It has been stated that the Nazis have accorded number-1 priority to
transportation even to the extent of taking precedence over airplanes. Germany
is vitally dependent on the smooth functioning of her transportation system. If
this vital system which connects Nazi factories with their sources of supply
and with their baffle fronts, is put out of operation or seriously
damaged, their whole war effort must obviously be retarded.
Some interesting developments affecting the transportation set-up, tending
to reduce the consumption of construction materials and other valuable
economies, have been recently reported in connection with the German
locomotive and freight car situations.
As was indicated in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 24,
p. 40, it was thought probable that the construction of the
class "42" locomotive is to be started in 1944. This new type is
said to be a refinement of type "52" (see sketch), has greater tractive
power and is designed to meet the requirements of heavy freight traffic.
The same informed technical source responsible for the information mentioned
in the foregoing paragraph, states that the dead weight of the railway
freight cars now manufactured in Germany has been reduced from pre-war levels
by 25 per cent in the case of baggage cars, 34 for refrigeration cars, 29
for flat cars, 38 for box cars. However, the average carrying capacity
for all types increased by 10 per cent.
The use of these new cars will provide the following chief advantages: saving
of time and labor in manufacture, saving in construction materials, and
enabling locomotives to pull additional cars.
The number of types of steam locomotives was reduced by the end of 1942
from 119 to 12. This included locomotives for military and privately operated
railways (mostly small gauge), and in the case of electric locomotives,
from 11 to 2, and from 97 to 5 for internal combustion locomotives.
The manufacture of additional types is continued in former locomotive works
in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary.
The chief types manufactured in 1942 were freight models "50" and "52" (see
Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 24, p. 34) with "52" scheduled
for almost exclusive production in 1943.