Information and Publications from FEDECRAIL


News from FEDECRAIL


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16 young people at the 12th Youth Exchange in Sweden

The 12th international FEDECRAIL Youth Exchange took place in Sweden. The meeting started on Friday 3 August in Uppsala. 16 participants arrived: 13 boys and three girls. They came from Spain, Ukraine, Great Britain, Germany and Romania. They spent the first days in Uppsala-Lenna. All the young people worked in the technology and in the trains to help the staff on board.

This summer there were problems with the hot and dry weather in Sweden, so that steam trains were not allowed to travel at first. Fortunately, rain started early enough so that the participants of the youth camp in Uppsala could still use the steam trains. Trips to the Swedish railway museum in Gävle, a tram excursion in Stockholm and the visit of a military fortress in Oxelösund were undertaken during the week.

The second half of the exchange was spent in Malmköping in the Tram Museum. Here, too, the young people worked in technology and sold tickets in the trams. The closing dinner traditionally took place on the last Saturday evening and was attended by FEDECRAIL Vice President Heimo Echensperger.

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“The Peace Train” in Alsace in November

For the first time, the Unecto congress will begin with an event international: “The Peace Train”. The descendants of Germans and French who fought each other in suffering, will meet in Alsace to celebrate Peace. This railway event will commemorate the end of this terrible conflict that has seenour two countries fight each other for for many years, but which are now become partners of a united Europe. Here is the programme as well as the booking form for the event and accommodation. These are in French language, but translation in the language of your choice is possible with any internet translator.

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Steam Gala in Poland in early September 2018

Since 2011, the Museum of Industry and Railways in Silesia has been organizing the “Steam Locomotive Gala”, the international meeting of historic locomotives. The Gala has a form of an outdoor exhibition organized on the premises of the former locomotive shed in Jaworzyna Silesia (nowadays the Museum’s headquarters). The exhibition 2018 on 8 and 9 September is accompanied by full day presentations of locomotives – on the turntable and train journeys on the most picturesque railway tracks around Jaworzyna Śląska. This year in addition to steam locomotives, there are also invited vintage utility vehicles – agricultural tractors, road rollers, locomotives or military vehicles to participate in our gold rush. All will be presented on the premises of the Burghaus grange and palace complex in Piotrowice Świdnickie, about two kilometers from Silesian Jaworzyn. (www.muzeumtechniki.pl)

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Next FEDECRAIL dates have been set

The next FEDECRAIL dates are set: After the annual general meeting in Edinburgh in spring there will be a second meeting this year for the representatives of FEDECRAIL members in Luxembourg on 6 October 2018. This extraordinary general meeting offers the opportunity for an exchange with the executive committee about current developments within the federation.

2019 is an anniversary year for FEDECRAIL: The association turns 25 years old. The celebrations will be held during the Annual Conference 2019 in April in the Harz area (Germany). A series of special "Jubilee News Bulletins" will be prepared and distributed to keep members informed on the preparations for the conference and celebrations. Suitable facilities for the conference and accommodation for delegates have been identified in Wernigerode. The celebration of the 25th anniversary will take place on Tuesday morning, 16 April 2019. The Annual General Meeting is scheduled for Sunday, 14 April, and the conference for Monday, 15 April. Care will be taken that delegates can return home before the Easter Weekend.

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Two new faces on the FEDECRAIL Council

David Morgan gets a farewell. Photos: John Crane

At FEDECRAIL's 2018 General Assembly, held in Edinburgh (Scotland) in April, the first and long-serving President David Morgan was dismissed from the Board and two successorsnew faces were elected to the Board: Peter Ovenstone (Scotland) and Jonas Svartlok (Sweden). David Morgen had already resigned as Chairman in 2017 after 23 years at his own request. Since then Jaap Nieweg has headed the European Federation of Museum and Tourist Railways. With a very personal gift from the board and deep thanks, David Morgan was said goodbye as one of the founding fathers of FEDECRAIL.

