The Role of Railway, as a Heritage of Industrial History, in Tourism, with Conclusion on Quality of Life

Article excerpt

Introduction

The industrial revolution emerging on the British Isles in the middle of the 18th century and in the beginning of the 19th century on continental countries--on different times in different countries--and the technological and social changes as its result, can take pride in many hundreds of years old historical values for today. The spreading of industry have induced such social, economical and in their connection--political changes, which have made this period--at least the most determining in the aspect of present relations--the most important era.

The social, technological and economical changes appearing in the middle of the 20th century have yielded a further change of structure. It yielded the omission of former industrial culture and big industrial producing functions, with which the world stepped in the postindustrial period. The change assumed shape in the change of industrial production's character, place and the changed structure of production basically, and--as its result--the bloomed industrial areas up to that time became a junkyard and a compound center of crises suddenly.

The utilization of this enormous quantity of industrial heritage is beginning to gather strength now, realizing its hidden potential at the same time (Csapo et al. 2010; Soyez 2006). Its utilization appears not in tourism above all, but in making the best of the local residents' and economy's other service segments, which--of course--can be reached by tourists visiting the places too. The difficulty of utilizations is the cause of industrial heritage's attendance within heritage tourism, which lags behind in comparison with the other parts of heritage tourism (Edwards & Llurdes 1996). The visit of an industrial heritage means rarely the main motivation, but the visit of another part of heritage tourism with bigger image (Chen et al. 2001; Poria et al. 2006). Industrial areas frame historical town center most times, they can be found isolated from center in the area of smaller settlements (Firth 2011). These quarters offer less attractive sight in comparison with other places, additionally the lack of specialty, unrepeatableness (e.g. there are only few differences between the outward appearance of a West European and an American factory) also appears in case of these objects (McKercher & Ho 2006). Those former industrial places have become the aim of tourism in this aspect which have been utilized in another --different from the former--form, e.g. as a gallery, a catering establishment or an accommodation (Henderson 2011).

Industrial areas are suffering from a structural crisis after a two-hundred-years blooming period, and--as its consequence--the inside identity of these regions has also gone through a significant negative change. It is the reason why the preservation of the industrial heritage's values--used by local residents and this way these values have become an organic part of their lives--have a great significance for local residents. The preservation of industrial heritage--as an unique and authentic feature--plays also a rule in the regional identity of industrial cultural landscapes (Kistemann 2001; Hospers 2002).

The so-called traffic--carriage--heritage represents an unique segment within industrial heritage. These objects are ranked among industrial historical heritage because:

--The building of railway network has helped the development of industrial output. It was no accident that the first railway lines in Hungary were destined to ease for the transportation of industrial, mining, and--in a smaller part agricultural products. Freight transport has remained a touchy subject of railway traffic, which secures the sustainability of railway in many times.

--Railway traffic's vehicles, means of transport and equipment are also the products of heavy industry. They also represent a heritage value by their own, as an old--but operating--steam engine (Rees et al. …