A grant from the Together for the Region programme has also helped the young railwaymen from Čermeľ
Last year the Children's Railway in Košice celebrated an important jubilee, which was its 60th anniversary. On this occasion, its enthusiasts organised more than sixty accompanying events designed for children and adults. These included, for example, 25 theatre performances including Janko Hraško, Mlynček meľ, Zbojnícky Prepad Maťka a Kubka and Čarovná Trať produced by the Neon, Cililing and Hopi Hope theatre ensembles . Boys and girls from the Children's Railway Club actively participated in these and other events. Organised by U. S. Steel Košice and the Carpathian Foundation, the grant from the Together for the Region programme was awarded just for their activities.
"Thanks to the financing we received from the steelworks, it was possible to organise part of the accompanying programme for the 60th anniversary of the Children's Railway. Additionally, we equipped our young railwaymen with identical t-shirts, baseball caps and scarves which form part of the uniform. Part of the grant was used for renovating the buffers of the historic locomotive. We provided tools and paints which we used for colouring the buffers. We also purchased workwear, overalls for our volunteers, thanks to which we achieved a unified appearance for the first time. At the same time, this improved the working conditions for repairing and saving the historic engines and wagons," says the Director of the Children's Railway Ľubomír Lehotský on the use of the grant.
"Thanks to the project," he added, "we also managed to make six retro plates with the type and name of the engine, Krutwig, which will soon become another great attraction on the railway. The locomotive is currently in the Czech Republic with the restorers, but all members of the Children's Railway Club are looking forward to its arrival. The Krutwig locomotive should extend the railway's complement by the spring of 2016. It will be officially introduced in April during the Engine Parade."
Ľubomír Lehotský also added that to mark the anniversary there will be year-round recruitment of young railwaymen. "I'm glad we have managed to widen our voluntary membership. Twelve new faces have appeared amongst our young railwaymen. These are children over ten years of age. We currently have over fifty active volunteers taking part in running the children's railway."
The last big event of the year included the dispatching of two exceptional trains with St. Nicholas, an angel and an imp. On the Čermeľ - Alpinka route, they handed out St. Nicholas gifts. Volunteers from the Children's Railway Club also did a good deed that day by surprising clients in the homeless shelter in Bernátovce with St. Nicholas gifts.
What is planned for Čermeľ for this year? "We have participated in the Together for the Region programme for several years and we would like to carry on in this tradition in 2016. Great changes are awaited. At Čermeľ Station we are going to extend the engine depot, and the construction of a new station building will also start. This area will then accommodate the clubroom for the young railwaymen. Both buildings are key for us and will lift the services provided and facilities for staff and our travellers to a new, much higher quality level. A real attraction will be the arrival of the second steam locomotive," said Mr. Lehotský about the latest plans.