The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 11 (March 1, 1929)
Progress of German Railways
Progress of German Railways.
As far as railway development is concerned, no corner of the world is making more rapid progress than Germany. A recent survey issued by the German railway authorities states that, during 1927, the German railways handled 1,909,000,000 passengers and 489,000,000 tons of merchandise. Steam locomotives number 24,575 and electric locomotives 316. The German railways operate some 62,940 passenger carriages, and the stock of goods wagons totals 674,318. As a result of a consistent effort at standardisation, the number of types of locomotives in service on the German lines has been reduced from 250 in 1920 to 40 at the present time. Despite this standardisation, the door is being left open to experiment, and, at the moment, attention is being devoted to the development of high pressure locomotives, some of these experimental machines having steam pressures as high as 880lbs. per square inch.
Once served by a large number of distinct railway undertakings operating in the various States, Germany is now supplied with railway transport by one huge undertaking, with headquarters in Berlin. Thanks to the amalgamation of the several smaller systems into one large undertaking, through passenger and freight train movement has been immensely bettered. As indicating the high standard of service ruling to-day, it may be stated that fast freight trains now run the full length of the River Rhine, from the Dutch to the Swiss frontiers, in exactly twenty hours, while the efficient manner in which railway passenger traffic is conducted, both on the main-lines and in the rural areas, is a matter of astonishment to every visitor to Germany. During the war years (or rather in the Armistice days that followed), it was the good fortune of your Correspondent to hold several important railway commands in the Rhineland, and the wonderful efficiency of the German personnel, high and low, made a most striking impression. Workers of all grades were especially keen to give satisfaction, and, at the present time, the teamwork existing among all ranks of the German railways is accomplishing wonders in the rehabilitation of the undertaking.page break