Khrushchev’s Cold War loco in action

IN JUNE 1961 the leaders of the two world superpowers – the USA and the USSR – met in Vienna.

US President John F Kennedy flew to Austria but the leader of the USSR Nikita Khrushchev came by train from Moscow.

The ‘Khrushchev-locomotive’ 464 202 (Škoda, Plzeň 3378/1955) is seen working a photo charter from Krnov to Olomouc on October 22, near Moravský Beroun. AD VAN STEN

His train was hauled from Bratislava, then in Czechoslovakia, to the Austrian border station at Marchegg by modern steam loco No. 4-8-4T 464 202, owned by Czechoslovak operator ČSD, and brought all the way from Prague, especially to operate Khrushchev’s train; ever since that time the loco has been known in the former Czechoslovakia as the ‘Khrushchev-locomotive’.

It was one of a pair built by Škoda in Plzeň and was the last new design of steam loco to be built for ČSD, and one of the last steam locos built by Škoda.

Only two Class 464.2 locos were built as the decision to electrify parts of the system, plus orders for diesel locos, meant plans for extra steam locos were cancelled.

No. 464 201 was first based at Praha-Smíchov shed in Prague and 464 202 in Jihlava. Later, both locos moved to Brno and in the early 1970s were moved to Olomouc shed. The locos were mainly used to operate passenger trains in hilly and mountainous areas. 464 201 was withdrawn in 1975 and scrapped in 1978.

No. 464 202 was transferred to the National Technical Museum in Prague in May 1974, but stayed in Olomouc. Since 1993 the loco has been restored to operational use and works special trains as part of the Czech steam programme, operated by national operator ČD, as well as charter trains.

Read more News and features in the December issue of The RM

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