Re: WWII oil transport

Bruce Smith


I'm not sure I'd use the term "greatly reduced". Here are some numbers:

Daily Deliveries of petroleum to the East Coast (in 1,000s of barrels)
           1941        1942        1943        1944        1945
Tankers(A) 1,421           391         160         276          451
Tank Cars      35          627         852         646         504
Pipeline       54          121         267         663         733
(Information from Tim Gilbert, summarizing American Wartime Transportation, by J.R. Rose)

So you can see that, while 1943 was the biggest year, 1944 deliveries still surpass 1942 and were more than 75% of 1943. Tank car deliveries declined further in 1945, but were still just under 60% of the high of 1943. So, while the "big inch" pipeline helped dramatically. the shipment of petroleum via rail car was still very common throughout the war.

Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL

From: <> on behalf of C J Wyatt <cjwyatt@...>
Sent: Friday, July 22, 2022 12:34 AM
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Subject: [EXT] Re: [RealSTMFC] WWII oil transport
CAUTION: Email Originated Outside of Auburn.
The need for tank car trains to the east coast was greatly reduced with the completion of the "Big Inch" Pipeline (petroleum) in August 1943 and the "Little Big Inch" Pipeline (product) in August 1943. Here is a summary:

Big Inch Pipelines of WW II - American Oil & Gas Historical Society (

Jack Wyatt

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