The project is co-financed by the Governments of Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through Visegrad Grants from International Visegrad Fund. The mission of the fund is to advance ideas for sustainable regional cooperation in Central Europe.
Railway Heritage for Sustainable Tourism Development – Rail4V4+V aims to highlight the tourist potential of the railway, particularly through its history and heritage, recalling the role that rail has played in creating the Central European collective identity. In line with the aim of the European Year of Rail and strategic priorities of the Visegrad Group in 2021, the main goal of the proposed project is to raise awareness about the role of railways for V4 sustainable tourism development, through unique branding and presentation of railway heritage, in situ and on a digital platform.
Rail is ecological, comfortable and safe means of transport, which will play a key role in the EU’s efforts to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, within the framework of new growth strategy – European Green Deal. In line with that, the European Parliament reached a provisional agreement on designating 2021 as the European Year of Rail. One of the objectives of the European Year will be to create public awareness of the potential role of rail for European sustainable tourism. The tourism economy is heavily affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. According to the World Tourism Organisation, the crisis has led to a decline in international tourism over 70% in 2020, back to levels of 30 years ago. Policy Brief: COVID-19 and Transforming Tourism underline that rebuilding tourism should be based on innovation, digitalization, sustainability, and partnerships. Tourism innovation should be focused on creating a new sustainable approach that link users with creative industries, empower communities and promote new digital products and experiences. Considering the situation in the fields of heritage and tourism, the main idea of the proposed project is to explore the layered context and respond to the current challenges facing heritage tourism, offering effective responses through the development of innovative sustainable solutions. The project aims to highlight the tourist potential of the railway, particularly through its history and heritage, recalling the role that rail has played in creating the Central European collective identity.
In line with the aim of the European Year of Rail to encourage and support the efforts of the Union in promoting rail from different points of view, the main goal of the project is to raise awareness about the railway heritage value and importance in the diversification of tourism offer in V4 + Vojvodina region. The project aims to identify and promote railway heritage for sustainable tourism development through:
- Establishing the cooperation network among heritage and tourism-related stakeholders in our regions;
- Empowering creativity and digital skills as key players in the innovation of cultural heritage tourism;
- Connecting the selected railway sites into the joint route, both real and virtual, and promoting among the local and foreign target markets.
The project will be launched with networking and cooperation activities, which are essential to bringing together owners and managers of railway heritage sites, as well to involve related stakeholder who deals with heritage preservation and tourism development.
We will combine different railway heritage types (museums, collections, infrastructure, buildings, etc.) in a joint route, create a unified visual identity of the railway heritage tourism products and mark the objects involved in the project with informative signs, design digital tourism products, such as a virtual interactive route, and produce digital handbook/catalogue.
The novelty of the Project pertains to:
1. The introduction of novel perspectives in the research and presentation of common values and identity, through the synthesis of historical, engineering, tourism, sociological and managerial studies The application of interdisciplinary methodology will contribute to the understanding of the multifaceted regional significance that the railway had in the middle of the 19th century, when it was created, and how its role was transformed during the communist period, until today.
2. The development of new digital interactive solutions using advanced technologies, created on quality content and balance based on tourists’ needs and desires. The combination of innovative methodologies, processes, methods and devices to enhance the understanding of railway heritage by digitization will bring new knowledge, collaboration across disciplines, efficiency in developing and use of digital models, an increase of market share, and social benefits. The virtual platform will not only provide remote access to railway heritage sites but also interactivity on a user-site basis.
3. The way of developing participatory policy and networking the needs of different target groups Networking activities will be supported by competence building initiatives – regional online seminar, thematic workshops, design competition, in situ programs – to provide and merge specific knowledge with the expectations and demands of visitors. The project will, directly and indirectly, benefit participants and stakeholders.
The railway has played a crucial role in the historical development of the V4 region. Its construction in the former Habsburg monarchy began in the 1820s, and by the end of the century, it had significantly contributed to the development of mining and agricultural areas, as well as the transport of goods. By the beginning of the 20th century, the railway network of the Monarchy reached a total length of over 40,000 kilometres and became one of the most developed networks in Europe. The territory of today’s Vojvodina, once a peripheral swampy area of southern Hungary, was integrated into the bloodstream of
the Monarchy thanks to the railway. The development of new means of transport by the end of the 20th century made the railway lose its primacy. Today, however, the EU is putting the railway in focus again, recognizing its potential in the areas of sustainability, innovation, safety and accessibility.
