Germany’s statistics of railways 1835 to 1989.

Resource Type
Dataset : Survey and aggregate data
  • Fremdling, Rainer
  • Kunz, Andreas
Publication Date
  • ZA:
    • Historical Studies Data
  • Abstract

    This study contains 2881 long-term time series dealing with the development of railway companies in Germany. There are time series about the topics capital expendtiture, assets and cost of capital equipment, expenses of the companies, services and revenues for passenger traffic, and services and revenues for freight traffic, separately listed for each railway line and for Germany’s railway system as a whole. The data collection has been generated as a part of the project ‘Historical traffic statistics of Germany from 1835 to 1989’, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) from 1986 to 1991. This data volume on Germany’s railway-statistics is the first in a series of data handbooks on the historical statistics of transport in Germany since 1835. The work on the data manuals in the framework of the project on historical straffic statistics has been done at the Department of Economic and Social History at the Free University Berlin and at the Institute for European History in Mainz. The project itself was part of the DFG-funded priority program "Sources and Research on Historical Statistics of Germany" and therefore the fundamental objectives and tasks of the project was to serve the basic research and to provide data for further research purposes. The data manuals on Germany’s traffic statistics offers long-term time series on different means of transport by using a standardized survey concept, which is based on the production functions of the economic sector "transport". In this context the data is collected for the use of imput factors (capital stock, supplies, labor) and the outcome of production (transport capacity). Concerning the capital stock a differentiation was made between the infrastructure (roads and stations) and equipment (ships, locomotives, wagons, etc.). Information on physical quantities were - as far as possible and wherever reasonable against the background of the sources - complemented by calculations published in the sources. Recalculations and estimates were not made by the researchers because of a requirement of the priority program, which allowes only the collection of so-called hard data. Missing values or missing data of the collected time series, due to the coverage of the sources, must therefore be accepted. It has been made sure that the data manuals despite the different subjects they deal with, are comparable. Not only the coherent survey design but also a consistent data processing of the four different sub-projects railways, inland waterways, maritime and public transport has facilitated this comparability. The territory of investigation has been held consitently. The territory of investigation has been within the borders of the German Empire (Deutsches Reich) and its succession states, the former German Democratic Republic (DDR) and the Federal Republic of Germany (BRD). Before 1871 the investigation was made within the borders of the German Empire without Alsace-Lorraine. However, it is important to note that the originally planned integration of the GDR has been abandone in view of the unreliability of published official GDR statistics, which was not entirely transparent before 1989. (see: (Fremdling, R./Federspiel, R./Kunz, A. (Hrsg.), 1995, a. a. O., S. I) The time series of yearly data are presented in five basic tables: 1. Capital expenditure: the duration of property, the invested capital and expenditures for land acquisition, earth works, superstructure and means of production als well als the length of double-tracked railways are reported. 2. Assets and cost of capital equipment: number and costs of locomotives, of person wagons, of goods wagons, and of baggage wagons. In the case of goods wagons the number of axes is reported. 3. Expenditures: total expenditures, maintenance expenditures, energy comsumption of locomotives. Expenditures on salary. 4. Services and revenues for passenger traffic: number of passengers, services reported as passenger-kilometres, revenues, transport for military. 5. Services and revenues for freight traffic: number of so called normal goods, coal, and animals, respective revenues; total service is shown by the report of tonne-kilometres of the transported goods. Additonally, the sum of all revenues. These five basic tables are reported in part A of the data manual for each railway-company, and in part B for the German railway net in total. Topics Data-tables in the search- and downloadsystem HISTAT (Subject: communication and traffic): A. Railway-Companies A.1. Capital expenditure per railway-company A.2. Assets and costs of capital equipment A.3. Ausgaben nach Bahnlinien A.4. Passenger traffic: Services and revenues by classes and by railway-company A.5. Freight traffic: Services and revenues by railway-company B. Germany’s railway system as a whole B.1 Capital expenditure B.2 Assets and costs of capital equipment B.3 Expenditures B.4 Passenger traffic: Services and revenues by classes B.5 Freight traffic: Services and revenues
Temporal Coverage
  • 1835 / 1989
Geographic Coverage
  • Historical German lands (-1871) (DQDE)
    German Empire (Deutsches Reich) in the borders of 1871 and the precursor of the German Empire respectively: the territory without Alsace-Lorraine, German Confederation without Austria, German Traiff Union.
  • German Reich (1871-1945) (DXDE)
    German Empire (Deutsches Reich) in the borders of 1871
  • German Democratic Republic (1949-1990) (DDDE)
  • Germany (DE)
Collection Mode
  • Sources: 1835 to 1849: Primary sources: Reports to shareholders of the railway companies, yearly reports Secondary reports: „Eisenbahnzeitung“, from 1843 to 1857 weekly published. Monographies from: - Freiherr von Reden, F.W.: Die Eisenbahnen Deutschlands, Band 1 – 5, 1843-1847, Berlin. - Bell, J. A. (1844): Stand und Ergebnis der Deutschen Eisenbahnen am Schluß des Jahres 1843‚ Frankfurt/Main. - Michaelis, J. (1859): Deutschlands Eisenbahnen. 2. A., Leipzig. Since 1850: Since 1850 the yearly reported statistics of the society of german railway-administratons (Vereinsstatistik für die Bahnen des gesamten Reichsgebietes: „Deutsche Eisenbahnstatistik“) is published. Missing data has been completed by using the prussian railway-statistics („Statistische Nachrichten von den Preußischen Eisenbahnen“). Since 1880: Beginning of the central managed statistics of the railway-companies in Germany („Statistik der im Betriebe befindlichen Eisenbahnen Deutschlands“) by the railway-agency of the German Empire (Reichseisenbahnamt) in Berlin. 1919: The title of Statistics of the railway-companies changtes into: „Statistik der dem allgemeinen Verkehr dienenden Eisenbahnen“; A further change of the Title in 1933: „Statistik der Eisenbahnen im Deutschen Reich“. Since 1950: Publications of the Federal Office of Statistics (Daten der Verwaltung der Deutschen Bundesbahn): Fachserie H (Verkehr), Reihe 4; ab 1978: Serie 8.
Data and File Information
  • Unit Type: Text Unit
    Number of Units: 154
    Number of Variables: 2881
A - Data and documents are released for academic research and teaching.
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Alternative Identifiers
  • ZA8411 (Type: ZA-No.)
  • Fremdling, Rainer; Federspiel, Ruth; Kunz, Andreas(Hrsg.): Statistik der Eisenbahnen in Deutschland 1835 – 1989. Bearbeitet von Ruth Federspiel, unter Mitarbeit von Dietlind Hüchtker und Angelus Johansen. Quellen und Forschungen zur Statistik von Deutschland (Hrsg. von W. Fischer, F. Irsigler, K. H. Kaufhold und H. Ott), Band 17. St. Katharinen: Scripta Mercaturae Verlag, 1995.

Update Metadata: 2020-10-21 | Issue Number: 241 | Registration Date: 2011-03-14