Policy Papers


1. Introduction.

Year 2024 is yet another upcoming anniversary year for Fedecrail, which turns 30. It has been 30 eventful years with many good conditions but also challenges.
This annual plan of FEDECRAIL for the year 2024 is based on:

a. The Strategic plan 2023 – 2028 (Accepted by the members during AGM on 23.04.2023
b. This foresees a gradually transformation of our organisation into a more all-inclusive organization.
c. The status of representative body in the ERA, makes our intensive work as member of GRB and NRB possible and necessary in the Heritage Operation Group.
d. This strongly feeds the idea to transform Fedecrail into an activity and transition platform, where all active in the world of Working Industrial and Mobile Heritage (WIMH) could act together to, and.
e. Honour the wish of the members to behave as a more member orientated organization.
f. Finding a serious fair place in the European Green Deal, continuing to develop and unify the WIMH for this main reason.
g. Great uncertainty now of writing about the possible future influence of the flammable situation in the world around us, like the Ukraine – Russian war and the Middle East crisis, make difficult choices. But also, the uncertainty about fuel prices and the influence of inflation in the EU/Europe, will possibly influence future results.

2. The main directions for 2024.

In the fall of 2022, member meetings were introduced, a practice that was repeated in 2023, and it will now be integrated into our infrastructure as part of the Federation’s constitutional renewal. The outcomes of the 2023-member meeting will serve as a fundamental component of the 2024 annual plan.
The current board holds full responsibility for crafting the 2024 annual plan.
The forthcoming changes in the board necessitate a re-allocation of tasks and greater input/support from members through the activity platform. This prompts a reassessment of the need for an internal rulebook because of the upcoming constitutional renewal.
Anticipating a higher demand for financial resources due to increased activities across various fields of interest, the board expects more physical attendance at meetings. This will likely result in a greater financial contribution from members and a shift towards project-based work that could be supported by EU funding. Collaboration with members in different EU countries will be essential to leverage EU funding opportunities. Therefore, the activity aimed at developing FEDECRAIL holds significant importance.

2.1 Budget in relation with Annual plan.
Production of the annual plan for 2024 is the full responsibility of the current board in direct connection with the budget and strategic plan for 2024.
Members will decide to agree or disagree with both elementary papers for the policy of the Federation in 2024 at the Annual General Meeting.
There will be a greater focus in 2024 with regular forecast follow-ups and a more active participation in the economic issues from board members, working groups and officers. It is important that the use of the financial resources also reflects the reporting that goes out to members and that everyone knows they are receiving active input and feels that the membership is value-creating.

2.2 Budget 2024 and the membership fee 2024.
The estimated budget for 2024 is a total of € 31 200 excl conference. Like all budgets, this is a cost based on the calculations the board makes based on the activities in 2024 and is a desired situation. In the annual proposal, activities such as the annual general meeting and our new autumn general meeting should also be highlighted. These will be budgeted according to the costs they have, and the board needs to decide about whether they should be balanced at zero or whether Fedecrail should step in to subsidize the meeting for its participants. But this financial freedom is of utmost importance for a balanced budget.

The annual fee for 2024 decided by the AGM is € 11 per voting point with minimum of € 75 per membership. 

2.2.1 Internal affairs under 2023
The day before Christmas 2022 we were confronted with the decision of our bank ING to end our relationship at the end of March 2023. They gave no reason and were also not willing to do so. We started looking for a new bank but got no positive result. During this search one of the banks, we were talking with told us that our statuary organisation form IVZW, was the reason not to accept us like many other organisations with the same constitutional format. The criminal underworld is using this format for money Laundry. We now have our financial assets in a bank in Sweden while we are actively looking for a new bank in Belgium. One of our main goals is to have a bank account once again in the country where we are domiciled.

• In the meantime, we continue to organize two meetings with our members. One in the spring, the current formal AGM to agree the accounts of the previous year, the report of the auditors and electing new board members and accepting new Fedecrail members. The autumn General meeting we started to organise a few years ago, to discuss with the members the annual plan and the budget (under construction) for the coming year and to inform the members about progress made and which changes in the board can be expected from next year. So which positions should fulfil. The possible candidates should be proposed by the members of our FEDERATION. In the Fedecrail board there is a broadly supported idea to formalize this situation properly by changing the constitution.

