Based on the input of the Lokomotiv-Normen-Ausschuss [LONA] (no clue) the VB implemented the first generalised catalogue of general norms for engines, the so-called LON-numbers, as well as standardised parts of wear to simplify repairs. Adding both developments together, the picture of a more standardised locomotive system was not too far ahead as of 1924. Plans called for the renumbering, demolition of old engines and standardisation to be finished by 1927. Though in Bavaria the last engines were reclassified as late as 1928, the plan worked as designed in general. By 1927 the VB had classified and planned in detail 11 Einheitslokomotiven (standardised locomotives), of which each class was only produced by a few allotted manufacturers.
A closer look needs to be taken at the process between the Reichsbahn and the industry, i.e. the locomotive producers, as the developments in the 20's and 30's play a pivotal role during the ditching of some ministers and executives in 1933 and culminated in the transport crisis of 1939/1942.
The RB's progress, focussing on the production and standardisation of a few engines after WW1 in order to achieve the planned simplification, was driven by the Bauartdezernat (head of department for the classification of steam engines) of the Reichsbahn-Zentralamt [RZA] (Reichsbahn Central Office) Richard F. P. Wagner. The RZA was responsible for the technical development of the engines and track construction and had an office in Berlin and Munich. It handed ideas and designs to the VB, which in turn designed and planned it all. As the input from the RZA was immensely precise and specific, there was little room for modification to be done by the VB. This later lead to fights between the two entities about who caused the transport crisis!
Meister and Wagner are seen as the two men who had driven steam locomotive development in Germany and have achieved, together with the industry, the first standardised new engines catalogue by 1925. As Meister was a leading engineer, the first designs are credited to him and as he was from Berlin (Prussia), the first Einheitslokomotiven resembles the older Prussian G12, P8, and T20 ones. Production of these new engines (BR 01, 02, 43 and 44) was slow not only because of the recession and slow economy, but also due to their increased weight. The old tracks had to be improved and changed in order for the newer engines to be able to run on the, As such, initial production orders were barely greater than 10. From 1925-1938 the German locomotive production was less than 1/10 of the production it had during WW1.
A few photos for you,
The freight locomotives G12 (BR 58.10) 1'E1' h2 vs BR 43, 1'E h2
sources: Drehscheibe Online http://bilder.bw-basdorf.de/VB995/dso.05022012/g12-5667-_855x540.jpg
, Wikipedia https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f9/43_001_auf_der_MOROP_-_Ausstellung_in_Radebeul_Ost.jpg/800px-43_001_auf_der_MOROP_-_Ausstellung_in_Radebeul_Ost.jpg
The tank locomotives T20 (BR 95) 1'E1' h2 vs BR 86 1'D1' h2t
Sources: Elsassbahn http://elsassbahn.free.fr/T20.jpg
, Wikipedia https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/9c/DR_Baureihe_86.jpg/800px-DR_Baureihe_86.jpg
The passenger locomotives P8 (BR38.10) Bauart 2'C h2 vs BR 01 Bauart 2'C1' h2
Sources: Hellertal http://hellertal.startbilder.de/1200/dampflokomotive-db-38-3593-ex-305648.jpg
Had the Reichsbahn ordered and received some 600 engines in 1924, this had shrunk to about 100 in 1930. Including exports (reparation payments) the German locomotive producers had a combined output of 90,000t in 1924 which shrunk to 50,000t in 1930. To put this into perspective, in 1918 this was 220,000t and in 1944 some 530,000t. In 1935, the total past orders and arrivals of standardised locomotives stood at 500 for the DRG which was less than 2% of the total stockpile of 25,000 pieces.
The tracks alone are not a main contributor to the low output however. After WW1 in 1919 many new locomotive producers emerged, amongst them Rheinmetall, Krupp and AEG. Borsig (the main producer of 5000 engine up to 1923) saw increasing pressure as it had to share production allotments with the competition and the above three also started building electrical engines and increased competition even further. HANOMAG had an annual production of 200-300 in the years after 1918, but a mere 30 to 50 between 1926 and 1928. Bönig also mentions that the industry's production capacity in 1929 was 6000, while demand was only 121 by the DRG! Had there been 43 companies employing 28,000 people in 1925, there were only 11 left in 1933 employing 1794 workers only!
A quick info about the weird 1'C h2 numbers...
The Letters A-E represent the number of powered axles, A=1, B=2....
The numbers represent non powerd axles.
The ' separates moving (turning left right) axles from fixed ones. h = hot steam, n = wet steam
The numbers behind the h/n represent the number of cylinders
The BR 52 is a 1'E h2 as it has on axle, non-powered, moving freely in front, separated from E=5 axles behind and is powered by hot steam (superheated) and 2 cylinders....I have actually just learned this now, therefore the post is later than the others^^ lol.
Have a great evening,
more later, feel free to comment, ask, hate, rage or whatever.