We are saddened to learn that Mr Ivo Malina has died aged 83. He is survived by his wife, two married sons, and two grandchildren. He will be missed by his countless friends in the railway sector. His funeral took place at the Prague crematorium on 25 September at 12 pm.
Mr Malina began his professional career at the Prague Transport University in the Faculty of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, from which he graduated. He dedicated his life to the railways.
From 1963 to 1982, after gaining two years of operational experience within the Rolling Stock department, he held various roles at the Transport Research Institute and its spinoff, the Railway Research Institute (now VUZ Prague), including Head Rolling Stock Researcher and Deputy Director.
The previous regime in Czechoslovakia had made false allegations about his views and international cooperation activities, and he was hampered and hindered in his professional development for a decade. Undeterred, however, he returned after the revolution in 1989 and continued his railway activities with enthusiasm. During this time, he worked in the Presidium at the Czechoslovakian Academy of Science, where he focused on strengthening the role of science in practical applications.
Following the change of regime, he held the role of Director General of ČSD (Czechoslovakian Railways) from 1990 to 1992 and was very popular amongst his colleagues in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. During this difficult period, marked by the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, he made a positive contribution to the separation of ČSD into two different entities, CD and ZSR, a process nicknamed the “velvet divorce”.
For the next six years, he worked at UIC in Paris as Director of the Technical Department.
He contributed to dynamic development of international cooperation between the railways in Europe and worldwide from a technical perspective, as well as close cooperation with other international railway organisations, particularly in the domains of science, research and standardisation. He supported the creation of the UIC East-West Taskforce, which took on the challenges of technical harmonisation in Europe and deeper integration of Central European countries into the railway system.
In 1998, Mr Malina returned to the Czech Republic as First Deputy Director General, where he worked until 2003.
In addition to these important roles, he also worked as a recognised expert in a number of high-level bodies and organisations requiring both national and international expertise. He was President of the Railways section at the Scientific and Technical Society, a member of the Presidium Commission at the CSAV (Academy of Sciences), a member of the Council of the Presidium at the Czechoslovakian Academy of Science for cooperation with universities, a member of the Transport Minister’s Council, a member of the Scientific Councils of the VÚD, VŠD, ČVUT Transport Faculty, President of the VÚŽ Scientific Council, and a member of the Institute for Research and Testing’s steering committee.
He was a consistent supporter of young railway talent, both in railway organisations and academia. He was also heavily involved in teaching as an external professor at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the Czech Technical University and at the VŠD’s Faculty of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. He was involved in evaluating Master’s theses in the domains of transport engineering and transport technology, and a member of the CTU’s State examiners’ committee. He also worked in the Czech Technical University’s Transport Faculty.
Mr Malina was fully committed to the job and, fortunately, was in excellent physical and mental condition. He was tireless in his efforts to promote and strengthen railway development. Over the last decade, he was an enthusiastic participant in the activities of the Technical Platform for Railway Infrastructure Interoperability and became one of its most prominent figures on account of his many years of expertise and life experience, as well as his diligence, conscientiousness and creativity.
Amongst other things, he became a member of the Council for Research and Development, as well as the TP project team within the Research Group of Experts and the working group on high-speed railway lines in the Czech Republic.
With this extensive remit, he was always a strong advocate of UIC as a global organisation with expertise in all areas of the railways. His most recent contribution is the draft Memorandum of Understanding between the Technical Interoperability Platform and UIC, which will strengthen mutual cooperation.
On a personal level, he was an exceptional man - warm, positive, motivating and very responsive to international issues. He was a source of new ideas and progress. Always full of energy, he was a sportsman and an amateur photographer.
These are just a few memories attesting to Ivo Malina’s professionalism, humanism and humanity. He will be sorely missed by his family, friends, and the railway community.