The Spanish Railway Foundation (Fundación de los Ferrocarriles Españoles – FFE) has completed the first phase of its project ’conCiencia de Tren: Acercando la ciencia y la tecnología del ferrocarril a la ciudadanía’, which aims to inform citizens about the railways’ technology and scientific research. Launched in June, a total of three face-to-face meetings for the project have been held in the three FFE sites: the Railway Museum of Catalonia, the Railway Museum of Madrid and the Palace of Fernán Nuñez. Nearly 200 people have participated in these meetings so far, including children, teenagers, and experts, which led to interesting intergenerational dialogue on the past, present and future of railways.
‘ConCiencia de Tren’ (involving a wordplay between ‘conscience’ and ‘science’) has been developed over the last months by FFE to awaken scientific interest in Spanish society using railways as an example.
The idea behind the project, funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, is that the vast majority of people have used the train or metro at some point to move from one place to another, without being aware of the extensive R&D and innovation behind their operation. Therefore, the project aims to stir society’s scientific curiosity by transforming how the railway system is viewed, explaining the science, technology and innovation behind rail development: from old carriages to the modern railway system, as well as current scientific and technological advances.
FFE has additionally published information, designed by professional railway R&D experts together with education specialists, which has been shared widely on the internet and social media with the hashtag #conCienciaDeTren. In total, 24 videos and 12 infographics on rolling stock, infrastructure, signalling and communications have been produced, as well as four podcasts expanding on these four topics. In the near future, two reports on the project will also be published along with the results of a survey conducted in Spanish and Catalan, to find out how much the public knows about railway innovation.
‘conCiencia de Tren’ is a future-orientated project with international potential.
Resources have also been developed in English not only to promote science, but also to enhance the innovation and competitiveness of the Spanish railway sector.
For all the current information, activities and tools please visit www.ffe.es/concienciadetren (in Spanish).
The English resources can be found here: https://www.ffe.es/concienciadetren/recursos.asp.
About the Spanish Railway Foundation
Founded in 1985, with a Board of Trustees including representatives of the Spanish public railway sector’s main companies, the Foundation is responsible for the restoration, preservation, production, and dissemination of historical, cultural, scientific, and technological information regarding railway heritage, including the development of training and R&D&I programmes.
Situated at the Palacio de Fernán Núñez, the Foundation manages, among other things, the Railway Museums of Madrid and Catalonia, the Vías Verdes Programme, the ‘Vía Libre’ magazine, the Railway Library, the Railway Historical Archive, and the Land Transport Training Centre. In the cultural sphere, the Foundation organises multiple events among which the ’Antonio Machado’ Train Awards for poetry and stories and the ’Caminos de Hierro’ photography contest stand out.
For further information please visit: www.ffe.es.