Text topic: Changes
- children’s railway
- pioneer railway
Text author: Милица Божић Маројевић
Inspired by the experience of the Soviet Union in the aftermath of World War II, many cities of former Yugoslavia created the so-called children’s railways. These pioneer railways played multiple roles in the society at that time. Apart from the fact that their construction was ideologically motivated, another purpose of the pioneer railways in the post-war period was to provide a happy childhood to children. Also, the idea was for the young people to develop their orientation to technical professions from the early days, as well as admiration and respect for the railroad professions and traffic engineering in general. Although they did not last for long, analysis of the children’s railways can give us a picturesque insight into the ambitious cultural and educational policies of that time, the use of propaganda machinery to support the project, and in particular, it shows general social lethargy that has overcome the preservation and use of heritage. Specifically, the educational function of the pioneer railways was extremely emphasized, since they were intended to develop ethical values, the will for unselfish work for the community, and work discipline. This paper particularly case studies the reasons and origins of establishment, the duration and the factors for the disappearance of the Pioneer Railway in Košutnjak, Belgrade. In case of this particular railway, we actually do not have any doubts as to how such an ambitious educational vision happened to be overturned overnight – the answer to that is clear. Unfortunately, it did not become an unsustainable megalomaniacal project over time: it was like that from the very beginning. Also, the main question remains: Why did we allow lack of wider social care or in other words, how did we lose almost every memory of this educational vision?