The Winton Train Project

26.08.2009

Sir Nicholas Winton saved 669 children from their deportation to extermination camps

Pilsen, 26/08/2009 - In 1939, Sir Nicholas Winton saved 669 children mostly of Jewish descent by evacuating them by train to the safety of foster homes abroad. Unfortunately, on 1st September 1939 Hitler invaded Poland, the borders were closed and the biggest transport which was due to evacuate other 250 children never left. 70 years have passed since these troubled events. Sir Winton will celebrate his 100th birthday this year. On this occasion Czech Railways will dispatch a vintage train on 1st September 2009. One of the main partners of this project is also the Railway Infrastructure Administration, state organization.

The train will follow the identical route Prague – London and some of the passengers will be the then saved children with their own families as well as prominent people of the social and cultural life. This event will be accompanied by a variety of additional agenda like e.g. unveiling of Nicholas Winton’s statue, the finale of a students´ competition entitled Inspiration by Goodness, previews from the documentary Nicky’s Family by the director Matej Mináč and – which is everybody’s wish – also meeting Sir Nicholas Winton in person on 4th September 2009 on the train arrival at Liverpool station in London.

Sir N. Winton

Sir Nicholas Winton will celebrate his 100th birthday this year

Schedule of the Winton Train Journey

Winton Train – Inspiration by Goodness

The goal of this project is to inspire particularly young people by the example of Nicholas Winton who - at his own risk without any government mandates and intelligence service - rescued 669 children from the war horrors and the holocaust.
Exactly 70 years after these events Czech Railways will dispatch the Winton Train on 1.9.2009 that will follow the original path Prague - London. It shall stand for the unbeatable desire for freedom and a clear proclamation against any national, ethnic or religious hatred which sadly causes conflicts in different parts of the world including Europe.

31. August 2009 - On the eve of the Winton Train departure

A ceremonial evening prior to the train departure on the occasion of the prize award to the winners of a students contest announced by the company Winton Train in the following fields – literature, fine arts, photography and film.
The announcement starts at 18:00 at the National Museum in attendance of Winton’s children and their offspring, students and prominent people. The evening programme will include a concert, previews of the new film Nicky’s Family by Matej Mináč and a performance of a part of Hans Krasa’s opera Brundibár by the Children’s Opera Prague. After the show refreshments will be served.

1. - 4. September 2009 - Train Journey

The Winton Train journey will be provided by a set of exclusive vintage 1st class coaches. All coaches meet conditions for international operation and the quality of the interior fully complies with the requirements concerning a time-consuming journey. A sleeping car will also be provided in case some people needed to have a rest. Throughout the journey refreshments will be provided on the train together with the staff and medical assistance. The passengers will have a chance to enjoy a varied programme, starting from a musical performance and pantomime to a literary corner. The train journey will also be attended by Sir Nicholas’s daughter Barbara.

1. September 2009

The Winton Train departure from Prague to Nurnberg at 9:01. (This route is 355 km long.)

  • 8:00 press conference at Prague´s central station prior to the train departure attended by Mr. Václav Havel and other prominent Czech personalities.
  • 8:30 unveiling of Sir Nicholas Winton’s statue on the 1st platform.
  • A documentary will be made during the journey on this vintage train.
  • At 19:02 arrival in Nurnberg, welcoming ceremony by the representatives of the city of Nurnberg, accommodation at a hotel.

2. September 2009

  • At 6:45 the Winton Train departure from Nurnberg to Köln am Rhein. (This route is 489 km long.)
  • The Winton Train continues its journey and the programme including further shooting of the documentary about this journey.
  • At 16:57 arrival in Köln am Rhein, festive ceremony by the representatives of the city of Köln, the rabbi Nathan Alfred and a group of young people from the International Jewish Community in Brussels.
  • Tour of Dom, NS – Dokumentationszentrum, dinner in the synagogue.

3. September 2009

  • At 11:00 the Winton Train departure from Köln am Rhein to Hoek van Holland – a Dutch port. (This route is 295 km long.)
  • The Winton Train continues its journey and the programme including further shooting of the documentary about this journey.
  • Train reception by the Czech Ambassador in Holland.
  • Embarkment and accommodation on the ferry.

4. September 2009

  • At 6:30 arrival at the English port Harwich.
  • 8:00 representatives of Bedford Register & Drivers Club welcome the passengers in Britain, parade of historical automobiles.
  • At 9.10 the Winton Train continues its journey to Liverpool Street Station in London and the programme including further shooting of the documentary about this journey. (This route is 112 km long.)
  • At 10:45 festive arrival in London and a greeting by Sir Nicholas Winton.
  • International press conference.
  • At 13:00 festive meeting in honour of Sir Nicholas Winton, held by the Czech ambassador in Great Britain.
  • Previews of the documentary Nicky´s Family by Matej Minac.
  • Accommodation at a hotel in London or departure back to the Czech Republic.

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