• In 2024, a new composition of the board will be relevant. The term of office of the following persons is up: Jaap Nieweg President – not up for re-election (nominated by HRN 2021)
Mimmi Mickelsen– secretary, treasure, vice President – up for re-election (Nominated by MRO 2021)
Gottfried Aldrian board member – up for re-election (nominated by ÖMT 2021)
Frederic Riehl board member – not up for re-election (nominated by Blonay-Chamby 2021)
Josef van de Perre Belgian board member leaving one year early (nominated by Febelrail 2012)
New candidates that are nominated for board are:
Jenny Nunn – new election (nominated by UK Tram and Seaton Tramway)
Marieke Nauta – new election (nominated by HRN)
Rik Degruyter – new election (nominate by Febelrail) will take over from Josef Van de Perre that leaves one year in advance as the native Beligan member by article 4.2 in the constitution.
It is always of great importance to work for our members and that our members nominate candidates for the new board that. As a member, it is of utmost importance that you search in your organizations for suitable candidates who are prepared to take on tasks and support driving FEDECRAIL forward.

2.3 External affairs & working groups.
The board will continue the policy, that all the existing working groups will function under the direct responsibility of the board as will future new working groups because of art. 4.1. of the Fedecrail constitution. Working policy organized merely in multi-EU member state projects, with as a result that this should lead to gaining more European financing possibilities for the activities of Fedecrail and her members. Fedecrail will continuously work with strategies for HR and communication to have consistently equivalent work throughout the organization.

2.3.1. Heritage Operations Group.
As already stated under 1.c. we have the status of a Representative Body for the (Railway) sector with the European Union. The board have delegated this authority to the Heritage Operation Group (HOG). There are many other Representative Bodies which together make up the Group of Representative Bodies (GRB).
Most of the work can be carried out from home, in monitoring the emails from the sector on current developments, these we then comment as appropriate. There are many diverse subjects such as Technical Standards for Interoperability (TSIs) Entity in Charge of Maintenance (ECM) and European Train Control System (ETCS).
The GRB meet one a month as a core group, four times a year as plenary group in Brussels and then there are three meetings a year with GRB and the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA). We can also request to meet the director of the European Union Agency for Railways which we plan to do in 2024. Our plan is attending 3 meetings in 2024 in person and to attend the other meetings online if there are any items of specific interest for our members.

2.3.2. Environmental working group & European Platform for Working Industrial and mobile Heritage.
In 2021 we have made several steps forward executing the Plan Paris in relationship with the European Green Deal. As one of the results 2022 saw the development of the co-operative European platform of Working Industrial and Mobile Heritage (WIMH) to fulfil the aims in Plan Paris.
As in 2023, 2024 this will continue as one of the mainstreams of our policy to secure the long-term future of the WIMH. This asks for great efforts from Fedecrail as all other parties involved.
During 2023 the two initiating organisations FIVA and Fedecrail signed a formal agreement to share the extra costs of the WIMH activities and especially those made by the Lobby organisation in Brussels, already used by FIVA. For 2023 the maximum total cost is forecast at € 6.000 so € 3.000 for Fedecrail (board decided on this cost) and € 3.000 for FIVA. In the WIMH Platform there is an increased feeling to make a more formal organisation of the platform. This idea will be developed before the end of this year.

2.3.3. Non mainline/ Environmental working group In 2024, Fedecrail aims to start another working group.
This is for our businesses with their own infrastructure and different conditions than those that run on the main line networks. The group will be led by our board member Philip Dupont, who also works to collect data about our members’ needs. In this way, the group will then be formed and have elements of what our environmental group did before.

2.3.4. Tramway Group
The tram group sees a need to work on increasing the number of active members in the group and visit members or important events to network.
– During 2024, the work will primarily consist of acquiring more active members for the group.
– Investigate the challenge for members with increased costs linked to electricity.
– Collect data on the biggest challenges facing our veteran tramways.

2.3.5 UIC TopRail – Future Rail Tourism
Actively participate in the Future Rail Tourism 2025 project assessment of:
• Lifestyle, Social, Behavioural changes impacting Rail Tourism.
• Environmental expectations to confirm rail as an eco-friendly mode.
• Technological changes to deliver to changing tourist expectations.
• Access to tourist products with improved connectivity and integration.
• Inclusivity particularly accessibility and visibility of products.

3. Board affairs forecast in 2024.

3.1 Board Meetings 2024
The Annual Plan 2024 will be the base for the budget 2024. We can’t be sure about some of the important cost centres that will be crucial for the definite cost level, namely the amount of physical Meetings we need to attend during 2024 and the level of inflation during 2024.
The first one of these is the cost for our own board meetings. We foresee that we will meet physically a maximum twice in 2024. The other 10 to 11 board meetings will be online, also those with the team members. Secondly it is not sure that working groups will return to physical meetings with the organizations they are actively representing Fedecrail. The last indication is that they will be foremost Hybrid or fully online, but we will still budget an amount of money in case we should have to attend some of the meetings physically.

