Basically, Germany uses 1435 mm gauge train track while Russia used 1524 mm. I recently came across this question about the Germans re-gauging the track that they could during their invasion of Russia.

I would like to ask the inverse question now. Did the Russians re-re-gauge it (during the war)? And did they re-gauge any railways in West Poland and Germany proper? What about places like Romania and Yugoslavia?

1 Answer 1


According to what I read about Russian railroad troops, their operations could be divided in two parts - before the pre-war border and after.

Inside the old Soviet border there were the roads re-gauged by Germans. But those needed no "re-re-gauging" - due to the extensive usage of railroad destroyers by German troops Russian railroad workers were thinking not in terms of re-gauging, but in terms of rebuilding.

A photo of a German railroad destroyer at work and the results: Hook-type railroad destroyer

And another one: Loop-type railroad destroyer

And when there was no time for one of those (they worked at around 7 to 10 kmph), Germans just used explosives.

After the Russian offensive outpaced the ability of German troops' to destroy the usable track behind them (they mostly stuck with destroying the bridges and tunnels), Russian railwaymen did start re-gauging European track to Soviet standard, but this differed by the rolling stock they had on hand - sometimes the roads were restored to European standard so the captured trains could run on them, and then re-gauged again when Soviet-gauge rolling stock arrived.

According to the site of main Russian railroad operator, during the war Russian railroad troops rebuilt ~120000 km of railroad track.

Sources (Russian language, mostly):

1) Кабанов П. А. Стальные перегоны. — М.: Воениздат, 1973

2) https://rarehistoricalphotos.com/schwellenpflug-railroad-plough-1944/

3) https://topwar.ru/78014-putevye-razrushiteli-vtoroy-mirovoy-voyny-sovetskiy-chervyak.html

4) https://topwar.ru/78092-putevye-razrushiteli-vtoroy-mirovoy-voyny-nemeckiy-kryuk.html

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.