Corona Virus and the subsequent fallout has prevented the FEDECRAIL Youth Exchange from taking place again this year. The health situation in Europe is so serious that there are no guarantees that the Exchange can be organised safely for young people. In addition, an increase in travel costs is to be expected in the future due to the reduction and availability of low-cost flights, especially detrimental to young participants of a youth exchange. FEDECRAIL will therefore soon offer alternative meetings on the internet. They will serve to re-establish connections with young people from previous years and to involve any new youngsters who may be interested.
The aim is to create a solid European network of young people who are enthusiastic about heritage railways and railway museums. Greater participation by the younger generation should also benefit cooperation between all members of the association. By interacting with other volunteers, young people feel more included, especially in this time of limited social contact.
Initially, three meetings are planned in the form of webinars, starting around mid-April with a round of introductions and sharing of Covid experiences. The Youth Exchange Group is also currently looking into exchanges on other social media networks used by young people. The more contacts are built up on the internet, the more young people will want to meet up physically when it becomes possible again.