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Author Topic: Colonial Railways  (Read 11618 times)

Offline Michi

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Colonial Railways
« on: February 25, 2010, 07:04:32 AM »


Note - This is part of a chapter from the book by McKillop and Pearson "History of Railways in Papua New Guinea" - it is obtainable from University of Papua New Guinea Press:

German Imperialism and Industrialism

Germany offers one of the most striking examples of an economy transformed by railways. German states entered the Railway Age as backward rural-based economies. Railways played a direct role in establishing industrial technology and stimulated coal mining, metallurgical and engineering industries. In the Ruhr, railways built on their original role of linking coal mines with navigable water founded one of the world’s great industrial regions.

The growth and modernisation of the German iron industry and the engineering sector was a direct consequence of the railway. In the northern state of Prussia the bulk of locomotives and rails were imported up to 1842, but after 1850 almost all of these products were produced by local industry. In Germany as a whole, railways accounted for a quarter of total industrial investment Railways served a central role in the rise of Prussia as a European military power. As early as 1843, the Prussian Chief of Staff wrote:

    Every new railway development is a military benefit, and for national defence it is far more profitable to spend a few million on completing our railways than on new fortresses.



Military influences and interests dominated German railway development to a greater degree than elsewhere. A railway section was formed by the Prussian General Staff in 1864 and was upgraded to a Field Railway Section two years later. By 1867, regulations provided for military control of railways in wartime, and this facility was of vital importance in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870. A large proportion of positions on the Prussian railways were reserved for ex-military personnel and this resulted in "a noticeable orderliness and precision about everything connected with German railways."



Colonialism

Industrialisation and militarism generated pressure to expand German trade and influence. German traders commenced operation in Africa and began to arrive in the South Pacific by 1850. The firms Johann Cesar Godeffroy & Sohn and Hersheim & Kompagnie were operating in the Bismark archipelago from 1873. In April 1884, Bismarck told the Reichstag that he was prepared:

    to provide Imperial protection against attacks from neighbouring territories or abuse by other European powers for those colonies that have not been artificially created, but result from spontaneous growth.



On 22 June 1884 a German protectorate was proclaimed over Luderitzland (South West Africa), followed by Togo (5 July), Cameroon (14 July) and German East Africa (Tanganyika). In the South Seas, a protectorate was declared over German New Guinea on 3 November 1884. The intention was to limit colonial activities to the protection of the trading activities of Hamburg and Bremen companies under the principle, "the flag follows the trade". However, the reality was quite different and the German state was soon called to provide financial support for colonial activities.

Colonial Railway Policy


Agricultural potential and mineral deposits in the colonies constituted wealth only on paper. A good transport system was necessary to exploit this potential wealth. In Africa and New Guinea, navigable rivers were practically non existent, so that porterage was the only means of transport into the hinterland. Construction of railways created the opportunity for the authorities to extend their authority into the interior. In Africa, the first stage of colonial railway building was the penetration line inland from a port to carry minerals and agricultural products. Metre gauge was chosen for railways in Togo, Cameroon and East Africa, while 3 ft 6 in was selected for South-West Africa with an eye to standardisation with South Africa. Light 600 mm gauge lines were constructed in South-West Africa and New Guinea.

Railway construction drew the state into investment in infrastructure. However, the Reichstag opposed colonial investment until late 1906 when an election resulted in delegates who were more willing to support railway bills. Rapid colonial railway construction followed and, by 1914 a total of 4,410 km of public railways had been constructed in Africa. The 1906-1914 period also saw significant investment in New Guinea.

Early lines were built to the rules and limitations of the secondary railways of Germany. Only in 1912 was the code of practice for building and operating colonial railways (the Kolonialeisenbahn Bau-und Betriebsordnung or KBO) laid down. The KBO established loading gauges for locomotives and rolling stock, standards for permanent way earthworks, bridges and signalling, operating speeds, maintenance procedures and staff regulations. It influenced the construction of an extensive network of 600 mm gauge railways in the Belgian Congo.

Financially, the colonial railways were expected to attain a sufficient rate of return to allow for running expenses, 0.6 per cent repayment and 4.0 per cent interest charges on the initial investment, together with a financial reserve.

Locomotives, rolling stock, rails and other railway equipment were built by metropolitan foundries. Orenstein & Koppell (O&K), Maffei and Hanomag provided locomotives and rolling stock for the standard (1435 mm) and metre gauge railways. For narrow-gauge plantation and construction railways, O&K, Arthur Koppell and Lokomotiv-Fabrik Krauss and Company provided rails, locomotives and rolling stock to lines in the colonies and to many other countries, including Australia.


The models are Fleischmann Magic Train 0e gauge in 1/45th scale. 0e gauge exacts H0/00 gauge of 16.5mm.
The engines are left unconverted apart from the paintjob, but all wagons are conversions of Fleischmann rolling stock. I mainly shortened the wheelbases and bodies, removed brakes and added a verandah. All these are no exact copies of the prototypical colonial railway stock, but heavily inspired by it and my approach to have a representation of that on my gaming table:



















« Last Edit: September 24, 2017, 12:13:36 AM by Michi »

Offline archangel1

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Re: Colonial Railways
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2010, 07:55:38 AM »
Excellent!  8) Now that's what I'd call out of the way!

