The locomotive Rose (the original serial No.: T-212.1 580, since the 90’s a new serial No.: 703 580-1) was manufactured 36 years ago - in 1974. Having run on ZNZZ Domažlice’s rail siding during its first years, it has uninterruptedly been performing on Budweiser Budvar’s rail siding since 8th June 1983. The name was received after the rail siding’s head at the time. Since these times, the locomotive has transported thousands of rail carriages with about a million tons of miscellaneous material. The work performed took its toll by a considerable wear and tear of various parts of the locomotive. At the same time, several of its technical parameters no longer met current regulations. Since the brewery considers rail transport as a strategic alternative in the long term, an investment into a total modernization of Rose worth CZK 4.6 million was opted for.
“The replacement of the break system as well as the diesel engine in particular took place during the modernization. The original drive of Tatra was exchanged for a modern six-cylinder in-line engine of Caterpillar with an output of 205 kW. Due to the engine-driver cab’s considerable enlargement and bonnet lowering at the same time, the engine-driver now has a perfect view from his place of both sides of the tracks,” says Budweiser Budvar’s rail siding’s head Jaroslav Berka.
Budweiser Budvar’s rail siding is one of the oldest working rail sidings in the Czech Republic. Having been built as early as in 1895 - in the year of the brewery’s founding - the brewery then owned three carriages, which were used to transport malt, hops and other ingredients from České Budějovice railway station and back. In 1925, the siding was extended by a second track, quite essential for more than 18 carriages while in 1947, there were three tracks already. Initially, the carriages were run by a yokes of oxen or manpower. Later on, the steam engine came into use. These days, the siding is nearly 2 kilometres long (1,792 metres) and it is connected to the railway at the changeover tracks in Nemanice.
Even these days, relatively frequent operation takes place there, as the siding transports about 1,900 carriages with 32 tons of material every year. Half of the transported amount goes to malt, while the rest is made by bottles and occasionally other materials. The finished beer leaves Budweiser Budvar Brewery for its consumers predominantly by trucks.