Wednesday 10 May 2023

The FISAIC Technical Commission for Railway Heritage & Model Railways meets in Opava

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The annual exhibition of model railways and a meeting of the FISAIC Technical Commission for Railway Heritage & Model Railways took place in the Silesian city Opava, in the Czech Republic, from 5 to 7 May 2023.

In a symbolic connection of both railway heritage and models, the event brought together experts from Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany and Hungary.

A group of FISAIC historians and modellers also organised an international exhibition of an interoperable junior modular railway network. The exhibition took place with the support of the International Federation for Railway Culture and Leisure (FISAIC) with the Czech State Television live streaming the opening 8 minutes of the exhibition and then reporting it in the news.

Open to the general public, the modellers presented (to around 3,000 visitors within 3 days) the 1:87 scale (H0) interoperable network, which included 43 single and double-track junior modules with a total length of over 40m. As the modules were interoperable, the model trains of various European railway operators were able to travel across Europe through a varied model landscape.

The junior module was invented and introduced by the French UAICF 20 years ago to initiate young people into the world of train modelling. These FISAIC activities initially began with BSW (DE), ČD (CZ) and UAICF (FR) and have gradually expanded over time, with other countries such as Hungary, Latvia and Spain having joined with their own modules. The junior modules show FISAIC’s full support of and work with young people and their engagement in railway communities, it has already been commonly used for 15 years to enhance cooperation. These 3 days in Opava were the perfect opportunity to celebrate this.

The highlight of the accompanying events was a visit to the TATRA Museum in Kopřivnice, with a TATRA M290.002 class fast rail car, which was produced for the former Czechoslovak State Railways in 1936.

As the group focuses on railway legacy and model railways, the Czech railway workers also prepared a trip to the Moravian-Silesian Railway Museum in Ostrava for their FISAIC colleagues.

Another highlight of the trip was a visit to the last Czech state narrow-gauge railway line (Třemešná ve Slezsku – Osoblaha), which included a guided tour of the steam locomotive depot.

In addition, the group visited the ČD Cargo depot in Ostrava which boasts various different classes of locomotives, and finally, the group visited a model railway in Opava which has 1000m of tracks and 180 switches.

FISAIC is an international federation for railway art and culture. It signed a Memorandum of Understanding with UIC on 1 December 2016. FISAIC aims to promote and support cultural activities for railway personnel of all nationalities in their leisure time, establish relationships between the creative railway personnel of national associations and unions in order to organise cultural events, and contribute to the development of cultural understanding and activities. FISAIC was founded in Strasbourg in 1952.

(Source: Roman Štěrba, President of TC Railway Heritage and Models)

For further information, please contact Roman Štěrba, President of TC Railway Heritage and Models at

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Czech group and modules junior © FISAIC
TATRA class M290.002 produced for Czechoslovak State Railways in 1936
Tilting trains Pendolino operated by national carrier České dráhy in Ostrava
The group of participants at Moravian-Silesian Railway Museum in Ostrava
The group of participants in ČD Cargo depot in Ostrava
The group of participants in front of diesel narrow-gauge locomotive in Třemešná ve Slezsku
Preparation of the network in exhibition hall in Opava