The regional relevance of our proposal is in the following:
- capacity building to strengthen the role of the railway in preserving Central European collective identity, especially through its heritage, both tangible and intangible
- highlighting the regional, cross-border dimension of rail, that brings citizens closer together, allows them to explore the region in all its diversity, fosters socio-economic and territorial cohesion
- contribution to raising awareness of the role of railways for V4 sustainable tourism, through unique branding and presentation of railway heritage, in situ and on a digital platform, in line with strategic priorities of the Visegrad Group in 2021
RAILWAY HERITAGE FOR SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DEVELOPMENT RAIL4V4+V ,,LOGO”
A total of 23 competition proposals were entered into the competition. All proposals were printed in a uniform format and displayed in alphabetical order according to the author’s surname at the Faculty of Architecture and Design STU. All submitted proposals were evaluated by a 5-member expert jury composed of : assoc. prof. Milan Lukáč, akad. soch., Head of the Institute of Fine Arts and Multimedia FAD STU; prof. Peter Paliatka., akad. soch., Institute of Design FAD STU; Ing. arch. Zuzana Zacharová – Design factory, o.z., akad. mal. Milan Pagáč, director of the Josef Vydra School of Art Industry in Bratislava, Mgr. Ing. Daniela Chrančoková, PhD., representative from the regional self-government BBSK, the specialist for tourism, Chairman of KOCR BBKT. The commission studied the individual works in advance, evaluated them, and within the first round of discussions, jointly marked 8 works advancing to the next round. In the next round, the potentials and limits of individual proposals were renamed and compared, as well as were compared the level of settlement of the assignment. From these 8, 3 works were subsequently selected, which were further discussed and voted on. So final ranking and the recommended winning proposal came up after 2,5 hours. Winning proposal: no. 7 – József Gábos – Budapest. The Commission emphasized the simplicity and clarity of the proposal – “the author has dealt well with the difficult task and interpretation of the rather complex name RAIL4v4 + V.”
“Graphic clarity and informative value allow a high degree of applicability in various forms and scales of presentation in an international context. The logo is clear, legible and identifiable. Congratulations to the winner.” This logo was used in further graphic design and main page of project RAIL 4V4 + V.:
Link to the main web page of project: https://rail4v4v.com/
Cultural studies platform CULTstore
Aviscon Consulting and Services Ltd.
Research Centre for Industrial Heritage FA CTU Prague
Slovak University of Technology Faculty of Architecture and Design
Foundation for the Protection of Silesian Industrial Heritage
EXHIBITION - Railway Heritage of Slovakia in the European context
The exhibition was located in the Museum of Transport in Bratislava Šancová 1/B, 811 04 Bratislava until end of the year 2022. It is one of the output of the international project “Rail4V4+V”, the aim of which is to emphasize the tourist potential of the railway: through its history and to remind the role railway played in the creation of the Central European collective identity. Considering the similar situation in the railway heritage and tourism sector of the partner countries, the project aims to perceive the region in all its diversity. The cross-border dimension brings citizens of neighbouring countries closer together, promotes awareness and socio-economic cohesion and inspires other locations to similar innovations and cooperation in the tourism field. The exhibition will bring visitors closer to 25 selected railway heritage sites from the region V4 + Vojvodina (Serbia) from different points of view, significantly contributing to the sustainable development of tourism. This group includes railway lines, tunnels, bridges, viaducts, railway stations, hangars, depots, locomotives, wagons and underground railways. The exhibition was prepared on the occasion of the European Heritage Days and Industrial days 2022 by the Museum of Transport in cooperation with the Faculty of Architecture and Design of the STU in
Bratislava, the civic association Design Factory and the Rail4V4+V consortium.
The project is co-financed by the Bratislava City Foundation and the governments of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through Visegrad grants from the International Visegrad Fund.
Visit the Museum: https://dopravnemuzeum.mixedrealityarchitecture.eu/
This book represents the final project output, designed as educational and promotional material. It consists of two units. The first scientific part contains five complex research papers integrating recommendations and conclusions from seminars held on the multi-layered development of railway heritage in the specific contextual framework of the Visegrad and Vojvodina regions. The second part of the publication presents a catalogue of 25 railway heritage sites from five partner countries, which create the RAIL4V4+V virtual route. As a concrete contribution to the project goals, the book reflects the learning process and relevant approaches that target the subject in general and its regional character but also sophistically focus on the international community.
Open the book: https://rail4v4v.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/RAIL4V4V-ebook.pdf
On December 1, 2022, the project Rail4V4+V officially closed. The official closing meeting took place in Novi Sad on November 17-18, 2022. The closing meeting occurred in one of the renovated industrial halls in the Creative District. The official part began with an opening presentation by project manager Anica Draganic (RS). Anica presented the main milestones of the project and the functions of the project website and introduced the book produced as part of the project. She highlighted her own experiences and challenges during
the project lifespan. Afterwards, representatives of the consortium members – Károly Teleki (HU), Vladimir Hain (SK), Maciej Madry (PL), and Lukas Beran (CZ) – presented their contribution, introduced the Rail4V4+V sites in each country and their proposals for the continuation of the project. The event was finished with a film screening and a standing reception for the participants and invited rail and industrial heritage experts.
Thank you all for the wonderful cooperation and meaningful discussions and results.
RESPONSIBLE RESEARCHES FOR THE SLOVAK SIDE:
Assoc. prof. Ing. Eva Kráľová, CSc., firstname.lastname@example.org (FAD STU)
Ing. arch. Vladimír Hain, PhD., email@example.com (FAD STU)