After the International Fairs in Zabrze

Despite it is not even a week after the Railway Night of Museums, some of our members took part in yet another event. We drove to Zabrze to join the 11th International Conference “Industrial plants as the subjects of industrial heritage tourism” which took place on 22nd and 23rd May and the accompanying 6th International Fairs of Industrial Heritage and Underground Tourism. The fairs, open to the public, could be visited from 23rd to 24th May.

Konferencja The main theme of the conference was especially interesting for us. In Skierniewice Engine Shed we attempt to create a live collection which would join two seemingly contradictory functions. From one side we would like to create a museum exhibition, from another we would like to keep the facility’s primary function as the place where historical rolling stock could be repaired or even rebuild. Simultaneously, we would like to make the engine shed interesting not only to railway enthusiasts. The conference provided us some fresh point of view. Of course those are not a ready recipes for success but a contribution to new ideas.

Kolejarz SZD Czerowne dywany...

Our second stop were the International Touristic Fairs. One cannot imagine industrial heritage without railways, yet we were only one of two representations of this branch of industry. We were accompanied by a colleague from Czech-based Třemešná ve Slezsku – Osoblaha railway.

Stoisko Dzieci i SM42

As in previous year, we arranged our stand to resemble the inside of class TKt48-39 tank engine. We added many railway related props like petrol-fueled headlights, steam engine tools and canisters. We were also the part of the stage – dressed in historical PKP uniforms from 1950’s and 1960’s. Especially children were interested, how the inside of a steam engine look like and what tools an engineer needs. Paweł i Sylwek

Fairs gathered exhibitors not only connected with industrial history but also presenting the touristic values of India (Zabrze town council co-organized the fairs together with India Embassy). Among the exhibitors was the closest to us Museum of Metallurgy from Pruszków. One could took part in archaeological excavations and try to find the “forgotten treasures of past civilizations” in a big sandbox. Except that we were really impressed by the vintage automobiles of private collectors and a fire engine from the Museum of Firefighting in Mysłowice. Many visitors were attracted by a large exhibition from the IT and Computers Museum from Katowice. Other notable exhibitors were “Guido” historical coal mine from Zabrze and salt mine from Wieliczka. It’s only a pity that such an event took part exactly during the highest heat this year. In thick uniforms, with additional heating from the vintage headlights, we had conditions similar to the interior of a real steam engine.

Visit in Zabrze was a good opportunity to broaden our experience and renew the old contacts. We also had time for a trip to the Coal-Mining Museum in Zabrze and inspect the quality of rebuild works of class Ty2-5680 engine in front of the headquarters of DB Schenker. We were really impressed by the final result.

Szenkuś MGW

We came back to the Shed on Saturday evening, full of new impressions.

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