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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Joza Vrljicak – Master in Economics (Concordia U, Montreal)
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