Once upon the time, there were seven old train carriages that
hadn´t been together very long…
The former SISU Train Home came rolling on the tracks and was parked right behind (west of) the train station in Lund, Sweden, was established as a youth hostel, owned by the city council of Lund, connected to STF/IYHF-HI, leased and managed by us, see below. With our 108 beds in 36 cabins we had a very quick and successful start and soon our yearly number of guest nights reached 15000 out of which 50 % were from abroad. In all we had guests registered from more than 110 countries.
Newspaper articles, magazines, broadcastings, TV and international guidebooks such as Guide Routarde, Europe on a dollar a day, Let´s go Europe, Lonely Planet, Rough Guide highlighted the hostel repeatedly.
Train at noon - no guests around
Our aim was to take good care of the timeless ideas of the international youth hostel movement such as really cheap staying under personal responsibility and welcoming all travelers to stay together under pretty equal terms. We were lucky to have the opportunity to take these ideas successfully on from the 20th over to the 21st century with a lot of support and encouragement from our guests – although our cabins were extremely narrow and walls were thin.
|One of many groups.||Late evening - The Train full.|
One of our slogans was: It is a train! Because it was!
We tried to do our best in creating routines focusing environmental improvements such as sorting garbage, establishing a warm compost (see video below), using a lot of ecological products in breakfast kitchen etc. etc.
We were in the front line using modern technology in new investments but if it turned out to have severe effects on safety or seemed to lead to loss of value in service or mutual understanding we did not compromise.
On to February 2011 when I left my lease of the train, around 150 young persons, most of them students, had worked with us for a shorter or longer period, an enthusiastic, efficient and dedicated staff, doing a remarkably good job in unexpected situations.
In October 2012 the train is leaving/left Lund and is not coming back. The members of the association Stambanans Vänner are most probably the perfect ones to take good care of the train, now heading for Norrköping.
And the Youth Hostelling ideas? Like cooperation, responsibility, sharing, to make really low prices a reality. Genuine meeting points in an increasingly globalized world.
Kjell Gibe/Train Crew
Vandrarhem Tåget i Lund HB
See me on facebook: Kaffestugan vid Ismantorps borg, Öland