The identity of our tank wagon


Our colleague, dr Ariel Ciechański for years have been investigating the history of special railway cars for transporting beer. Thanks to the cooperation with many various railway enthusiasts he managed to come across many interesting documents like the Austrian State Railways (KKStB) journal of announcements and ordinances. This and similar sources encouraged us to take a closer look at one of our exhibits, the tank wagon № 552 178, and try to reconstruct its history.

So far our knowledge was restricted to the identification numbers of the car. One of them was № 507 590 from the times when the car belonged to KKStB. Still we do not know who was the manufacturer of the tank wagon. Nevertheless we are quite sure that the original recipient of car was the Czech company František Xaver Brosche a syn a.s., owner of distilleries in Prague Libeň and Rájec (currently Rájec-Jestřebí).

The last town was a home depo for this car, which at that time was used for the transport of spirit. Before 1910, the car was taken over by k.k. privilegierte Österreichische Nordwestbahn (ÖNWB), probably with the identification number 136 557. Later, after nationalization of ÖNWB and takeover by KKStB the car received the above mentioned number 507 590.

According to the information provided by our Czech colleagues, the car was still owned by a private company during the inter-war period. Czech state railways took over the car under the last known number that we are using currently, № 552 178, which was found stamped on the undercarriage. The specification of the car is similar to the parameters of our tank wagon except the number of axles (three in Czech and two in Polish documents), so it might be that we have made an error assuming that 552 178 was a Polish State Railways number. It is interesting that the car suddenly disappeared from Czech registers before 1948 and simultaneously a tank wagon № 0552 178 appeared in the PKP inventory.

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