Both board activity as well as external commitments have got sub activities to develop:
• Financial: membership fees system, budget, administration
• Communications: Website, Newsletter, Social media and single members meetings
• AGM: managing the meeting virtual/physical, voting system
• CM: managing the meeting virtual/physical, travels, venues
• Umbrella/Members free meeting, to built the European Heritage Rail Family.
• Friends: Interactive approach, become part of our family
• Valuate the constitution and update + look over if new policies are needed.

External commintments are:
• EU Parliament and Commission: Lobby group// WIMH
• EU funding organisations
• ERA/GBR: HOG working group
• FIVA/EMH/EFHA/EN/TICCHI, ERIH, ICOMOS: EWG European Platform for working Industrial and mobile heritage (WIMH)

Nevertheless, we will see a growth in costs for attending physical meetings of ERA, Europa Nostra as well as some growing need for internal physical meetings, with working groups. We expect also increased costs in meetings to support members and a further growth of costs because of more physical meetings where generally our activities are increasing, like WIMH.

The budget 2024 is based on the results of 2023. The board sees the need for increasing the budget, due to:
a. Increasing inflation throughout Europe so prices will be higher than the past,
b. Growth of our activities
c. Increased connection with outside programmes that are of importance for our members.
d. Development of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy and initiatives

4. The ongoing transformation process 2024.
Since 2020, Fedecrail has been in a transformation to meet the needs and wishes of our members. Going from physical meetings to digital ones for the board but also what we can see with our collaboration partners creates new opportunities to interact while keeping our overhead costs down.

a. Lower costs compared with physical cost as in pre-2020 times.
b. Frequent board meetings where necessary, so that a fast route of plans, planning, decisions making, and execution is possible.
c. The same possibilities are available and useful for meetings of the working groups.
d. This online method of meeting people is also very useful in making easier more direct and frequent contact with our members.
e. Nevertheless, we will see a grow in costs for attending physically meetings of ERA, Europa Nostra as well as some growing need for internal physical meetings, with members of FEDECRAIL, the board, officers, and working groups.
The need for a growing budget is driven by several factors. While the continued use of online web-meeting techniques offers cost-saving benefits compared to pre-2020 physical meetings, there are still instances where physical attendance is indispensable. These include meetings with external organizations like ERA and Europa Nostra, as well as internal gatherings with members of FEDECRAIL, the board, officers, and working groups. Therefore, despite the cost-saving measures of online meetings, the increasing demand for physical meetings, both internally and externally, necessitates a larger budget to meet these evolving needs effectively.

5. Priorities in 2024.
5.1 Events forecast in 2024.

In 2024, there is a plan at Fedecrail to continue with 2 general meetings. In this way, we can elect the board in the spring, determine the financial statements and the business plan for the past year. This meeting is held within the first 6 months of the year. During the autumn, the idea is for the meeting to deal with the upcoming budget, as our budget year is 1 January to 31 December, as well as the annual plan for the coming year. We will continue to work on the opportunity to participate even if the opportunity to travel is not available. As in previous years, Fedecrail will have hybrid possibilities.

Executive Meeting
Executive meetings Fedecrail intends to hold an annual meeting with our members who have various executive roles with our members. We see that it is of great importance to openly conduct a dialogue and understand the needs that may exist with our members and members’ members. This is a step towards being a much more member-oriented organization that takes care of our members’ needs and watches over their interests.

Online lecture
Throughout the year, both lectures and online meetings are planned for the working group, but also linked to interesting events in our field. Fedecrail plans to have at least one online event every two months.

Then we need to keep the HOG members informed of developments. Our plan is hold 2 in person meetings in 2024 with the Fedecrail AGM and the autumn meeting. We also plan a third in person meeting in the summer to be held at a member’s member railway. In addition, we plan to hold a series of shorter online meetings every 2 months starting in January 2024.

TG plans to offer both physical meetings with a hybrid option as well as pure online meetings. The idea is to capture various important topics that are current for our members. During the year, we aim for 2 meetings together with our annual general meeting and during the autumn. Online meetings hope to be held at least 4 times during the year, 2 in the spring and 2 after the summer season.

The development of our new group will mainly generate different activities to create the group. We welcome our members with input on what is desired with this group. But some online meetings are planned throughout the year.

