24661L - DEV T 41 Wismar Rail Bus
In 1928, the state office in Hannover for short line railroads developed suggestions for long-term improvement of passenger service on short line railroads in order to replace the uneconomical and badly overburdened passenger trains hauled by steam locomotives. A lightweight powered rail car was required with low procurement costs, simple, inexpensive maintenance by using mass-produced truck parts, low operating costs, and one-man operation as well as use in both directions without the need to turn the unit. The problem of a sturdy and cost-effective drive system was solved resourcefully and affordably: A mass-produced truck motor with gear drive from Ford was simply used at both ends of the car, including all of the accessories such as the tank, universal shaft, motor hood, brakes, etc. The firm Waggonfabrik Wismar thus built such a rail bus with lightweight construction methods and the total weight of the car could be kept at six metric tons.
The second unit of 59 powered rail cars of this so-called "Hannover" type was sent with the road number Sk-1 to the Steinhude Moor Railroad in 1933. This narrow gauge line (1,000 mm / 39") was built in 1898/99 and ran from Wunstorf via Bad Rehburg, Stolzenau, and Nendorf to the Uchte small station. Both Bad Rehburg and Loccum had stub end stations where the purchase of this powered rail car now made it considerably easier to change a train's direction. After World War II, the Hannover Provincial Short Line Office became the Lower Saxon Provincial Railroad Office in 1947, which standardized the designation of its powered units starting in 1950. The Sk-1 of the Steinhude Moor Railroad now ran as T 41. The discontinuation of passenger service on March 2, 1964 made it superfluous and it was put into storage. As early as 1966, it was acquired by the German Railroad Association (DEV) in Bruchhausen-Vilsen, but it remained until 1969 in Bad Rehburg where it was increasingly neglected. At that point, the hulk was brought to the Bremen-Seebaldsbrück maintenance facility, restored with parts from the Isle of Sylt Railroad's T 25 and used starting in April of 1970 on the museum line for special runs. A lengthy overhaul from 1996 to 2000 with the cooperation of the Association for "Advice, Communication, and Labor" in Wilhelmshaven largely restored the T 41 to the condition of its early years of use. The interior was completely new and the wall covering and the instrument panel was restored to its original condition. As the oldest preserved Wismar rail bus the DEV currently only uses the T 41 for special events in order to preserve it as long as possible in its current condition with the Ford gasoline motors.