A very special Christmas. Unknown uncertainties when looking into 2022
All over the world we have seen the influence of the COVID 19 virus, in various types. It made this year again a world full of very often unwanted surprises, but also finding new routes to keep our organizations, their workers and their guests ongoing in surprisingly and very often complete new ways of operation.
What has been for sure, is that the working forces of the heritage rail sector showed a great flexibility to overcome much of the extra troubles that crossed our paths. Even better, it gave a new impulse in the feeling of quality in the relations with our visitors.
They felt very well looked after and felt safe to use our public offer, that has been specially made “COVID – proof” as much as was possible. No one can foresee what 2022 will bring us. But the energy showed by our heritage rail world in 2021, may give us the trust that we will overcome the eventual new, unforeseen problems, experienced as we are now. FEDECRAIL has been very much influenced by COVID and in a positive way.
We started to use online board meetings and meetings with members and although missing the direct physical social contacts, it brought us a much more intensive co-operation structure, with much lower costs, in the end lowering the membership fee with 50% compared with the pre-COVID period.
COVID will surely not be the only subject that will ask our attention. But surely sustainability, climate, the use of fossil fuel and the cultural and economical touristic values will be a good reason to fight for the mutual interest of the whole sector of working industrial and mobile heritage as part of the new European identity. (See also further in this Update.) The new possibilities of modern times, will be the base for the new Strategic Plan that we together with you, the members of FEDECRAIL, will develop in 2022 for the 5 year period after next year. I wish all of you a merry Christmas and a happy and safe 2022. In name of the board and all the team members of FEDECRAIL.
Jaap Nieweg, President