At the opening, Deputy Mayor of Debrecen Diána Széles said that there is no junior high school student in Debrecen who has not travelled on this train. Zsuzsi, Hungary’s oldest narrow-gauge railway, has been a shared value and source of experience for every child in Debrecen and every family in Debrecen for generations. It is a local asset that is known throughout the country nowadays and is known as Debrecen.

The deputy mayor thanked the operator of the railway to nurture and revive the traditions of it, and she also thanked the organisers of the exhibition series presenting the values of Debrecen.

János Mazsu, the chairman of the Debrecen Treasury Committee, highlighted in his welcome speech that the Zsuzsi Forest Railway is not just a monument but a living, working railway that not only offers the experience of travel in itself but also takes visitors to places where the natural values of the city’s surroundings are can also be known.

János Mazsu revived the fact that the railway, which was put into service 141 years ago, in 1882, was originally used to transport timber harvested in the Guti forest. In its heyday, it had a line network nearly 50 kilometres long. Almost 100 years ago – in 1925 – the railway was made suitable for passenger transport, and the people of Debrecen and the Debrecen area have been enjoying the opportunity to travel with the Zsuzsi train ever since. Over the years, many songs and stories have been written about the railway, which has become part of the city’s culture.

There has already been a suggestion that the Zsuzsi Forest Railway is proposed to be included in the list of outstanding national values, and maybe one day it will become a Hungarian railway, he added.

According to Hajnalka Makóné Fogarasi, managing director of  Zsuzsi Forest Railway Nonprofit Kft., Debrecen can boast of the oldest operating narrow-gauge light railway in Hungary and the Carpathian Basin. 

Today, we are living in one of the most beautiful and special periods of its 141-year history, with several anniversaries associated with it: the era of the pioneering railway began 45 years ago, the Mk48 diesel locomotives are 63 years old, and the oldest anniversary is celebrated by the Zsuzsi steam locomotive, which is 100 years old this year. years old and has been serving in Debrecen since 2006, she said. 

The employees of the operating company try to colour and enrich the cultural life of the city with family- and child-oriented programs related to the light rail that spans the whole year. This small railway evokes nostalgic experiences for adults and opens up a special world for children. 

According to the director, the Zsuzsi train is timeless, and an active community is always connected to it. 

The exhibition also features a working railway field table made by railway modeller István Szabó.

The exhibition can be viewed until the 11th of June 2023, during the opening hours of the New Town Hall (Debrecen, Kálvin Square 11).

Source and photo credit: debrecen.hu

Author: Debrecen4U