Towards the end of WW I many small railway lines were insolvent, due
to a lack of passengers. Renault came with a solution: replace the
trains by diesel engine coaches and diesel trains. The type KA was
Renault’s first diesel engine coach. First used in 1922 it was
supplied with a 30 hp motor, built on the chassis of a truck and able
to transport 20 passengers plus the driver. Fast, reliable and
comfortable: this new means of transport was a resounding success.
Subsequently, the constructor developed a 12-cilinder/250 hp diesel
motor. In the early thirties the double-cabined motor coach, normally
on the line Paris-Lisieux-Trouville, was equipped with a new motor.
Now it could cover
a day. In 1935, the diesel motor coach broke speed records on the
section Paris-Strasbourg by reaching an average speed of
, with peaks of
. The coach was driven by a 500 hp 16-cylinder motor, built by
Renault, and it could reach a much higher speed than the traditional
train engines. Within the fifties Renault completed the research for
the development of a panorama rail car, for the first time in history
built with synthetic building materials to make the car less heavier,
to increase the car’s performance and to optimize the soundproofing.
The first vehicles were put into use in 1958. The last diesel motor
coach leaves the belt in 1963. For 60 years 1100 of these coaches have
crossed the railways, some of them covering more than 3 million