Peter Ovenstone (Scotland) succeeds Sten Erson-Wester (Sweden), who was unable to stand for re-election for health reasons, as third Vice-President. Peter Ovenstone was already FEDECRAIL Officer by then. He has been involved since inception with the development of the European Federation of Museum & Tourist Railways, and his principal role has been as a member of the FEDECRAIL conference organising team. His commitment to the historical heritage was and is multilayered and extensive: Current principle executive HRA roles are as Company Secretary, Chairman of the Heritage Committee and of the Scottish Committee. Within the UK, he served as Chairman of the former statutory Railway Heritage Committee [RHC] and continues to be involved in the statutory protection scheme as a member of the successor body to RHC, the Railway Heritage Designation Advisory Board.

For many years, he has been actively involved in the work of the Association of British Transport & Engineering Museums and he currently serves as its Vice-Chairman. A more recent European involvement has been with Europa Nostra - the pan European body for all forms of the built and natural heritage: He is now a co-secretary of the Industrial & Engineering Heritage Committee of Europa Nostra.

On the right Jonas Svartlok and Peter Ovbenstone.

His formal professional qualifications are as a Scottish solicitor, albeit he retired from practice many years ago, and he also worked for a few years as a manager of an industrial heritage project in Scotland. He also holds a post-graduate Diploma in Heritage Management from the Ironbridge Institute.

Jonas Svartlok (Sweden) is Secretary of FEDECRAIL's Heritage Operations Group (HOG). He started working for the Stockholm steam engine company SÅS as a twelve-year-old railway enthusiast and participated, but after the birth of his first child - today there are six of them - he was more or less away more or less from the railway in the age of 23. In 2004, however, he returned with the foundationing of the Landeryd Railway Museum. The following year he became chairman of JHRF, the Swedish umbrella organisation, from which he resigned after ten yearsin 2015. Jonas Svartlok earns his living as a driving instructor for the Swedish railway company Swedtrac and has been a locomotive driver including authorization for steam locomotives on public lines since 2009. He also runs a small company for the sale of steam locomotive accessories and "know-how".

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Support for the Strasshof Railway Museum

In a letter to the Austrian Federal Chancellery in Vienna, FEDECRAIL has lobbied to support the Strasshof Railway Museum in Lower Austria. The museum is located in the listed hall and the historical railway installations in Strasshof. This would provide the ideal conditions for a modern Austrian railway museum of international standard in an authentic environment (including a wooden water tower, coal elevators, water cranes and turntable).

The current operator, 1st Austrian Tram and Railway Club (1.öSEK), has already created a solid basis (eight operational steam locomotives, over 150 rail vehicles). The non-profit association has not yet received any support from ÖBB or the public sector. Therefore, FEDECRAIL proposes to financially support the association in the construction of a depot hall, in order to tackle the conservation problems and to enable the storage of the valuable exhibits at Strasshof in a protected location. An important second step would be the construction of an exhibition hall in which the exhibits could be presented appropriately for a museum.

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Four new FEDECRAIL members

Four new members joined FEDECRAIL. They were introduced at the 25th annual general meeting, which took place at Edinburgh/Scotland in April 2018: "Detská Zeleznica", Kosice, in the eastern part of Slovakia; "Agrupación de los Ferrocarriles Históricos Españoles" (AFCHE), Laguna de Duero (Valladolid), Spain; the "Museum of Industry and Railway" (Silesia) in Jaworzyna Sl, Poland, and the Croatian railway museum HŽ INFRASTRUKTURA d.o.o. Hrvatski željeznički muzej in Zagreb.

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Museum Railways and the European Cultural Heritage 2018

Photo: Kees Wijnnobel

2018 has been designated European Year of Cultural Heritage. The European Commission's aim is to get more people interested in Europe's cultural heritage and to give them a sense of belonging to a common European area. The motto for the year is: "Our heritage - link between past and future". The historic railways are also called upon to place their activities under this motto in 2018. Here is an example from the Netherlands: The "Stichting Museum Buurtspoorweg" (MBS) uses a banner to draw attention to the Year of Cultural Heritage.

