Problémy socialistické modernizace hnacích vozidel ČSD 1945‒1980
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Problems of socialist modernisation of Czechoslovak State Railways locomotives 1945-1980
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Although bold ideas at the end of the 1950s foreseeing the end of steam railway locomotion did not pan out, motorisation and electrification did become fundamental concepts of the generously conceived modernisation of Czechoslovak State Railways (ČSD) after the Second World War. Turbinisation, which was one of the alternatives to the programmes mentioned, was not taken forward. Mazutisation was more of a regressive – emergency – programme. Militarisation relating to the existence of power blocs reminds us still today of the division of the country into a north and south part, each covered by different electric locomotive systems. Locomotives manufactured by domestic industry, in particular Škoda Plzeň and Českomoravská-Kolben-Daněk (ĆKD) were unrivalled in East Europe from the 1950s to the 1980s, despite the lack of high quality material available, and were comparable to Western products in terms of quality. Not only are their newest models mainstays of railway transport within the Czech Republic and Slovakia, but many of the locomotives and railcars have only recently come out of operation, or are still being used, sometimes even after fifty or more years of service.
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