Československé státní dráhy
Czechoslovak State Railways ( tschech. Pronunciation [ tʃɛskoˌslovɛnskɛː STATNI draːɦɪ ], in short: ČSD , Slovak československé štátne Railways ., Slowak pronunciation [ tʃɛskoˌslovɛnskɛː ʃtaːtnɛ draːɦɪ ], German Czechoslovak State Railways ) was the name of the state railway in the former Czechoslovakia .
The ČSD in the First Republic
The ČSD was founded as the state railway of Czechoslovakia immediately after the end of the First World War on October 28, 1918. The ČSD subsequently took over almost the entire rail network in the area of the newly founded from the kk state railways (kkStB) and the Hungarian state railways (MÁV) Czechoslovakia. The large private railways Kaschau-Oderberger Bahn (KsOd), Aussig-Teplitzer Eisenbahn (ATE) and Buschtěhrader Eisenbahn (BEB) initially remained independent . For the majority of the state-guaranteed local railways in the Czech lands, the ČSD took over the management of the kkStB.
In the early 1920s, most of the private railways in Czechoslovakia were nationalized by law and henceforth incorporated into the ČSD network. At this time the Czech / Slovak station names were also generally introduced. In the predominantly German-speaking areas of Czechoslovakia, however, as in old Austria, bilingualism was retained.
In the first years of Czechoslovakia's existence, great efforts were necessary to adapt the railway network, which was oriented towards the old capitals of Vienna and Budapest , to the new transport requirements. For east-west traffic, only the single-track, difficult route Kaschau-Oderberger Bahn was available. Comprehensive investments were therefore initially necessary for the double-track expansion of the most important main thoroughfares and for the construction of new lines between the Czech and Slovak parts of the country. One of the most important projects was the new construction of the double-track main line between Prague and Brno , which could not be completed until after the Second World War.
As one of the first railway companies in Europe, ČSD tried to motorize its railway lines. From the end of the 1920s, the ČSD successfully used motor trains on many underutilized main routes , which consisted of a benzene-electric multiple unit and matching trailer cars. Appropriate vehicles were also procured for the many local railways. As a result, the ČSD succeeded in largely replacing steam operation on many branch lines as early as the mid-1930s and achieved a significant increase in travel speeds.
In order to reduce the smoke pollution emanating from railway operations, the railway lines in the urban area of Prague were electrified with 1500 volts direct current in the mid-1920s. Further plans for the expansion of electric rail operations were not implemented due to the effects of the global economic crisis .
As of 1936, the ČSD, like other European railway administrations, introduced express transport with railcars. A Tatra express railcar operated between Prague and Bratislava as Slovenská Strela (German: Slovak arrow) , which covered the route in 4 hours and 28 minutes according to the schedule.
After the Munich Agreement was signed on September 29, 1938, the Sudetenland , which had fallen to Germany, was evacuated by the ČSD. On September 30, 1938, the majority of the vehicles, including the station facilities and the Czech staff, were transferred to the interior of the country. A little later, the ČSD was contractually forced to surrender the railway vehicles, equipment and systems that had left the Sudetenland to the Deutsche Reichsbahn . On November 14, 1938, it was agreed that 877 locomotives, 136 railcars, 158 railcar sidecars, 117 express train cars, 2160 passenger train cars and 23,500 freight cars would be handed over. In addition, ČSD was obliged to pay appropriate compensation for all systems that were left behind.
The Protectorate Railways and the Slovenské železnice 1939–1945
With the dissolution of Czechoslovakia on March 15, 1939 and the establishment of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia , it was separated into the independent railways Českomoravské dráhy - Protectorate Railways Bohemia and Moravia, or ČMD-BMB (German: Bohemian-Moravian Railway) and the Slovenské železnice , SŽ for short (German: Slovak Railway). The ČMD-BMB retained its organizational independence, but was subordinated to the Deutsche Reichsbahn .
