The same thing happened in the US. See page 335:The slow down was because of the uncertainty of the political and therefore economic situation. Would there be a return to normal? War? Two nations with tariffs? Who would accept what money? Would cross border contracts remain valid? Etc.
There were no troops movements until February/March and they were not enough to sustain an entire railroad system.
With reduced income from reduced freight shipments, railroad Supers let men go to keep expenses down to match the reduced income.