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At the end of the first world war, the state of Poland included new territories which had previously been part of the German Empire, Austria and Russia. The country's railway system reflected this, because it was a patchwork of German, Austrian and Russian technology, though the German influence was greatest. That's why the subsequent development of the Polish railways was closely linked to the development of the German railways. When the Polish State Railway (PKP) began the radical modernisation of its express train stock at the end the nineteen twenties, for example, it took recourse to earlier German designs.
The Deutsche Reichsbahn commissioned a new generation of express train cars from 1920 onwards which were pioneering in a number of ways. They were made entirely out of steel.They also had tapered ends to reduce aerodynamic drag, which why they were given the name "Hechtwagen" (pike cars) or "Hechte" (pikes). The cars weren't just manufactured for the Deutsche Reichsbahn, but also exported to Bulgaria and Turkey. PKP developed its own cars based on these reliable models and produced them in far greater numbers than the German originals. Logically, they were called "Polish pikes".
From 1928 onwards, all the cars were ordered from the three major Polish railcarfactories which built hundreds of cars in different designs until 1941. The cars all had an identical length including buffers of 22,020 mm and a bogie wheel base of 14,600 mm. They ran on American-built bogies. A, AB, B, ABC, BC and C models were produced, as well as the corresponding luggage and post cars. Much of Poland's railway stock fell into the hands of the Deutsche Reichsbahn during the second world war. The Reichsbahn incorporated the many "Hechts" in its own stock and allocated the numbers 250 081 to 250 942 to them. This number range also included older Prussian and Austrian cars, so it is impossible to say how many Polish "Hechts" were actually taken over; probably somewhere in the region of 700.
At the end of the second world war, many of these cars were still being operated by the two German railway companies. The DB never gave the cars back to the PKP, so they remained with the DB and underwent conversions into various versions in the early fifties. They were fitted with German standard parts to simplify maintenance.
The third-class cars were also given upholstered seats; a foresighted measure in advance of the class reform which was planned, but not implemented until 1956. The cars of this type also helped to sustain express train services. The DB put
the last one out of service at the beginning of the nineteen eighties. Some of the indestructible cars are still in use on museum railways