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Steam locomotive parade at the Hungarian Railway Museum

There are two anniversaries to celebrate in Hungary this year: MÁV Co. celebrates its 150th anniversary and MÁV Nosztalgia Ltd. its 25th birthday. The jubilee celebration of the railways will take place from 7 to 9 September 2018 at the Hungarian Railway Museum (Magyar Vasuttorteneti Park) in Budapest. The highlight of this will be a steam locomotive parade.

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Preparations for the peace train

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Compiègne armistice, which was concluded between the German Reich and the two Western powers France and Great Britain at the end of the First World War. In autumn, this event will be celebrated festively in Alsace, including a spectacular show on the Doller railway between Cernay Saint André and Sentheim west of Mulhouse. Two authentic historical trains with "soldiers" from France and Germany are going to meet at the former Burnhaupt border station. Whilst the combatting parties were negotiating on the supply of wounded people, it seemed they might return to the use of arms, but the bells rang for peace.

Council members and officers of VDMT, UNECTO and FEDECRAIL met with representatives of the local authorities in January in Thann/Alsace to confirm their participation in this project and to visit the Doller railway (photo). In addition to this "peace train", there will also be a joint congress of the French and German umbrella associations of museum and tourist railways in November.

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The Presidential Train – World's Best Public Event

“World's Best Public Event 2017” at the Bea World Festival in Porto came to Portugal, for “The Presidential”, a project developed in partnership between the “Portuguese National Railway Museum” in Entroncamento and the company Trajetorias & Melodias. The “Bea World Festival – The International Festival of Events and Live Communication” is the meeting place and networking event for the international event community.

The “Presidential Train” before was a “Royal Train” used by Monarchy since 1870 until 1910. Then, as Presidential Train it was used by the Portuguese Heads of State until 1970. The restoration project was carried out by the museum and was co-financed by European and National funding. With the designation "Presidential Tours: Tourist Tours in Historic Train", the work began in 2009. The restored train was presented to the public on a trip between Lisbon-Santa Apolónia and Entroncamento in 12th December 2013.

The restoration of this train was a bet by the National Railway Museum Foundation in creating conditions for the valorization of the National Railway Heritage as an enhancer for the cultural and economic development of the country. Now this strategic approach is globally recognized.

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12th Fedecrail Youth Exchange 2018 in Sweden

Uppsala/Sweden

FEDECRAIL together with MUMA (Museum tramway Malmköping) and ULJ (Uppsala-Länna-Railway) would like to invite you to the 12th Youth Exchange in Sweden from Friday 3rd August to Sunday 12th August. The meeting will start at ULJ railway in Uppsala. The city is located north of Stockholm. It takes just under one hour by train to travel between the cities.

Arrival point on Friday 3th August will be Uppsala central station. It is recommended to fly to the airport of Arlanda (ARN) and to take from there the train to Uppsala. The train ride takes a maximum of 20 minutes. There are also buses available from the airport, which are cheaper but take longer.

The base for the youth exchange will be Uppsala for the first four or five days. Then the camp will move to MUMA, a tramway museum situated in a small town called Malmköping, southwest of Stockholm. The meeting will end in Malmköping on Sunday 12th August. (More information about the departure will be given later.) rnThe price for participating in 2018 in Sweden is 180 euro. It is important that the youth exchange is paid in full before arrival.

1st May is the last day for registration for the camp. Send an email to youthexchange@fedecrail.org for more information or to register.

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Petition for the Trieste – Opicina railway line

The unique Trieste – Opicina railway line in Italy is on the verge of a definitive "end". Since an accident in August 2016, operations have been interrupted on the five-kilometer-long narrow-gauge line. Now Opicino's tram is in danger of not being reopened. The daily newspaper "Il Piccolo" has called for a petition to be signed in the hope that this unique example of public transport with a high tourist value can still be reopened. Here's the petition: https://www.change.org/p/salviamo-il-tram-di-opicina-la-petizione-del-piccolo

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FEDECRAIL Annual Conference 2018 in Scotland

Forth Bridge in Edinburgh. Photo: Heimo Echensperger

The next annual FEDECRAIL conference will take the participants to Scotland. The "Edinburgh 2018 Conference" will take place in the second half of April 2018. The main conference days are the 20th and 21st of the month, with the focus on Friday being on specialist lectures on current topics and the Annual General Meeting being held on Saturday morning. For the partners of the delegates there is a special program during this time.