Like the models, but they'd look so much better on some properly weathered track.
Why take Life seriously? You'll never get out of it alive!

Offline Silent Invader

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Re: Colonial Railways
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2010, 11:35:04 AM »
I was enjoying the photography and the history and then reached your converted rolling stock .... :o..... wow.
Images from old posts are now at https://www.SilentInvader.uk

My LAF Gallery is HERE

Online Ramirez Noname

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Re: Colonial Railways
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2010, 11:59:49 AM »
Hi Michi,

Thanks for posting the extract and photographs, but your models bring it all to life; the loco weathering is outstanding  :o

I like the shortened waggons - what sort of overall length is the stake waggon?

Do you have anymore information about this pic? -


Luckily enough I am exhibiting at Narrow Gauge North in Leeds (UK) over the weekend of 13/14 March and will be looking out for some of the Magic Train items there.


RMZ
« Last Edit: February 25, 2010, 01:39:31 PM by Ramirez Noname »

Offline Michi

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Re: Colonial Railways
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2010, 05:45:29 PM »

Do you have anymore information about this pic? -



Thatīs a picture from the Otavi railway line Swapokmund-Windhoek in Namibia. The picture shows the station Jakalswater in 1903 (from here: http://www.klausdierks.com/Namibia_Rail/2.htm)


Offline Bezzo

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Re: Colonial Railways
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2010, 07:26:22 PM »
There is not one bit of this I do not adore!

Railways, colonial troops, exotic locations....if we could squeeze in a scantily clad lady holding out a frosted beer it would be my idea of nirvana.
My wife said "You'd buy a packet of anthrax if there were some free figures in it!"

Offline Michi

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Re: Colonial Railways
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2010, 06:30:51 AM »

I like the shortened waggons - what sort of overall length is the stake waggon?

Itīs about 4inches/10cm.

Online Ramirez Noname

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Re: Colonial Railways
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2010, 11:36:47 AM »
Hi Michi,

Thanks for both pieces of information - I can see your inspiration from the link - fantastic

RMZ

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Re: Colonial Railways
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2010, 02:31:29 PM »
wonderful!!!

what is the green on the loco?
and why is the tank so yellow?

if You could satisfy my curiosity please?

Offline Michi

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Re: Colonial Railways
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2010, 05:22:11 PM »
wonderful!!!

what is the green on the loco?
and why is the tank so yellow?

if You could satisfy my curiosity please?

Both are the original liveries. Early days of railways saw much more colourful stock than the standardized Reichsbahn black engines, green carriages and brown goods wagons. Have a look at our British neighbours railways. Gaudi paintjobs on their steam engines and privately owned wagons remained common until the end of the age of steam. I think that is due to the railway companies which competed to attract passengers/customers. When the state monopolized the railway system it wasnīt too important what the liveries looked like (as long as they appeared properly clean at least, I suppose). The Reichsbahn adopted its paintscheme by economical reasons: The brown and green made traces of rust and soot more invisible. The same is the black for the engines. They would have been black all over if the responsible engineers had not decided for red paint for engine frames, wheels and rods to make pssible cracks more visible.

You see, I donīt need an excuse for (formerly) vivid paint on my rolling stock. It is simply explainable with the owners preferences...

Offline ushistoryprof

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Re: Colonial Railways
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2010, 07:57:19 PM »
Thanks for the interesting photos, they gave me some ideas for my East Africa WWI campaign.

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Re: Colonial Railways
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2010, 09:44:10 PM »
No need for any excuse ;)

I just couldn't identify if the green was original livery (though I suspected it) or some kind of weathering I didn't know about.
And the tank is very.... yellow, so I thought there might be a reason for it. so it would be a gas tank then?
I am working on a tank wagon myself and am still undecided on the colour

btw, now You could convert Your Pola freight cars to HO gauge now, since they are almost the same as Fleischmann, or not?
« Last Edit: February 26, 2010, 09:45:41 PM by bedwyr »

Offline Michi

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Re: Colonial Railways
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2010, 08:11:08 PM »

btw, now You could convert Your Pola freight cars to HO gauge now, since they are almost the same as Fleischmann, or not?

No, I wouldnīt. The overall impression makes them look the wrong scale.

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Re: Colonial Railways
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2010, 03:28:29 PM »
well, OK

I've never seen Fleischmann in the flesh, ir was just my impression by the scale and looks on Your pictures

Offline Chris Dale

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Re: Colonial Railways
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2010, 01:15:01 AM »
Great stuff, the information and photos. The models are brilliant... :o

Cheers
Chris
German Colonial Uniforms website- www.germancolonialuniforms.co.uk

 

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