Czech Republic: Leaving Pribram towards Prague behind a Class 749 'Grumpy' diesel loco

26 Sep 2021

Czech Republic: Leaving Pribram on CD train R1249, the 1107 Ceske Budejovice to Praha hl.n. behind Class 749 (Grumpy) loco 749121.

Clip recorded 19th July 2010.

The ČD 749 class is a diesel electric locomotive, created through refurbishment of classes 751 and 752 (formally T 478.2 under ČSD).

Class 749 is a dual cab, four axle locomotive. The prime mover is a ČKD K 6 S 310 DR, a four stroke, six cylinder diesel engine, fitted with a PDH 50 V turbocharger.
All four axles are fitted with DC traction motors, manufactured by ČKD.

Following the move away from steam haulage on Czechoslovak railways, it was decided that heating of passenger cars would move from steam heat, where steam from a boiler is piped through the train, to electric train heat. To convert the locomotives to the 749 class, the steam boiler was removed, and replaced with an alternator to provide electric train supply for heating. This process also took place with the locomotives of the ČD Class 753, which were converted to the 750 class.

The prototype for the conversion took place in 1992, with locomotive 751 039 being converted, with a second locomotive being converted in 1993. Following these two, 60 locomotives were converted, with the process being carried out until 1996. The final locomotive was additionally modified with a new electrical control system. The locomotives chosen to be converted were selected from all production series, therefore the new numbers do not form a continuous series.

Especially after 2005 the locomotives were increasingly used in freight transport, mainly to replace the aging unrebuilt 751 and 753 classes, and due to increasing electrification rendering the diesel locomotives obsolete. In 2007, several locomotives were transferred to ČD Cargo, following the separation from České dráhy.

The remaining freight locomotives are based around České Budějovice, where they are used when freight trains are diverted away from the wires. At České dráhy several locomotives are still operational at Prague's Vršovice depot, working weekend services to Čerčany.
České dráhy (ČD) or Czech Railways is the main railway operator in the Czech Republic. In 2010 its consolidated revenues reached CZK 41.0 billion (€1.6bn, $2.1bn). Revenues from passenger transport amounted to CZK 18.7 billion (65% transfer payments from the government, 25% intra-state transport, 10% international transport), revenues from freight transport operated by subsidiary ČD Cargo amounted to CZK 11.8 billion, revenues from traffic control invoiced to state-owned railway infrastructure operator SŽDC amounted to CZK 5.2 billion. With thirty-eight thousand employees[1] ČD Group is the largest Czech company by the number of employees.

The company was established in 1993, after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia as a successor of the Czechoslovak State Railways. It is a member of the International Railway Union (UIC Country Code for Czech Republic is 54), Community of European Railways and the Organization for Railways Cooperation (Asia and Europe).

Until 1 July 2008, České dráhy was the biggest employer in the Czech Republic. After experiencing regular losses and requiring government subsidies, the railway reported its first ever "profit" in 2007 although it receives government subsidies. Attempts to make it more efficient are currently ongoing and a recent plan to move passenger transport to an independent subsidiary was approved by the Czech government in January 2008.

ČD operates trains; fixed infrastructure (such as tracks) is managed by SŽDC. In December 2010, the Czech government proposed bringing SŽDC and ČD together in a single holding company. The government has also changed the subsidies available to ČD and SŽDC.

ČD Cargo, the cargo subsidiary, mainly transports raw materials, intermediate goods and containers. As of 2009, it is ranked in the top five largest railway cargo operators in Europe. Czech Republic: Unsilenced Grumpy 749 121-0 departs Beroun (CZ).
Příbram is a town in the Central Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic with a population of about 32,500. The town is located on the Litavka river and the foothills of the Brdy Range, 60 km (37 mi) south-west of Prague; the country's capital. The town is well known for its mining history and more recently its new venture into economic restructuring.
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