5.1.1 Digital platforms
Digital transformation or digital modernization is the integration of digital technology across all areas of an organization. This process allows the organization to nimbly change how it operates and provides value—whether that’s in the relationship between a company and its customers or a non-profit and its mission.
Working with a digitization process creates efficiency in an organization but also means that everyone has the latest document available and overcomes problems such as comments being missed, or the wrong version of important documents being shared. It is also possible to secure the access and have another control over who can take part in it.
We see that this is of the utmost importance to secure Fedecrail property in the form of accounting, documents and reports that are important to the association. Fedecrail has applied for and been granted a Non-Profit solution by Microsoft for a complete solution. Here, in addition to the website, our members will also have access to Fedecrail’s work. We have a free solution for up to 10 licenses after that we have a cost of 5 € /person if needed. However, we can invite to the platform and there is no limit on the number, it is only for administrators we have a maximum of 10 free.

5.1.2 Communication.
Set up a Payment Gateway for the Website – Stripe seems to be the best/easiest payment gateway, and they’ll integrate easily into the current website.
It’s per transaction fee and can be expanded into real world card payments should that ever been needed in the future.

FEDECRAIL.ORG – Digital development

FEDECRAIL, is primarily aimed at preserving and promoting the common interests of railway heritage in Europe. Digital platforms will play a pivotal role in enhancing outreach, visibility, and operations especially to new audiences. It should also make the organisation more accessible to current members across Europe.


Annual or projected Estimate


Website Enhancements

WebsiteVision estimate

Payment gateway

Stripe – per transaction fee


Produced film

Member supplied FREE
£2.5-£5k plus costs

Social Media Management

£150p/m minimum (£1500-£1800p/a)

Digital Marketing

Per project basis

Email Marketing

1500 subscribers

5000 subscribers

Min £37+vat per month.

Min £83+vat per month.

Objectives already accomplished.

New mobile friendly website

Development Objectives:
• Increase membership and collaboration among European railway museums and enthusiasts.
• Enhance the visitor experience for tourists and educators.
• Streamline operations, communications, and information dissemination.

1. Website Enhancements:
• Interactive Map: Develop an interactive map highlighting member locations, offering details on each member’s attractions, operational days, ticket prices, and other visitor information.
• Online Payment Gateway: Introduce an online store selling merchandise, digital books, and perhaps even tickets for certain railway events or special tours.
• Recommendations: Platforms like Stripe, PayPal, Square, and WorldPay are widely used and trusted. It’s essential to compare their transaction fees, setup fees, and any monthly charges.

Will need to engage WebsiteVision about adding anything to website for costings. Payment gateway will have its own fees.

2. Content:
• Video Content: Collaborate with member railways to create captivating video content, from historical documentaries to 360° virtual tours. YouTube and Tiktok are vital parts of online engagement. This could be as simple as members sending their content for Fedecrail to repost.
• Educational Corner: Offer downloadable resources for educators, like lesson plans or interactive quizzes about railway history.
• ‘About Fedecrail’ – Pay to produce a mini film/Advert about the organisation.
This could be member sourced or have its own committee/working group. Cost for a possible produced video would be dependent on length, location & time. £2.5-£5k as rough guestimate.

3. Social Media Engagement & Management
• Instagram: Share stunning images and short video clips of trains, stations, events, and scenic routes.
• Facebook & (X)Twitter/Threads: Share articles, event updates, member stories, and engage with the community.
• YouTube & TikTok Channel: Host longer video content, virtual tours, documentaries, member content.
• Regular Webinars: Organise monthly or quarterly webinars with experts discussing railway history, restoration techniques, and other relevant topics.
This would be the most ongoing cost intensive part, as you would need to employ someone to manage this, unless you found volunteers with time and passion to do it. They would need to be sourced branding to ensure consistency. There are plenty of railways and organisation as members so should be plenty of content to produce.

4. Digital Marketing:
• Affiliate/Influencer Marketing: Collaborate with travel bloggers and websites, offering them a commission or giveaways to their own audiences for promoting FEDECRAIL or its member railways.
5. Email Marketing – Mailchimp
• Newsletter: Regular updates about events, news, and special offers. Encourage website visitors to sign up. Pair this will social media to capture the audience.
• Automatic Journey Campaigns: For new members or subscribers, send a series of welcome emails introducing FEDECRAIL and its offerings.

Monthly cost, dependant on subscribers. Offer newsletter only information here, or early access to information/sign up etc.

