International Conference on Rail Tourism

The World Association of Tourist Trains and Trams is holding a conference in York, UK at the end of September to highlight various issues concerning the sustainability of all areas of railway heritage. These include financial and commercial sustainability, training and regulation as well as technical and environmental challenges.

The organisation was founded in 2010 with the aim of establishing a worldwide grouping to make the case for rail heritage. With decisions on problems such as the environment being increasingly taken internationally it was felt important to be able to present a unified front at this level. The driving force behind the organisation has been Enrique Diaz of the Tren del fin del Mundo in Argentina who is the organisations Vice President. President David Morgan is also Chairman of the UK's Heritage Railway Association.

Delegates will coming to the conference from around the globe to give their take on the financial, people, enviromental and technical issues which will need to be addressed if rail heritage operations are to survive and prosper. Confirmed speakers include former Australian Deputy prime Minister Tim Fischer, steam engineer Phil Girdlestone from South Africa and Courtney Wilson, CEO of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum.

Phil Girdlestone received a travel sponsorship from the Sandstone Heritage Trust to attend the meeting as a speaker.

More details on the organisation and conference can be found at www.wattrain.org