This motorized vehicle, manufactured in Tatra Kopřivnice, was put into service on July 13, 1936, and deployed on the Prague-Bratislava line. Hence the name the Slovak Strela (Bullet Train). At that time, it was the fastest connection in Czechoslovakia, with one stop in Brno. It covered the route in four hours and fifty minutes, later in four hours and eighteen minutes. Naturally its interesting feature was its very high speed, which, at over 130 km per hour, was unique in the whole world at that time.
After the start of World War II, the Strela was shut down due to a lack of fuel. After the war, it still ran as a ministerial or government train, but in 1953 it was taken out of service and in 1960 it was exhibited in front of the Tatra Technical Museum, where it gradually fell into disrepair.
In 2018, however, this legend underwent an expensive renovation under the strict supervision of preservationists. The Slovak Strela got a new, but original, cherry-colored paint job. This was achieved by taking samples during disassembly and the preparation for restoration. The museum also helped to specify the color, where there is a well-preserved sample book dating from 1935. The bright red color is complemented by black fenders, a gray chassis and gold roof, as well as the original state emblem crafted by academic sculptor Jan Nušl. The experts also managed to restore the original drive system, so that the machine is driven by its original engines, themselves unique in their control aspect. The Slovak Strela starts on electric drive and switches to direct mechanical engagement at around 80 kilometers per hour. The entire interior of the train was also restored. Most of the equipment was recreated as exact replicas. The floor is again decorated with a checkerboard pattern, and the seats have newly woven upholstery. The utensils are currently borrowed from collectors, but the Strela will soon have its own replicas.
The renovation was successful, and the Slovak Strela is again mobile. It successfully passed its technical and safety tests, so it can once again roam our countryside on railway lines after more than sixty years. But it will only go out sporadically, because as a cultural monument it will mainly be on display in the Depository of the new Tatra Truck Museum.