With the beginning of the Second World War on September 1, 1939, the motorized railcars were gradually shut down, as all fuel was required for warfare. The Slovenská Strela express connection has also been discontinued.
After the Second World War
Immediately after the end of the Second World War, the ČSD was re-established on May 9, 1945. In Bohemia in particular, the railway network in Czechoslovakia suffered only minor war damage, so that rail traffic could be resumed on all routes very quickly. Czech and Slovak station names were mandatory from 1945, only stations in places with exclusively German names kept them until their official renaming in 1946/1948.
After the end of the war on May 9, 1945, there were many German vehicles in Czechoslovakia that were included in the inventory of the ČSD. Some of these vehicles - such as electric locomotives evacuated from Silesia and railcars that were left behind at Czech railway stations - were later returned to Germany in exchange for other locomotives.
In 1945, ČSD set about closing the gaps in the vehicle fleet with new constructions from the Czechoslovakian locomotive factories. As early as December 1945, the first newly built steam locomotive for the ČSD left the factory halls of the heavily destroyed Škoda works in Pilsen . The steam locomotives purchased by ČSD from Škoda and ČKD in the following years were among the most modern and powerful locomotive designs in Europe.
Even before 1950, plans for a comprehensive electrification of the route network were resumed. Building on a project by the Deutsche Reichsbahn from 1943, work on electrification began a little later on the steepest incline of the former Kaschau-Oderberger Bahn at the foot of the High Tatras . In contrast to the pre-war period, however, a contact line voltage of 3000 V direct current was selected, as was also favored in the neighboring countries of Poland and the Soviet Union at the time . The route electrification to the west and east was swiftly continued, so that as early as the early 1960s, continuous electric train traffic between Košice in Slovakia and Most in northern Bohemia was possible. On May 15, 1962, the catenary voltage was increased from 1.5 to 3 kV in the Prague node.
However, the 3 kV direct current system did not prove itself to the hoped for, as the locomotive performance is limited by the currents that can be transmitted overhead. Starting in 1960, a rail network electrified with 25 kV at 50 Hz was therefore created in parallel from Pilsen. As a result of this development, system switching stations had to be set up between the two electrified networks, on which the electric locomotives were laboriously changed on all trains. Only with the commissioning of dual-system locomotives were trains running again without changing locomotives from 1976.
The double-track expansion of many important routes was also pushed ahead. Priority was given, however, to the expansion of freight transport routes, so that many routes with medium traffic volumes remained single-track or were only upgraded to double-track on short sections. In order to maintain the necessary capacities for the transport of goods, the state transport policy switched to shifting part of the passenger transport to ČSAD buses .
After 1970, the technical development of the route network stagnated. An increase in the maximum permitted line speed from 120 to 160 km / h, as was common in Europe from the 1960s, had to be avoided for economic reasons. Only the section Zaječí - Šakvice of the important main connection Prague – Brno – Bratislava could be used from May 10, 1988 with a top speed of 140 km / h. The locomotives and cars required for this were procured as early as the mid-1970s.
In the meantime generally introduced technical innovations in Europe, such as the installation of uninterrupted tracks or the operation of push- pull trains , could only be partially introduced until 1989. A reduction in the route network - as was the case with most Western European railways for economic reasons - never took place at the ČSD for economic reasons. That is why the ČSD operated one of the densest railway networks in the world even in the 1980s.
In the second half of the 1980s, ČSD also introduced an IT-compatible locomotive number system. The changeover took several years. The new numbers were initially only written in addition, while the previous cast metal number plates were retained. New signs were not made until later, and railcars in particular were usually only given adhesive numbers.
With the dissolution of Czechoslovakia on December 31, 1992, the existence of the ČSD also ended. Vehicle fleet and routes were transferred to the successor companies České dráhy ČD ( Czech Railways ) in the Czech Republic and Železnice Slovenskej republiky ŽSR ( Railways of the Slovak Republic ) in Slovakia on January 1, 1993 .