Operational Steam Motor Railcars in Europe

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The early 20th Century railway phenomenon of the steam-powered railcar is quite a rare and unusual survivor these days. While a handful around the world have been preserved, even less are operational. In Central Europe there are 2. One in the Czech Republic and one in Switzerland. Both of them have a vertical boiler, just a single driven axle and wooden bench seating for not much more than 30 people.

Pictured here in this clip is the Czech variant M 124.001 "Komarek". Named after the Komarek factory in Vienna, which designed the vehicle and supplied the vertical boiler. This railcar was built in 1904, the Komarek factory ceased operations around 1909. From th 1947 to 2006 M 124.001 sat idle in a museum hall in Prague, before it was overhauled and re-steamed!

Last weekend, it was on active duty on the Czech national network, doing main line steam trips between the two oldest stations in Prague as part of the annual "Railway Day". Here's a short film to visualize this outrageously unique and unusual railcar.


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