The first plans and concepts for the construction of local railway, which would connect local transportation with state railways and fast growing industry of Moravian Ostrava, formed in Klimkovice, as well as in many towns and villages in North Moravia and Silesia, at the beginning of the second half 19th century. The most daring idea was to connect the capital of Horní Slezsko region - Opava, to Trenčín located in Slovakia by a railway for steam trains. The concept failed early, in 1873 after the great financial collapse on the Vienna Stock Exchange. And perhaps at the same time, the much more realistic plan for creating shorter local railways connected to the newly operational state North Railway of Ferdinand the Emperor saw the light of day. This one no doubt included the local line leading from Svinov to Klimkovice. What's more, this track also promised very effective and fast transportation link of Klimkovice, majority of Polanky nad Odrou and Svinov's residents with fast growing industry of Moravian Ostrava. The promise was, as was later confirmed in practice, fulfilled. This solution was extremely reasonable and far-seeing as well as quite easy to realize.
The fearless and enthusiastic initiator of the construction of the local railway line between Svinov and Klimkovice was, MUDr. Jan Moravec. After several years of renewal activities and with great support of nationally-minded workers, he and his co-workers managed to get the necessary votes in municipal elections and became the mayor of Klimkovice in 1895. Among others needs of the city, he enforced the prompt initiation of preparatory work on the project of local railway. The mayor considered it crucial and of paramount importance for the development of Klimkovice, which transportation links were utterly insufficient. Sadly, he died of so-called "proletarian disease" tuberculosis in 1900. The final turning point in the state of preparation work and the possibilities of starting the construction of a local railway line came after several years in 1907, when the people, who had the establishment of the railway as their primary personal priority, got into the Klimkovice town council. There was a possibility that the city would completely lost its former administrative and economic importance (the seat of the district court, tax office, major crafts, stores and marketplaces) due to non-existing modern transport connections. That's why on 9th May 1907, special committee for the construction of local railway was appointed. Quite interestingly, local veterinarian Klimkovice MVDr. Rudolf Resner (later, he became the mayor of Klimkovice) and the headmaster of Klimkovice's Elementary School became personally engaged in the support of building new transportation links. Resner also wrote multi-page letter with the intention of persuading both provincial and state authorities as well as the public that the construction of local railway from Klimkovice to Svinov (through Polanka nad Odrou) was of vital importance. He aimed to gain the support from residents from both of the above-mentioned villages. The planned construction found great understanding and support, especially in Polanka nad Odrou. Then the June 1908 was agreed to be the first day of preparatory works, but the works were delayed for six months. After completing the necessary preparatory work in 1910, the realization of construction itself was contracted to Dr. Ing. A. Samohrd from Brno for a total price of 1,033.691 crowns of the old Austrian currency. In order to finance the construction of the railway new joint-stock company was established by all three participating municipalities as the shareholders (Klimkovice, Polanka and Svinov). The Company issued a total of 4,850 share notes with a nominal value of 200 crowns per note. The remaining amount of 91,300 crowns was granted by Silesia. The village of Klimkovice requested financial contribution from the Austrian government, which declined the request of financing this local track from State funds. Therefore the construction was financed mostly by small shareholders. And because of that, the full construction works couldn't start before December 1910. In less than a year (in November 1911) the local 7,360 meters long railway with standard track gauge connecting Svinov and Klimkovice was finished. On 8th December 1911, in exactly 8 o'clock in the morning, with the crowds cheering, the very first ceremoniously decorated steam train drove off from Klimkovice station through Polanka nad Odrou to its final destination in Svinov. That day, the dream of many generations of residents of Klimkovice and two other Silesian villages, became true and was written to the history books. Finally, the town of Klimkovice was connected to the outside world by its own railway!!!
Major milestones of the local railway Svinov - Klimkovice:
8. 12. 1911
It was the day of the ceremonial opening of the railway. At the beginning, five trains a day travelled from Svinov to Klimkovice and back. The train set had two steam powered locomotives, five coaches, one service wagon, four freight wagons and two auxiliary second and third class wagons of various series. The fare was 20, 30 and 40 haléřů (cents). Since 1st May 1912, another (the sixth) train connection was introduced (and served on Wednesday, Friday, Sunday and on holidays). The operation of this railway, which was under the administration of Klimkovice, was provided by Austrian State Railways, based in Vienna, up until the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918.
23. 3. 1914
After three years of train service, the village of Klimkovice received a concession from the Ministry of Railways based in Vienna. And so, the village became a concessionaire of the local track.
28. 10. 1918
By the establishment of the independent Czechoslovakia, the operation of the track was taken over by Czechoslovakia State Railways (CSR) at the expense of the former owner. From now on, Czech became the official language of the State Railways.
Since 1921, the track was no longer profitable. The town of Klimkovice was trying to sell it, and that created a rift of opinions in Svinov and Polanka.
The joint stock company owning the railway started negotiations about selling the unprofitable track to the Company of Local Railways in Moravian Ostrava. Buying price was 2,5 million Kčs (CZK).
