Movable exhibition wagon of the Croatian Railway Museum
As a part of its collection, theThe 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.
has since 2005 housed a mail wagon. In service for 30 years for transport of postal consignments across the whole territory of the then Yugoslavia, and later on no longer in use for day-to-day transport, the wagon got the chance to spend its ''second life'' as a worthy museum exhibit within the Croatian Railway Museum. Several facts were of importance when deciding to make the wagon a part of the museum collection and to officially renovate it as a movable exhibit. Croatian Railway Museum
In order to salvage these memories from oblivion, the company Remont i proizvodnja željezničkih 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 Nacionalno sveučilište Dubrava (the National University of 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.
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