Falk Flade (2019)

Beyond socialist camaraderie. Cross-border railway between German Democratic Republic, Poland and Soviet Union (1950s–60s)

Czasopismo The Journal of Transport History
Skrócona nazwa czasopisma JTH
Numer/tom 40: 2(2019)
Ilość stron 251-269

ISSN: 0022-5266 (eISSN 1759-3999)

In order to facilitate cross-border railway transport between socialist countries in
Eastern Europe, the Council of Mutual Economic Assistance and later the
Organisation for Cooperation of Railways were established in 1949 and 1956. Joint
planning, standardisation and tariff policy were the main fields of cooperation. The
paper focuses on the struggles between Council of Mutual Economic Assistance and
Organisation for Cooperation of Railways member countries regarding transit tariffs for
cross-border freight shipments. These struggles, dragging on for more than three decades,
reveal the economic interests of individual member countries and the limitations
of socialist foreign trade (and alleged friendship). This study argues that despite of
political declarations and the establishment of socialist international organisations, the
East European railways became a major bottleneck in intrabloc trade.