5.1.3 Representation of interest.
A prime goal remains to improve and maintain an effective network at European level, to secure full acknowledgement of the cultural, economic, and social value of the heritage rail sector and those of our members. This is a prime task for the board of Fedecrail as leader of the European lobby-organization for the heritage rail sector. These networks include:
The European Commission:
• Comission Youth and Culture: Iliana Ivanova
Director general: Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen
Comission Research, innovation, culture, education, youth Mariya Gabriel
• Commission for Mobility & Transport (Move/Rail); Commissioner Adina Valean
Director General: Magda Kopczyńska
Executive Director Rail : Carlo Borghini
(Our current contact person for DG Move is ms Elzbieta Lukaniuk)
• Commission for European Green Deal, Interinstitutional Relations, and Foresight Commissioner: Maros Sefcovic Leading the Commission’s work on the European Green Deal and its aim to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. Climate Action
Executive president: Wobke Hoekstra
Head of Cabinet: Diederik Samson.

Fedecrail will draw the attention of the Commission to the specific values of our sector, also inlight of the actual strategy of the Commission and the proposed Green Deal policy. We must highlight the elements of support the heritage rail world can contribute to the Commission’s ideas of strengthening the identity of a future united Europe.
The European Parliament.

It is of great importance that FEDECRAIL continuously works with its contacts within the EU. We also see an upcoming EU election where new commissioners will be relevant for us to contact. Something that also requires greater involvement of more of our Fedecrail team. Some of the groups we specifically identified are ERA laws and regulations, the use of fossil fuel in the Green Deal.

6 Building a new structure for an organization of FEDECRAIL Friends.
Joining as a Friend should be made possible via a link on the website and where possible links from the websites of the members of Fedecrail. This idea of revival of the Friends of Fedecrail should be promoted in press releases to rail-related magazines and Cultural Heritage magazines. The board has the idea that if well marketed it will give us broader European exposure end support. As a friend of Fedecrail, you can actively support the work that Fedecrail carries out. Friends have access to participate in our various events that interest them. You do not have the right to vote but the right to speak in our association. The cost of a Fedecrail Friends membership will be € 25-30 annually.

7 Conference Team.

Since 2019, FEDECRAIL has been working on a new structure for the conference and annual general meeting. FEDECRAIL engages associations and officers connected to the location to be support for the conference implementation. We see this model will need to be further developed to get the invitation out and create the right conditions in good time for our members and friends of Fedecrail. Fedecrail also aims to attract more people of different ages and genders to have a heterogeneous mix of individuals. Something that supports the new direction for young people as an example. Which also creates the conditions for a more inclusive way of working.
During its planning weekend in Gothenburg 2023, the board has developed a concept for future conferences. We see that the conference should take a more business-oriented approach to attract different groups of participants. The conference group must work out a date alignment about how the conference should be planned and when the various parts should be ready.
The costs linked to the organization of the annual general meeting and a general meeting in the autumn need to be covered either via fees from participants, alternatively we have sought financial funds from other places. But the goal of our conferences is high-quality meeting places where we offer good opportunities for learning and sharing experiences. One work is to review whether we can get sponsorship for our gatherings for example. With a more professional content, we also see that there is an opportunity to attract new target groups within our business, which can also create a higher number of participants. Higher numbers of participants can also generate lower costs for gatherings as more people share in the overhead costs.

8 Inclusion of Youth
Fedecrail has identified that the organization needs to work in a new way to include young people in Fedecrail’s work and working groups. Getting young active participants in the ongoing work in most groups will both generate inclusion but also survival for our business. Reaching out to Europe’s young people who have a great interest in movable cultural heritage and conservation will also support us in our work. This will also give new dimensions to our dialogues in working groups and at the same time develop new individuals with a view to taking over and continuing to drive the association forward.
By creating less homogenous participation in the groups, the work will also be able to progress more actively. It is of great importance that the internal work in groups is divided among more individuals to progress at a greater pace.

In 2024, Fedecrail will produce a proposal for a program for exchange between young members of various organizations. We see that it often becomes very difficult for many to try to arrange a youth exchange. However, we see it as very important that this kind of networking still progresses. We see that it may be easier for different members to receive smaller numbers of individuals during periods. It also creates an opportunity for a larger number of people who are part of the youth exchange. For example, this could mean that young people go in groups of four to different member museums in Europe. If an active exchange takes place, it also means that the home association or the participant itself is responsible for accommodation and travel and the host association for the experience. It is also possible to make the exchange focused on different themes and different time intervals. The very purpose of the exchange is precisely to network, gain new experience and increase one’s own interest in the preservation of movable cultural heritage.

9 Data Collection.
Urgent need to reshape collection of data. (= as in 2023)
Executing officer/ team member: vacancy to be filled in after election of board members in 2024.
The board suggest recruiting a team of external volunteers to take on this task.
(Communication Update, website social media + during General members meetings)