UIC was invited together with the heads of several European Railway museums to participate in a consultation and exchanges related to the construction of the Museum of Russian Railways in Saint-Petersburg. The meeting was organised by October Railway from RZD.
This ambitious and already very advanced project aims to bring together in one location in Saint-Petersburg a number of collections of railway rolling stock and railway equipment from Russian Railways that were maintained in different parts of the territory.
Mr Valentin Gapanovich, Advisor to the President of Russian Railways (RZD) who has a leading role in the execution of this project, warmly welcomed all participants and presented the objective to make this future museum one of the very first railway museums in Europe and in the world.
It will be targeted at the general public and will explain the essential role of railways in the history and the development of Russia.
The Museum of Russian Railways is the result of successful public-private partnerships.
The heritage of Russian Railways’ rolling stock will be exhibited in vast spaces (a restored locomotive depot as well as newly constructed exhibition halls), with specific topics such as locomotives, passenger, freight, military trains, etc.,
In addition, a high number of animations and entertainment, using the latest audiovisual and digital technologies, will contribute to educate the public about the basic principles and future development of the railway transport system.
The official opening should take place in October 2017.
Participants in this consultation were invited to visit the site of the museum under construction and afterwards to deliver all their views and suggestions on the future organisation of the museum in the frame of a very open exchange with the heads of Russian Railways and October Railway from Saint-Petersburg.
The afternoon was dedicated to the visit of the Central Museum of Railway Transport of the Russian Federation (also located in Saint-Petersburg).
As Mr Valentin Gapanovich stressed, this museum should not be limited to the function of a museum but also be used as a meeting place for railways at global level, for example for UIC gatherings.
UIC was represented by Paul Véron, Director in charge of Relations with Members and Partner Organisations (and in parallel Vice Chairman of the International Railway History Association IRHA). Directors and heads of the railway museums from Brussels (Train World), Nuremberg (German Railways Museum) and Utrecht (Dutch Railways Museum) also attended this consultation.
It is also worth mentioning that Railway Museums currently develop an informal cooperation at global level and meet once a year at the invitation of one railway museum, to exchange on all issues of common interest including the economic and commercial (marketing) aspects.
UIC suggested promoting the railway museums of its Members at international level by using its full range of communications such as UIC e-News and press releases, or those currently in development such as the use of social networks. UIC would only need to receive the basic information to communicate from the respective railway museums.