The Croatian Railway renovated a mail wagon to become a unique movable museum exhibit. It has so far hosted several exhibitions, lectures and promotional filming.
The Croatian Railway Museum in Zagreb, Croatia
The Croatian Railway Museum is a specialized technical museum of national importance with its headquarters in Zagreb. Its activities include acquisition, conservation, protection and presentation of vehicles, machines, railway equipment, documentation and other historical objects related to the genesis and development of railway system in Croatia, from 1860 until today. The museum was founded in 1991 by national railway company "Croatian Railways", which is still the owner of the Museum.
The Museum's temporary location is in the southern part of factory of railway vehicles "Gredelj" and it does not have a permanent exhibition. When manufacturing in the factory terminates, Croatian Railway Museum will find its place in the oldest part of the factory. The factory complex was built in 1894 and it is unique for its architectural integrity, machines and equipment built in the first part of the 20th century, and as a whole it represents a valuable part of Croatia's technical and industrial heritage. It is registered on the List of protected cultural heritage of the Republic of Croatia. In the following two years, the production will be moved from this area and, according to the current plans, the oldest industrial workshops will be preserved and adapted so that they could accommodate Museum “in situ”. Croatian Railway Museum will have an opportunity for better presentation of the vehicles from its collection, which are currently situated in various locations. Twenty railway vehicles (which include steam locomotives series MÁV 377, J® 62, 116, 11, 51, 33, electrical locomotive J® 361, and DEL H® 2061) are temporary exhibited in open in the Museum’s backyard, sixteen steam locomotives are exhibited on railway stations all around Croatia, a museum train with steam locomotive J® 51 is exhibited in "Mate Lovrak" cultural centre, and composition of armour train (from Croatian War of Independence) can be seen in Split shipyard.
The Museum has six collections that include railway vehicles and their parts, machines and devices used in construction of railroads, official uniforms, personal documents, breadboards, telecommunication devices. There are also Collection of the photography, Collection of regulations and historical reviews and Collection of technical documentation that includes different documents related to the history of railway vehicles and construction of Croatian railroads (the oldest one is from 1860). A part of the Museum is a specialized library with 1567 books and secondary documentation.
The most interesting is the Collection of railway vehicles with steam locomotives (36 locomotives of different series that were built between 1891 and 1961), diesel and electrical locomotives, wagons and other railway vehicles. 24 museum locomotives and 2 wagons were renewed so far. Postal wagon is fully renovated and can serve for different exhibitions and multimedia presentations.
The oldest display is a steam locomotive 125-052 (MÁV 326.363) that was built in 1891 in MAVAG, Budapest factory of locomotives. In Croatia it is well known by its popular name "Katica" (Cathie). It was used in traffic until 1972. Finally, in 2002 it was exhibited at Zagreb Main station as a monument of technical heritage.
Croatian Railway Museum
10 000 Zagreb, Croatia
Tel: +385 (0)1 378 28 62
Fax:+385 (0)1 457 72 30
Translated from Croatian by Tamara ©tefanac
Movable exhibition wagon of the Croatian Railway Museum
As a part of its collection, the
The first of these facts refers to a long-lasting connection as well as co-dependence of postal and railway activities in the delivery of postal consignments, which is nowadays slowly becoming a thing of the past. For instance, in the past ten years only three more postal wagons are still left in operation on Croatian railway lines, namely in the directions Zagreb-Split-Zagreb and Zagreb-Rijeka-Zagreb. At this moment the post for the city of Split is being transported six times a week, at night only, and in the direction of the city of Rijeka five times a week (from Tuesday to Saturday) and only by day. However, these wagons no longer bear the designation of travelling post offices, because the consignments they contain are not being dealt with anymore, but merely transported from departure to destination station. This means that there is no longer any staff present and that these wagons have become containers of a kind, with the purpose of consignment transport. In this way the establishment of travelling post offices has ceased to exist, and the multitude of work and employee experiences from this first-class postal service remains committed solely to the memories of onetime employees.
In order to salvage these memories from oblivion, the company Remont i proizvodnja ľeljezničkih vozila d.o.o. Slavonski Brod (Overhaul and Production of Railway Vehicles d.o.o. Slavonski Brod) renovated a mail wagon, which was constructed in 1963 by the Croatian railway vehicles factory "Gredelj". At this point it is important to note how significant the construction of mail wagons for this oldest Croatian railway vehicles factory was, because it meant the extension of production from maintenance and reconstruction to construction of new track vehicles.
A crucial fact in terms of mail wagon renovation was also the temporary location of the Croatian Railway Museum, founded in 1991, which is situated in the southern part of the "Gredelj" factory, with an entrance from the side of the Vukovarska street; the museum has no permanent display either. For this purpose both sides of the wagon office space were renovated - once used to store consignments during the journey - to enable the mounting of exhibitions or staging of presentations and lectures, appropriate for the occasion, musical or theatrical performances, promotional events, audio-visual presentation and similar events.
The interior of the wagon is preserved in the original condition, as well as office equipment for dealing with and sorting of consignments on authentic work desks, post shelves, there is also a coal-burning stove, a bed and some chairs. In order to provide good quality while catering for multimedia needs, modern technical equipment was installed into the wagon, together with a plasma screen, video and DVD devices. It is equipped with air-conditioning as well as fifty seats. The wagon is exhibited on platform IV of the Zagreb Glavni kolodvor (Zagreb Main Railway Station), and if required can be transported anywhere within the railway system network. In this way public events became available to a wider circle of users, and the story of travelling post offices remains preserved and clearly substantiated through the original setting and the equipment of the museum's mail wagon.
Through renovation the wagon has become a unique movable museum exhibit which has so far hosted several exhibitions, lectures and promotional filming. The realization of joint projects together with the Narodno sveučiliąte Dubrava, aimed at the youngest population, will make the museum's mail wagon the site where one can socialize in a good atmosphere during the performance of theatrical pieces and creative workshops. Guided by the museum staff, the children will be able to gain new insights into how postal consignments were transported by train.
Formated for CROWN by prof.dr. Darko ®ubrinić
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