Klv-20: the Volkswagen Bulli that wanted to be a train more than half a century ago

The Bulli is a historic model that allowed the brand to bring its users a relaxed lifestyle and maximum practicality. In fact, more than half a century ago the striking Klv-20 to demonstrate that its uses could reach unsuspected levels. Now a unique jewel in history is revealed, which consists of a Volkswagen Bulli converted into a train. This special unit was capable of running on rails thanks to a series of modifications made. It was a solution of the Deutsche Bundesbahn (German Federal Railways) in 1954.

At that time they faced the challenge of acquiring new compact service vehicles for its railways. Developing something from scratch was very complex and expensive, so they took a Volkswagen Transporter and combined it with a railway chassis. It was a job done by the companies Martin Beilhack and Waggon- und Maschinenbau GmbH Donauwörth within a year. HE They made only 15 units and here is one of the few that is preserved in this state today. The use to which they were given will surprise you.

They were not for transporting passengers, for that they needed larger vehicles. The Volkswagen Bulli became a train, the well-known Klv-20 served to moving in track maintenance depots and also to make short trips to inspect and repair the facilities. As we said, it is the result of combining the body of a T1 Kombi van, a 28 HP Volkswagen industrial engine and a chassis with a hydraulic lifting and turning mechanism. The system was so effective that a single person could place it on the tracks and turn it.

To comply with railway regulations, the original lights were replaced with others like those on trains. The entire lower part also changed, so that the power was transmitted to some steel wheels with a diameter of 550 mm. It included a system of internal shoe brakes, pedal-operated through an oleohydraulic system, in addition to having a mechanical handbrake. The interior consists of three rows of seats with a 2+3+3 arrangement, although they could be removed. Dispensed with a steering wheel due to being placed on the rails.

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