Tuesday 20 September 2016
UIC Middle east / Railway History

IRHA is organising with UIC and TCDD the 7th International Conference on Railway History from 2 – 5 November 2016 in Istanbul

Conference theme is “Rail Routes from the Baghdad Railway to the New Silk Road – 19th to 21st Centuries”

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The International Railway History Association (IRHA-AIHC) is organising with the support of UIC and Turkish State Railways (TCDD) the 7th International Conference on Railway History in the historic station of Sirkeci in Istanbul (former station of the Orient-Express, now a railway museum) from 2 – 5 November 2016.

The general theme of this International IRHA historic conference is "Rail Routes from the Baghdad Railway to the New Silk Road, 19th to 21st Centuries – Utopian Dreams, Past Achievements and Future Prospects for Rail Transport between Europe and the Middle and Far East".

This 7th IRHA conference on Railway History follows successful editions successively held in Semmering, Austria (2004), Lisbon (2006), Bratislava (2009), Mechelen, Belgium (2010), Lviv, Ukraine (2011) and Santiago de Chile (2013).

Provisional programme

The programme will start with welcome addresses by the high level representatives of IRHA, TCDD and UIC followed by a get-together on Wednesday 2 November, 17:00 to 20:00 hours. The conference will take place until noon on Saturday 5 November.

Presentations by historians, academicians and researchers, representatives of railways (including railway companies from Turkey, Iran, China) and railway organisations will address among others the following issues:

Section A (19th and first half of the 20th century)

  • “First suggestions and connections”
  • “The Balkans and the Ottoman Empire”
  • “Transport corridors Europe-Asia in a wider perspective”

Section B (Present - Second half of the 20th century)

  • “The Modern Debate after World War II”
    Section C (Future - 21st century)
  • “What the Future might bring”
  • “The Future of Railway Networks between Asia and Europe”
  • “Conclusions of the conference”.

The International Railway History Association (IRHA)

The International Railway History Association IRHA is chaired by Mr Henry Jacolin, diplomat, former Ambassador of France. The Vice Chairmen are Professor Javier Vidal Olivares, Historian, University of Alicante, Spain, and Paul Véron, Director of Communications and Coordinator for the Middle-East at UIC. The Secretary General is Dr Ralf Roth, Professor, Historisches Seminar, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt/Main, Germany. The Treasurer is Andrea Giuntini, Historian, Associate Professor, Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Italy.

The IRHA association welcomes historians, curators of railway archives, academics, railway history societies, representatives of railway companies as well as individual (researchers, etc.). The current membership represents 18 countries.

Activities of the association include:

  • Organisation of international conferences on specific themes of railway history and development,
  • Peer-reviewed publication of proceedings (conference books)
  • Participation in international events, developing projects, establishing partnerships to strengthen relationships with railway heritage associations and railway museums internationally.

Participation in the 7th IRHA-UIC-TCDD International conference on Railway History is free of charge, however registration is required.

For further information, or to register, please contact Paul Véron, Director, UIC Coordinator for the Middle-East, IRHA Vice Chairman:


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