Return of the historic train to Slovakia
The M 290.0 series railcars were produced in Kopřivnice by Závody Tatra a.s. in 1936 for the then Czechoslovak State Railway in two units. What was unique about the cars was not only the design of the body and the interior, but above all the electromechanical power transmission. Thanks to the patented system of Jozef Sousedík, the car starts on electric drive and automatically switches to purely mechanical drive when the speed reaches 82 km/h. The latter is more efficient at higher speeds. Both motor cars have been driven in normal traffic at speeds of up to 130 km/h, and reached a speed of 148 km/h in driving tests.
The cars were put into regular service by ČSD on 13 July 1936. They were assigned to the depot and the home station Bratislava – hlavná stanica and ran as the motor express train “Slovenská strela” on the route Bratislava – Brno – Prague. They reached an average cruising speed of 92 km/h (at that time steam trains travelled at an average speed of 68 km/h), and for the first time in the history of the ČSD the connections had compulsorily seat reservations. The journey lasted 4h and 20min, including a three-minute stop in Brno.