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The Czech Mint has closed the first year of the cycle On Wheels by issuance of the silver coin that was dedicated to the railway car M 290.0. The production of futuristic vehicle began in 1936 and ended in 1939, which means 80 years ago. Even so, the "Slovenská strela" (translated as "Slovak Arrow") became a legend.
The Czechoslovak State Railways that wanted to compete with the boom in automobile transport overtook our railway network after the collapse of Austria-Hungary. Therefore, in line with the European trend, they began to use motor vehicles that were more economical and less demanding than their steam predecessors. The Ministry of Railways announced a competition for two express trains that would ensure a quick connection between Prague and Bratislava and allow short visits - such as business or political negotiations. These cars were supposed to be not only extremely fast and light, but also representative and comfortable. The Tatra from Kopřivnice with a motor car that had a number of advanced technical solutions, headed by electromechanical power transmission from the engine to the axle won the competition of both domestic and foreign manufacturers. The elegant bodywork in cherry-red was tested in the wind tunnel. The car had no through-ends as it was designed to operate without trailer wagons. It offered a total of 72 comfortable seats, 40 of which were in the smoking and 32 in the non-smoking section. Both cars were deployed on the 397 km long Prague-Bratislava line with a stop in Brno in 1936. Firstly, the express connection, which was given the convenient name Slovenská strela, lasted 4 hours and 51 minutes and later was shortened by half an hour. The drive of steam express trains took 5 hours and 30 minutes to reach the same distance. Twilight of the Slovenska strela came with the beginning of World War II and it was forgotten after the war. Thanks to the restorers, however, it will soon be on track again…
The reverse side of the coin was processed by the medal maker Luboš Charvát and presents the Slovenská strela in all its beauty, including the national emblem on the front of the car. On the reverse side there is a detail of the wheel of a railway carriage, in which the holes for lightening and cooling the brakes have been cut. The obverse side of the coin was processed by the medal maker MgA. Martin Dašek. Its perimeter consists of wheels of various means of transport. Since the Czech Mint coins are issued with the license of a foreign issuer, the island of Niue, the obverse side bears the necessary attributes, which means the name and the portrait of Elizabeth II, the nominal value of 1 DOLLAR (NZD) and the year of the issue 2019.
A spectacular packaging containing accompanying text and photographs builds an integral part of the coin.
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