At the beginning of June, our company decided to financially support an extraordinary journey of the unique fast train on the Olomouc to Brno route, driven on 5th June by a steam engine 464.202 called the “Tree-frog”. This route of the extraordinary train to Brno was no mere coincidence. The “Tree-frog” engine actually operated on this track every day in the 1960s, both for passenger as well as fast link transport. This promotional journey was organized for railway enthusiasts by the foundation “Winged wheel”, which prides itself in maintaining unique historical railcars and endeavours to open a Railway museum in Olomouc this year. The run marked one of the last journeys with this legendary green steam engine from the Olomouc engine house and the participants were handed the added opportunity of relishing the unique experience of spectacular fireworks over the Špilberk castle as part of the annual entertainment festival called “Brno – the city in the middle of Europe”, accompanied by an overnight return journey.
The “Tree-frog”, produced in 1956 in Škoda Plzeň, operates under the museum conditions in Olomouc and has been bringing joy to young as well as adult lovers of classical railway for almost 15years. Unfortunately, as of 3rd July 2009 the operational status of this unique train expires and, for the time being, either the Czech Railways or its owner, The National Technical Museum, does not have the necessary resources for financing its costly repair. It is, therefore, unsure when and whether this unique engine will ever leave the shadows of the museum hall and return to active life at the forefront of other trains to please each and every railway enthusiast.
The objective of this promotional journey was, apart from the effort to pool financial means for the engine´s repair, to show that even today steam has enough power to drive a fast-train set with pride and dignity and that its speed can compete with the modern state-of-the-art engines. The entire promotion was met with great public acceptance and the engine attracted tremendous attention right from the departure point in Olomouc, through its entire route, to the final destination in Brno; captivating the interest and admiration of the passengers and the accidental onlookers.