Re: WWII oil transport

Tim O'Connor

The U boat problem finally ended in 1943. That's when the rail numbers turned down.
But those two pipelines only reached NY metro not Baltimore or Norfolk or Jacksonville.
There were still refineries all over the place hundreds of miles away from a product pipeline
that could reach the east coast.

But I notice that the TOTAL in 1944 is only very slightly larger than it was in 1941. This
makes me think that more oil was being transported on ocean tankers from the Gulf to Europe
after 1943 thus slowing down the rate of increase to the US east coast.

The numbers also show a sharp decline overall in 1942 that lasted through 1943, indicating
that the railroads could not completely make up for the fall off in coastal shipping - Probably
due to a shortage of tank cars, at least at first. No wonder the country had gas rationing !

 On 7/24/2022 11:39 PM, Bruce Smith wrote:

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

Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts

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