5. 11. 1925
This year brought the final decision to sell and transfer the operating concession to the Company of Local Moravian Railways (CLMR), which ran the tram transport on moravian-ostrava track, and which was owned by Moravian Ostrava. The idea to extend the Klimkovice track all the way to Bílovec came to life again. By buying the Klimkovice-Svinov railway, the CLMR was committed to pay 2 million Kčs to CSR and to pay Klimkovice, as the former concessionaire 500,000 Kčs (CSK). (From this amount the small shareholders were paid 70 % of the value of their shares). As early as November 1925, the track was gradually electrified, and the connection to the local Ostrava tram track was created.
16. 5. 1926
Electric powered trams started travelling between Svinov and Klimkovice. Regular operation with passengers was started by tram leaving at 10:47 am from the final station Moravian Ostrava (today's Miloš Sýkora Bridge). At the same time an electric tram moved off Svinov heading to Klimkovice. (The passengers were: local and state representatives, invited guests, who were present at the ceremonial opening of the track at Sokol House in Klimkovice.) For the electrification of the track, number of structural modifications of various degree had to be made, all of these were financed by the CLMR (a total of 1,664.000,- Kčs (CSK)). Forty-minute departure interval was introduced on the track. Trams of the Klimkovice line were labeled with letter "K" (as Klimkovice). After the electrification, three new stops (Svinov-mill, Přemyšov and Václavovice) were added to the original four.
The period of German occupation wasn't of any use to the track. The entire line was located in the newly formed Sudetenland and the traffic was under complete control of german rules. Trams from the direction of Ostrava had to stop in Nová Ves, where the custom office was set up and it was necessary to continue on foot across the bridge on Odra. Transportation in the section from the bridge to the Svinov railway station was, since 1939 provided by a special "shuttle tram". The tram to Klimkovice had fifty-minute departure interval (travel time remained unchanged at approximately 22 minutes). This "continuous" operation all the way to Ostrava (except for temporary interruptions in the war and postwar period) lasted up until 1953, when the line from Klimkovice had its final destination in Svinov, and passengers had to change trains. Throughout the whole period since the beginning of operation up until 1972, freight transport was maintained in operation as well.
In January 1947 the general meeting of CLMR decided to terminate its existence and transfer all its property to the city of Ostrava. In August 1947, trams were relabeled, the trams of line to Klimkovice changed „K“ for No. 5. In 1946, during the post-war period the idea by the People's Committee of Klimkovice was presented: to extend the track from Klimkovice all the way up to Hradec nad Moravicí. This idea was also supported by 15 other villages. However, due to the technical and financial demands, the elaboration and realization of this project has never been done.
Thirty-minute departure interval with trams crossing usually in the newly built passing loop Polanka - Zámecká was introduced.
There was another relabeling of the trams of the Dopravní Podnik Ostrava (Ostrava Transport Company), the successor of CLMR. The new Klimkovice line had No. 12 and the original No. 5 was assigned to Kyjovická line.
1963 - 1967
Since the 1st July 1963, so-called "jednoslužný" ("without conductor") operation was introduced in motor vehicles. Since 1st July 1967, the Klimkovická line was relabeled again, this time to No. 6.
1970 – 1972
The history of freight transportation is connected to the Klimkovice railway as well. After the end of freight transport from Svinov to Kyjovice in 1970, the only usable link in Ostrava was the Klimkovice's one. Freight traffic was also stopped on this link, but not before 31st January 1972. And by closing this connection, the freight traffic in Ostrava's tram net was after 78 years of its existence finally terminated.
New railway station "Oderský důl" was set up on the track (used by the workers of the new mine).
1977 - 1978
Year 1977 was fatal for this railway. On 25th November 1977, the north Moravian RPK (Regional People's Committee) issued decision to cancel the electric tram line Svinov - Klimkovice with the termination of the transport operations on 31st December 1977. However, the last day of operation was in fact New Year's of 1978, when car No. 46 provided morning connections. The very last link left Klimkovice on 1st January 1978 at 3:32 am. And because it was the last ever connection, fire was set on the tracks of Přemyšov stop and tree was laid across the track, which was supposed to symbolically "prevent" the closure of this old track. Before the tram moved off through the darkness of the night to its final destination in Svinov, the public present recited a poem of farewell to say goodbye to their favorite "klimkovická lokálka" ("klimkovice's local railway"). After all, it served people truly and faithfully for over 66 years of the 20th century.
- Josef Cvik a kol: - 70 let městské hromadné dopravy na Ostravsku (70 years of urban public transportation in Ostrava region), DPMO 1964
- Jan Dvořák: - 100 let hromadné dopravy v Ostravě (100 years of public transportation in Ostrava), DPMO 1994
- Kolektiv autorů: - 100 let elektrické tramvaje v Ostravě (100 years of electric trams in Ostrava), DPO 2001
- Antonín Hub: - Klimkovice, MÚ v Klimkovicích (Municipal Office in Klimkovice), 1994
- Zpravodaj DPO a.s. č. 1/2008 (Newsletter)
- Poznámky a rukopisy p. Libora Hynčici a členů Klubu historie DP Ostrava (Notes and manuscripts of Libor Hynčic and members of the History club), 2006
Compiled by: Ing. Jiří Pillich, the chronicler of Klimkovice, November 2011