1947-re nyúlik vissza a budapesti Gyermekvasút története – erről olvashattok a következő cikkben, természetesen angolul, szószedettel.
Chugging Along the Children’s Railway in Budapest
by Ágnes Salánki and István Dezsényi
When travelling on the Children’s Railway in Budapest we may feel that we suddenly are in the middle of a fairy tale. The train chuffs along through the woods and over the hills for 11.7 kilometres and between 40 to 50 minutes and except for the train driver’s job, every single task is performed by 10-14-year-old kids. Though the train carriages have no distinctive faces like Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends in the Reverend W. Awdry’s stories, the Children’s Railway provides you with an unforgettable experience. How about partaking in the fun and coming on a train ride with us? Chug-chug, toot-toot. Let the journey begin!
Once upon a time
The Hungarian Railways decided to build a narrow-gauge train ride through the beautiful Buda hills for children in 1947. The concept was inspired by Soviet Pioneer Railways, the first of which opened in 1932. Construction of the line began in April 1948 and was finished in 1950. The route of the railway is a scenic one and required heroic efforts from the builders to construct it. The Pioneer Railway’s mission was to prepare children for a respectable Communist life, to show them the beauty of creative and productive work, to include children in the transportation industry, and to motivate them to pursue careers in railway-related fields later in life. The Children’s Railway has lived on even after the Communist regime ended and is known all over the world. The Guinness Book of Records has named it as the world’s longest children’s railway, with a length of 11,7018 kilometres.
Meandering through woods and hills
The line stretches from Hűvösvölgy to Széchenyi-hegy and has seven more stops on the route called Hárshegy, Szépjuhászné, Vadaspark, János-hegy, Virágvölgy, Csillebérc, Normafa. With a day ticket, you can hop off the train wherever you want, take in the sights and then hop on the next train again. Much like any other railway, the Children’s Railway has ticket offices, diesel locomotives, signals, switches and a timetable. A steam locomotive also runs on select days.
The two termini offer the most to see in terms of railway construction and history. An interactive exhibition on platform 1 of the Hűvösvölgy terminus presents the history of the railway from its inception to the present. Archive images and documents, as well as relics, tell the narrative of the railway line and the children’s work. Visitors can see first-hand how challenging the job was for the builders. Although most of the documents are in Hungarian, the majority of the photographs speak for themselves. They show trains and young children. How children on duty change from decade to decade is fascinating to see.
There are also old tickets, uniforms, signalling lights and discs, schedules, and brochures on exhibit, as well as an old ticket printing machine and a gigantic refrigerator-sized telephone set. The museum is open to the public for a symbolic price, and the museum shop sells a variety of adorable souvenirs. The Hűvösvölgy station is still in its retro nostalgic splendour. Vintage photographs and bilingual signage in Hungarian and Russian blend in with social realism. Táborozó úttörők (‘Camping Pioneers’), a mosaic by painters Miklós Göllner and Ferenc Jánossy depicting children, deer, and flowers, is worth a look in the waiting room.
Széchenyi-hegy, the other terminus of the line offers interesting destinations if you want to make the most of your trip. A transmission tower is located very close to the station. Its 60-meter structure and 192-meter antenna may be seen from a long distance. A wooded trail leads to the Széchenyi monument, a lookout tower created by Miklós Ybl that offers spectacular views of the city.
After soaking in the view you have the option of returning to Városmajor on the Children’s Railway or transferring to the neighbouring Cogwheel Railway.
Children all around
When you arrive at the Children’s Railway, you may find it strange to see children dressed in traditional red, navy blue and white train company clothes – and operating a working railway. The young employees perform all of the duties found on typical train service, including pointsmen, record keepers, announcers, traffic managers, cashiers, ticket inspectors, and also train handbrake management.
High-achieving students can apply for the programme when they are in grades 4-6 (ages 10-12). Because the children are required to work shifts on weekdays as well, the train firm must ensure that they are hardworking enough to make up for any classes missed. A four-month course precedes the training, which is followed by a test. The kids can start working after passing it. They will be given the opportunity to try out for every position available and will be able to stay in the programme until they leave primary school at the age of 14-15. They are scheduled to work shifts every 15-17 days however, they are required to work more frequently during the winter and summer vacations because these are their busiest times. They may even spend the night in a student dorm at one of the stations during this period. Working for the Children’s Railway is more than just a fun thing to do after school. It allows students to interact with students from various schools. Because the kids spend so much time together, they have a strong sense of community. Summer camps and regular team building events reward them. Lasting friendships are formed there. As a result, they become so enamoured with the railway that they will never forget this time period in their lives.
forrás: 5 Perc Angol Magazin 2022 februári szám
Language point: Az angol szavak többes számának képzése általában kellemesen egyszerű: elég egy s-et tenni a szó végére. Vannak azonban kivételek, például a latinból átvett szavak, amelyek hagyományosan megtartották a latin többes számukat. Ilyenek többek között a fungus – fungi, medium – media, datum – data, oasis – oases, és a cikkben előforduló terminus – termini. Gyakran a szabályos, normál módon képzett többes szám is használható ezek mellett, pl: aquarium – aquaria vagy aquariums, de nem minden esetben, pl. alga- algae.
|train carriage||vasúti kocsi|
|to partake in sg||részt venni valamiben|
|toot-toot||a vonatkürt hangja|
|to pursue a career||egy foglalkozást űzni|
|terminus, termini||végállomás, végállomások|
|speak for themselves||magukért beszélnek|
|to soak in||beszívni, átitatódni|
|cogwheel railway||fogaskerekű vasút|
|high-achieving student||jól tanuló gyerek|
|to make up for||bepótolni|
|sense of community||közösségi érzés|
|team building event||csapatépítés|
|lasting friendship||tartós barátság|
|to become enamoured with||beleszeretni valamibe|