Monday, December 18, 2017

Wagenuebergangsuebersichten 1984/85 and Richtpunktcodes

[Eine deutsche Version dieses Artikels ist hier.]

Another ebay auction, another chunk of "Altpapier". This one contains tables for freight car routing in Germany for 1984/85. What can I do with this? Let's see ...

Last year I wrote a blog post speculating about the meaning of the Richtpunktcode on the Hauptzettel (~waybill) attached to the outside of a box car I photographed on track 5 in Ludwigsburg in February 1987. Here's a close-up of the Hauptzettel in that photo.

A couple things to note: The hand written numbers in the top right are weights of car (19.2), load (22.1), and total (41.3) in tons. Below the weights is the car number 21 80 238 4? 831-1? . It's hard to read, so I'm guessing for some of the numbers.
The car was loaded in Neheim-Huesten with Stueckgut (less-than-carload, LCL freight), destined to Leonberg. However, the car appears to travel directly from origination to destination with no intermediate stops, so I'm guessing it was loaded by a single shipper going to a single delivery point. Maybe it was charged at LCL rate?
I don't know what the number 2196 stands for, nor the barely legible number at the bottom of the form.

Let's take a look which trains this car was likely on. Based on the above, I assume it was on the train through Ludwigsburg on a Saturday.

We start our journey in Neheim-Huesten. Here's the respective page from the book.

Neheim-Huesten has Richtpunktcode 246 and also serves several satellite locations in the vicinity, listed in the lower half of the table. There is only one outbound route for regular freight cars and that's train 65536 to Hagen-Vorhalle leaving in hour 19 (i.e. between 6:00pm and 6:59pm, 18:00-18:59). Hagen-Vorhalle has Richtpunktcode 230.

230 Hagen-Vorhalle is a rather large yard in northern Germany as you can tell from the number of trains handled here. The narrow index table on the left shows train 65536 as the last train arriving in hour 19, and assigns "Wagenuebergangsnummer" (transfer number) 198. The transfer number is used to look up which outgoing train an incoming car is supposed to get on.

Now I'm entering some speculative territory. The planners in the yard had yard-specific lookup tables indicating which trains to route cars on by Richtpunktcode and transfer code. I'm assuming such table would show that cars for code 731 would be routed via code 720 Kornwestheim (I explain my reasoning for that assumption further down).

There is a direct route between 230 Hagen-Vorhalle and 720 Kornwestheim at the top of the right-hand page. I assumed I saw the car in Ludwigsburg on a Saturday, so it would be in Hagen-Vorhalle on a Friday evening. Transfer code 198 falls into 54 - 250 range of train 53911 which runs on days indicated by code 062 (which happens to be Tuesday to Saturday). This car should go on train 53911 leaving Hagen-Vorhalle in hour 2 on Saturday morning (ie. between 1:00am and 1:59am).

Departure after 1am means the yard has at most 6 hours to shuffle the cars from train 65536. Looking at transfers to other trains in Hagen-Vorhalle, it appears the minimum scheduled transfer time was about 90 minutes! Quite tight considering that this includes pulling the train to the arrival group, loosening all couplers, pushing the train over the hump and sorting the cars into the respective departure tracks. Once the departure time is coming up, the cars are pushed together, couplers hooked and tightened, the outbound train brake tested, and departure.

Now let's look at the table for code 720 Kornwestheim. The photo shows the second page of the table for Kornwestheim, and the first train listed in the index table on the left is 53911. How convenient.

53911 is the last train arriving in hour 11, which puts the time I photographed the car closer to 11am than 10am, assuming the train was on time. The index table assigns transfer code 49. There is a direct route to code 731 Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen from Kornwestheim, and that is the explanation for assuming Hagen-Vorhalle puts cars for Richtpunktcode 731 into a train to Kornwestheim.
Looking up transfer code 49 in the outbound table for 731 Stg-Zuffenhause shows train 64157 as the regular option, but because it is Saturday, it doesn't run today. Instead, we need to look at the deviations row Fr127-Sa78 and find train 64159 which leaves Kornwestheim in hour 21 and only runs on Saturdays (traffic code 002).

Finally, we get to Zuffenhausen, the destination Richtpunktcode. Train 64159 arrives in hour 21 and gets transfer code 40.

The final destination of the car is in Leonberg, which is a satellite of Zuffenhausen on the line to Calw mentioned elsewhere on this blog. The table below shows that on regular weekdays Leonberg is served by train 69100 leaving by 6am, and on Saturdays by train 69102 leaving on 9am. There are no trains scheduled on Sundays.

Thus, this car likely spent its Sunday in Zuffenhausen and was put on train 69100 on Monday morning for the final few kilometers to Leonberg.

I had a lot of fun exploring 30 year old paper work to figure out how a car I photographed when I was a teenager got on that train, why it got there, and where it went.

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