International Conferences of FEDECRAIL

Each year FEDECRAIL organises an international conference on subjects important to heritage railways and railway museums and to foster mutual contacts and cooperation between its members. These conferences are targeted mainly at persons playing an active role in museum and tourist railways, railway museums, locomotive and rolling stock groups, national federations and other railway heritage bodies. Others with broader interests in railway heritage are also welcome to attend.

FEDECRAIL “Edinburgh 2018” Conference, 19th to 23rd April

The 2018 conference will be our first visit to the wonders of Scotland.  Our main hosts will be the Scottish member railways and museums of the UK Heritage Railway Association. After our business sessions in the Scottish capital Edinburgh the visit programme will be initially in the Lowlands region before travelling north to the mountains and lochs of the Highlands. Our planned second base is Inverness, “capital city” of the Highlands for our Post Conference Programme surrounded by fabulous scenery (and trains).

Scotland is a top tourist destination for both domestic and international visitors. There are excellent public transport services throughout most of the country and extra days before or after the conference for further private exploration are strongly recommended.


Thu 19 April

  • Opening Reception in the early evening at a historic city centre location
  • Various Fedecrail Working Groups will meet earlier in the day.

Fri 20 April

  • Business Sessions Day based at the historic National Museum of Scotland. Our conference coincides with the Scottish Government “Year of Young People” as well as the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 both of which will be reflected in themes and presentations for this conference
  • For the partners a full day guided visit programme will be arranged.

Sat 21 April

  • General Assembly + Forth Bridge Day Fedecrail General Assembly will be held in the morning.
  • Morning partners tour in Edinburgh city centre before joining the delegates for lunch at the National Museum.
  • Afternoon plan is ‘SRPS Railtours’ main line special steam tour including crossing the UNESCO World Heritage Forth Rail Bridge.  Afternoon tea will be served on the train.

Sun 22 April

  • Central Scotland Day Visit to the Scottish Railway Preservation Society Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway and the extensive Museum of Scotland’s Railways. Return train ride and behind the scenes tour of approx 200 vehicle and loco collection and workshops.
  • We transfer by road to the Falkirk “Canal Wheel” a modern engineering wonder. We plan a boat ride on the wheel and to visit the canal heritage centre.

Mon 23 April

  • West of Scotland Day Morning visit to the operating heritage tramway and railway collection at the Summerlee Industrial Museum, Coatbridge in Lanarkshire.
  • Afternoon visit to the dramatic Riverside Transport Museum in Glasgow, former European Museum of the Year Award winner with a huge railway and tramway collection
  • Possible bonus of a rare heritage tour of the mysterious derelict section of Glasgow Central Low Level Station


Tue 24 April

  • Transfer on scheduled train Edinburgh to Aviemore.
  • At Aviemore we join the Strathspey Railway for a steam train ride and our usual “behind the scenes” visit.
  • After the visit we continue to our tour base at Inverness

Wed 25 April

  • Rail transfer from Inverness to Keith Junction for road transfer to a special train on the Keith and Dufftown Railway.
  • By popular demand a visit to the famous Glenfiiddich Speyside whisky distillery (if a large group, part will visit different distillery).
  • Road transfer to foot of the Cairngorm Mountains for a spectacular trip up the Cairngorm Mountain Railway, Scotland’s only mountain rack railway. Afterwards return by road to Inverness.

Thu 26 April

  • Transfer by road from Inverness along the length of Loch Ness (of world fame!) to Fort William.
  • At Fort William either “The Jacobite” main line steam train (Tbc) or public service train for a journey over the highly scenic West Highland Line to Mallaig with views across to the Isle of Skye.
  • On our return journey from Mallaig we alight for a visit to the Glenfinnan Station Railway Museum, close to the famous viaduct of the same name and Bonnie Prince Charlie monument.
  • Road transfer to Inverness. Possible evening meal stop en route.

For delegates entranced to visit more of the Highlands we recommend a stay of more nights in Inverness. Day return railway journeys to Kyle of Lochalsh or to the far north towns of Wick and Thurso run through beautiful scenery and are recommended.


Fedecrail Council will meet on the afternoon of Wednesday 18 April and the morning of Thursday 19 April. In addition meetings of Working Groups (Heritage Operating Group, Strategy Working Group, Tramway Operating Group and Environment Working Group) will take place on the afternoon of Thursday 19 April and participants will receive details direct from the secretaries of the workgroups. Official representatives attending these groups must indicate this on their Conference Booking Forms so that adequate facilities can be provided.

VENUES (Addresses)

Business Sessions - The venue for our business sessions will be the National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh. The venue will be within walking distance or a short local bus journey from the recommended conference hotels.


Other prices for Business Sessions and shorter period participation are shown on the Conference Booking Form. The conference team will be happy to quote for other participation on request.

When paying by Bank Transfer please send in your completed Booking Form and we will send you a Reference Code to be included in your bank transfer so that we can identify your payment. Our bank IBAN and BIC Codes will be included with this advice.

For payment by Credit Card these will be charged in Euros Only. Please complete the details on your Booking Form.


With the tightening of security regulations regarding personal information and credit cards, together with increasing use of online booking, we will not be collecting and passing hotel Booking Forms for delegates for this conference. Delegates should make their own bookings direct with their choice of hotel.

There are a number of major chains with several hotels in the city centre - in particular, Accor Ibis, Premier Inn, Motel One and Travelodge. A Hotel Information Sheet lists available a selection of chain hotels within an approx 1 km radius of the main business sessions base at National Museum of Scotland. Similar information for the Post Conference Tour will be provided for hotels close to the railway station at Inverness.


Further enquiries about the programme or participation may be send by email or addressed by phone or letter to the conference manager.


OUTWARD JOURNEY – Edinburgh is easily reached by air, rail or road.




Previous Conferences

FEDECRAIL's previous conferences are listed below. Conference papers from the latest conference will not be loaded to this site. They are only made available to conference delegates, or for purchase from the Newsletter Editor. Papaers from old conferences will be loaded to this site when available in electronic form.

To read the documents requires an Acrobat Reader software on the computer. This may be downloaded here Acrobat Reader free of charge.


updated 13.09.2018