CZ/SK verze

Unfolding the Legacy of M 131.1, the Iconic Czechoslovakian Carriage

Unfolding the Legacy of M 131.1, the Iconic Czechoslovakian Carriage
photo: České dráhy, Hurvínek/Unfolding the Legacy of M 131.1, the Iconic Czechoslovakian Carriage
22 / 05 / 2023

Let's look back and get acquainted with the iconic carriage that moved along the railway lines in former Czechoslovakia for more than 40 years. The legendary M 131.1, often referred to as the "stampede box", was mainly used on secondary lines and was retired from service in 1983.

WWII also brought changes to rail transport and infrastructure. In Czechoslovakia, there was a need for reliable rolling stock after the war. Therefore, the Ministry of Transport asked the Tatra Kopřivnice factory to develop and produce a new standard motor car designed for secondary lines. The prototype of this new series of vehicles called M 131.1, was tested for two years. After that, minor technical problems were corrected, and series production started. Vehicles of this series were produced in the period 1948-1951 and 1954-1956 at the Studénka factory. A total of 549 M 131.1 cars were produced, which became known under the nickname Hurvínek.

Hurvínek was equipped with a Tatra T 301 diesel engine with 114 kW, which was also used in Tatra 111 cars. Empty, the carriage weighed 16.6 tonnes, while the maximum permissible weight was set at 21 tonnes. It offered 48 seats and reached a top speed of 60 km/h and was originally classified as a third-class carriage but was later reclassified as a second-class one. The interior was equipped with wooden benches. The Hurvínek had independent diesel heating, which was quite economical at the time, so there was often no need for heating. In winter, therefore, travelling in this carriage was not entirely comfortable. Still, many people remember these cars with nostalgia.

The vehicles of the M 131.1 series were among the most reliable, mainly due to their air cooling, which required minimal maintenance. The carriages were retired from service in 1983 but still hold a special place in the hearts of many railway enthusiasts. Interestingly, one of the cars was transported to Cuba in 1973, where it served for the next ten years. Hurvínek thus left its mark not only in Czechoslovakia but also in other countries.

Hurvínek represents not only a crucial piece of railway history but a symbol of nostalgia and romance associated with railway travel. It is still remembered with respect and admiration.