This 25th annual FEDECRAL conference will again be combined with a varied excursion program. The first part of the route leads from Edinburgh through central Scotland, the second one into the north of the country. During the "add-on tour", which can be connected from April 25, North-East England is to be visited.

The detailed program is currently in progress. Among other things, steam trains will be operated on main lines, museum railways and transport museums will be visited as well as other attractions.

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David Morgan passes on the presidency to Jaap Nieweg

Jaap Nieweg (on the left) and David Morgan in Antwerp

In July 2017, for the first time in its 20-year history, FEDECRAIL has seen a change of president. Since the founding of the organisation in 1994, David Morgan (UK) has successfully headed up the European Federation of Museum and Tourist Railways. At the board meeting in Hoorn (Netherlands), Morgan, who is well respected and dedicates himself to many pro bono causes, has passed the role on to a younger holder: Jaap Nieweg (Netherlands), who was the managing director of the “Stoomtram Hoorn-Medemblik” before his retirement, has taken on the presidency.

Since his childhood, Jaap Nieweg has had a close connection with the railway. Having grown up around a typically Dutch regional tramway in Doetinchem, it was a disaster for 7-year old Nieweg when the tram was discontinued in 1957 and the vehicles were scrapped. Even as a 4-year old, Nieweg wanted to be a steam engine driver – an aspiration which he swiftly made a reality. Since 1976 he is the owner of a steam train driving licence.

Nieweg’s studies of History and his subsequent teacher training in the subjects of History and Social Studies took him north of Amsterdam and in the vicinity of the “Stoomtram Hoorn-Medemblik”. Here he started his career in the museum railway sector as a volunteer, but eventually progressed into a full-time managerial role. In 1981 he moved into a management career in the communication and tourism industry, became deputy manager of Europe’s largest maritime zoo, taught at the International Institute of Hotel Management and Tourism in The Hague, and eventually founded his own consulting firm whose clients included the Ministry for

Jaap Nieweg in Medemblik

In 1993, Jaap Nieweg returned to the “Stoomtram Hoorn-Medemblik” and, as its managing director, led it through difficult times back to success. One year later, he founded the Dutch umbrella organisation of museum and tourist railways “Historisch RailvervoerNederland” (HRN), and in 2000 established the “Mobile Collektion der Niederlande” (MCN), an association of all transport organisations with historic traffic which has the aim of increasing the political influence of its members.

Nieweg has been campaigning for the causes of museums and of Fedecrail for years and in a number of capacities. In addition, he is committed to create more links between mobile and immobile items of cultural heritage in order to boost their weight on a local, regional and international level.

David Morgan first had the idea of a European umbrella organisation for museum and tourist railways on the occasion of the 150-year anniversary of the “NederlandsSpoorwegen” in 1989. The so-called “Morgan Commission” prepared the founding of FEDECRAIL. Since then, the federation has continuously increased its membership and influence. Its growing importance was indicated when FEDECRAIL was recognised by the European Union Agency for Rail (ERA) and the “Union Internationale des Chemins de Fer” (UIC – International Railway Association).

David Morgan. Photos (2): John Crane

David Morgan’s immense interest in and overwhelming commitment to the preservation of mobile cultural heritage is not only apparent in his founding of FEDECRAIL and the worldwide association WATTRAIN in 2010, but also in the various board memberships he has held or still holds in the historic tourist railway as well as the historic sea transport sector. Alongside FEDECRAIL, organisations include WATTRAIN, HRA (Heritage Railway Association), Great Central Railway, West Somerset Railway, North Norfolk Railway, the Maritime Heritage Trust, Heritage Afloat, the Cutty Sark Trust and Transport Trust as well as his membership of the Europa Nostra Industrial and Engineering Heritage Committee.

The origin of his involvement with the boards of railway organisations was to give legal advice – no surprise given his profession as a lawyer. While he retired from this career in 2013, he has maintained his personal commitment to cultural heritage. Until the next general assembly in the spring of 2018, David Morgan will remain a member of the FEDECRAIL board.


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updated 24.01.2016