Cooperation between the International Federation of Esperanto Railwaymen (IFEF), a member of the International Federation for Railway Culture and Leisure (FISAIC), and the Jan Perner Transport Faculty of Pardubice University has resulted in a practical initiative: the university, together with the Czech Association of Esperanto Railwaymen (ĈeFEA) organised a seminar on European railways on 12 October on the occasion of the European Year of Railways, supported by UIC members České dráhy and Správa železnic.
Seven speakers representing IFEF (from the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Romania) accepted the invitation to the event. There was a large audience in the auditorium – a mix of interested friends of Esperanto and young people, who listened to the presentations.
First, Rodica Todor of Romania, President of IFEF, introduced the federation and its role as an organisation of railwaymen developing Esperanto as a professional railway language. Ms Todor gave a presentation on the IFEF Erasmus programme on “Sustainable mobility – challenge for students”.
This was followed by presentations on:
- International train connections in the steam train era in 1865 (Tomáš Vašut, Hungary)
- Pocket wagons – accident on the Great Belt (Jan Niemann, Denmark)
- Safety on rail-road crossings (Guido Brandenburg, Germany)
- Safe and sustainable railway infrastructure in Italy (Vito Tornillo, Italy)
- Modernisation of railway infrastructure in the Czech Republic (Roman Štěrba, Czech Republic)
- Night trains in Europe (Andreas Diemel, Germany)
Finally, Ladislav Kovář of the Czech Republic issued an invitation to the 73rd IFEF Congress, to be held in Beroun (CZ) in 2022.
Despite the huge volume of material presented in a short time, the audience’s attention was captured right up until the last slide.
One of the strengths of FISAIC and Esperanto gatherings is that they serve as a platform for acquiring professional knowledge, cultural impressions and new friends and colleagues.
The IFEF seminar in Pardubice was attended by Roman Štěrba, FISAIC Coordinator of Technical Commissions and Head of Strategy at SZCZ.
FISAIC is an international railway art and culture association. It signed a Memorandum of Understanding with UIC on 1 December 2016. FISAIC aims to promote and support cultural activities for railway personnel of all nationalities in their leisure time, establish relationships between the creative railway personnel of national associations and unions in order to organise cultural events, and contribute to the development of cultural motivation and activities. FISAIC was founded in Strasbourg in 1952.