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Of the art of building a train

In the book "Von der Kunst, einen Zug zu bauen", Heinz Iwainsky talks about the technology and fascination of the railway industry and rail vehicle development I © Eigenverlag Dr Heinz Iwainsky

The number of young people interested in a career in the rail industry is constantly decreasing. Railway engineering has been somewhat gone into oblivion and indeed the industry is suffering from a shortage of skilled engineers und professionals. This situation has led Dr Heinz Iwainsky to write a book about the fascination of railway car building.

Technology and passion

The book “Von der Kunst, einen Zug zu bauen” (Of the art of building a train), which has now been published in its second edition, tells in a fascinating way about the passion and technology that are part of the profession of a railway vehicle engineer. The author, who graduated from the Dresden University of Transportation, does not only give an insight into the world of engineering. He also wants the book to be used to promote this profession and appeal to the younger generation. This is done in an impressive and vivid way: Iwainsky tells of childhood memories from the GDR in the 1950s and 1960s and his relation to the railway. The journey begins with his first stop, the university. Mixed with a few anecdotes from student life, the reader is given a valuable insight into rail vehicle engineering. Iwainsky explains in detail many designs and calculations, which lead from the very basics of physics for vehicle construction, thermodynamics, and air conditioning to the calculation of the swivel of vehicles using trigonometric formulas. The book is therefore also a good refresher in terms of rail vehicle technology for laymen and engineers. Historical pictures and references loosen up the so-called “knowledge pages”.

Picture gallery (Please click to open):

The development of rail vehicles: from passenger coaches to low-floor trams

Iwainsky leads chronologically through the stages of his interesting professional life, from 1975 – 1992 in the wagon industry in Bautzen (Saxony), then until 1999 at the Jenbacher Werke in Austria and until his retirement in 2016 at Stadler in Altenrhein (Switzerland). The book thus also provides an exciting insight into various periods in terms of vehicle development, such as the construction of the Bautzen passenger coach in GDR times and the author’s associated doctoral thesis on the subject of “A contribution to solving the acoustic problems of passenger coach air-conditioning systems”. After reunification Iwainsky moved to Austria to participate in the tendering activities of the Jenbacher Werke, where he worked together with AEG on the tender for the low-floor tram for Vienna – if successful, the Jenbacher Werke would have become a licensee of the GT6N low-floor tram, which is widely used in Germany. As is well known, SGP/ Siemens won the ULF at that time. The journey continues with the Jenbacher multiple units for the Bayerische Oberlandbahn (BOB) and other outstanding vehicle developments at Stadler, including the GTW articulated railcar, Swiss narrow-gauge trains for Forchbahn and Trogenerbahn, the Tangos for BLT/ Baselland and TPG Geneva, and vehicles for the Russian market such as the Metelitsa tram and Aeroexpress.

The book is available as print edition as well as e-book I © Eigenverlag Dr Heinz Iwainsky


Vivid pictures and graphics add to the personal and technical journey of Dr Iwainsky through the world of railway technology. The book is a “must-read” for young & old who are interested in the subject or who want to learn more about it or who are uncertain about their choice of career. After reading this book, one will be addicted to the wheel-rail contact, locomotives and railcars. And hopefully one or the other will decide for an apprenticeship or study in the field.

  • ISBN No. Print Book (published in “Eigenverlag”) ISBN 978-3-200-05759 -3, Price: 19.50 EURO
  • ISBN No. E-Book (published in “Books on Demand”): ISBN 978-3-749-46800-3, Price: 9.99 EURO

Book website: https://iwainsky.jimdosite.com/