CZ/SK verze

Historic railway vehicles: Slovak Missile, twins with different destinies

Historic railway vehicles: Slovak Missile, twins with different destinies
photo: Archives/Slovak missile
11 / 11 / 2020

The legendary Slovenská strela train (Slovak Missile) was made in only two pieces. These were two trains that took turns on the Bratislava-Prague route. While one train is being reconstructed over the years, the other was unlucky and decayed slowly on a parking lot.

The first train was more fortunate. Its reconstruction is currently being completed, about which we have already informed you. After its completion, the Slovak Missile will be moved to the Truck Museum, where it will be exhibited.

However, the second train was not so lucky. This was already evident during its operation. In 1938, there was a traffic accident when the Slovak Missile collided with a truck. The accident required the train to be transported to workshop in Kopřivnice, where it was repaired. It was out of order for several months at that time. From 1953, the train was parked and was ment as a source of spare parts for the first set. Subsequently, it was transported to workshop in Studénka, where it was destroyed by fire in 1960. The cause of the fire is still unclear. Among all theories which have arisen there was the possibility that the fire occurred and was ignited by a spark from a passing steam train or by people who drank alcohol in it.

The golden years of operation of the Slovak Missile were right after its first ride on the tracks in 1930. It was intended for passengers traveling on the route Bratislava-Prague, mostly at one-day labor journeys. It was a train for the upper classes. In 1939, the operation of the line was terminated due to the war. The trains were parked in Prague and drove only in emergencies. After the war, the Slovak Missile transported a government delegation to Germany, for example. On other lines, standing tickets were sold to it, and that also led to its bad technical condition.

It is an immense benefit for the history of Czechoslovak railway transport that it has managed to ensure the reconstruction of at least one of these two unique trains. It is a part of technical history with a specific design, the author of which was the designer Hans Ledvinka, but also with an exceptional engine with a patented electromechanical transmission, which was built by Josef Sousedík. Fans of the railway are rightly looking forward to the day when the repaired Slovak Missile will return to the tracks.