Prague, Dec 4 (CTK) – The Czech state-run railway carrier Ceske drahy (CD) has 169 trains that bear the names of regions, rivers, mountains or historical personalities and this number will further increase next week and include the first train named after a living person, film director Jiri Menzel.
CD spokesman Vit Stahlavsky told CTK that about 30 trains with new names will appear as of December 11 when a new train timetable takes effect.
The train named after Czech film director Menzel, 78, will go between Prague and Beroun. Menzel made the film Closely Watched Trains that won an Academy Award and the filming took place 50 years ago at the Lodenice train station, which is one of the stops on the Prague-Beroun rail route.
In September, a plaque remembering the filming was unveiled on the Lodenice train station building.
Trains started been named in the country in the interwar period. In 1936, the Slovenska strela (Slovak missile) express train was introduced. More trains got names after World War Two. In the 1950s and the 1960s, mainly international express trains were introduced, carryig the names of its destinations such as Vindobona, Hungaria, Meridian, Balt-Orient and Pannonia Express.
The rail line Prague-Vienna-Graz is noteworthy for giving all the trains that take this route a name after a music composer. The trains are named after Gustav Mahler, Franz Schubert, Antonin Dvorak, Bedrich Smetana and Johann Strauss.
Ceske Drahy also offers commercial naming of trains. A train bearing a name of a firm or product costs hundreds of crowns a year. In the past, trains had the commercial names Prerovsky Zubr and Nachodsky Primator, both being brands of local Czech beer. One train was also called Klidna sila (Calm power), which was the election slogan of the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL).