Some call it the most beautiful electric locomotive in Czech. That is the 150/151 series, nicknamed as „The rat“ (due to its squeaky whistle) or „Banana“ (thanks to its original yellow-green paint).
The requirements for capacity and performance grew significantly in the 1970s. Current machines were not fast enough and lacked the power for longer trains. The new – multi-system - 350 series was born in Skoda Plzen (nicknamed „Gorilla“) and shortly after came its single-system sister, the 150.
The locomotive used a 3kV DC power supply, provided the power of 4 MW and a maximum speed of 140 kph (limited to 120 kph due to railway infrastructure). It has started its service in 1978 and you can still meet the engine today.
The machines went through several reconstructions during the years. Some modifications led to the new 151 series (maximum speed 160 kph), the remaining machines were mostly modified back to the original speed limitation of 140 kph.
With regards to the latest news, the time of The rat is coming to an end. The arrival of ECTS and the ongoing modernization of the infrastructure and locomotive lineup means this legendary express locomotive might slowly disappear from Czech rails.
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