In 2013 Slovak railwaymen mark 165 years since the first steam train entered the territory of Slovakia. This happened in 1848 and for Slovakia the establishment of the railway represented the beginning of a new period of development. Construction of railway infrastructure and development of rail freight and passenger transport led to the construction of factories and saw intense progress of the country’s industry.
Traditionally in September the eventful season centered on historical railway themes reaches its peak and this is the time when Slovak railwaymen celebrate their feast – the Railwaymen Day.
The top event associated with the history of railways in Slovakia is the Steam Locomotive Grand Prix, whose 15th edition took place on 14 September 2013 in the heart of Slovakia – in Zvolen. The Grand Prix is an international steam locomotive competition – veterans competing on parallel tracks in entertaining and attractive disciplines. This year the rails hit historic locomotives from Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Victory went to the crew from Hungary, who was applauded by nearly 5,000 spectators. In addition to the steam locomotive competition, the 3rd International Motor Railcar Competition and the 1st European Women Engine-Driver Championship were held.
Part of Zvolen international retro-show exhibitions were historic rolling stock, as well as new modern railway sets, motive power units and carriages, exhibition of model rail yards and model railways, old historical postcards with the railway themes, exhibition collection of caricatures and presentations of railway associations, without forgetting the typical gastronomy of the country: goulash, cheeses, gold bier, borovicska, hruska.... Organisers on the day of celebration set off on several exceptional historic trains led by steam and diesel locomotives.
Events in Zvolen were co-organised by Slovak railway companies ŽSR, ZSSK and ZSSK CARGO.