Railway opening anniversary 2022

The history of Košice–Bohumín Railway track dates back to as early as the 19th century when the only railway lines within the Kingdom of Hungary were the steam-powered Vienna–Pest–Debrecen railway and the horse-drawn Bratislava–Trnava railway. As early as 1839 the Diet of Hungary debated an Act which may be considered to be the foundations of Hungarian traffic policy. The project of the construction of a track that would connect Silesia via Jablunkov, Žilina, Liptovský Mikuláš, Poprad, Spišská Nová Ves, and Košice, led to a first real design to be implemented that dates back to 1864. The railway was intended to speed up the transport of iron ore from deposits in Spiš and Gemer to the Třinec ironworks, to make it more effective. It was also expected to provide the same benefits to the transportation of coal from the Silesian mines to northern and eastern Hungary. The initial works finally began on October 15, 1867. However, the construction was suspended or postponed several times due to financial problems, until the situation finally improved with the involvement of a new investor, the Anglo-Austrian Bank.  The Košice–Kysak–Prešov section was completed first and put into operation on September 1, 1870.  Further sections followed in 1871, and the last section, Spišská Nová Ves – Kysak, was put into service on March 12, 1972. The entire line from Bohuním to Košice went into regular operation, with a single pair of mixed trains, on March 18, 1872.

On March 18, 2022, so 150 years later, Czech Republic and Slovakia celebrate this date with a souvenir sheet showing nicelly designed steam machines (twin issue with one stamp and two labels).  The background of the souvenir sheet shows an older map depicting the railway line.   

Failed opportunities

The programme of new stamps from Belarus included a potential joint issue with China and another with Vietnam, both expected to be released during the month of January at the occasion of the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relationships. The Belarus stamps were issued respectively on January 12, 2022 and January 24, 2022, but there is absolutely no news from either China PR nor Vietnam for event-associated stamps. There are great chances that these issues will remain unilateral and that the entries will have to be removed from the list described in the catalogue (Vol 15). At least, here are the pictures of the Belarus stamps.

An other opportunity was mentioned by Cesar Ittman (The Netherlands). During the year 2022, France celebrates the 200th anniversary of the death of the famous author Moliere. France issued a first stamp on January 17, 2022, at the same time as Monaco, while Czech Republic issued a stamp on January 20, 2022. There is absolutely no claim from one of these countries for a joint issue. These are just stamps issued at the occasion of an anniversary and it would not be surprising to see much more other stamps released to honor Moliere during this year without any joint character.

The first true joint issue to be released this year is scheduled for February 14, 2022, not earlier. This is quite late compared to previous years.

Don Birschel (USA) explored older issues and asked about the relevance of some 2006 China-Africa Forum stamps as joint. Indeed, some of these stamps show the same design, but this is a logo and none of the countries have claimed a joint issue character. So again, this is an exemple of a non-approved joint issue. Here are the pictures of the stamps from countries that celebrated this event: Algeria (November 6, 2006), China (November 3), Egypt (November 5), Eritrea (November 3) and Ivory Coast (November 28).

Czechia – Slovakia – 150th train anniversary

On March 18, 2022, a joint issue of stamps between Slovakia and the Czech Republic will be released on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the opening of the railway line between the cities of Košice (Slovakia) and Bohumín (Czechia). The document on the construction of the railway was published in 1864 in Vienna (during the Austro-Hungarian Rise). Construction began in 1869 and ended in 1872. Approximately 95% of the line runs through present-day Slovakia and 5% through Czechia.

Milan Csaplar (Slovakia) pointed to the first information published by the Slovakia postal administration which is also one of the rare postal entity providing designs of stamps much ahead of issue date. Slovakia will issue a souvenir sheet with one stamp representing a train and two labels. This souvenir sheet will be available at 50,000 units. There is little information available about the Czech stamps but the joint character is confirmed and it is confirmed that the Czech item will also be a souvenir sheet with one stamp and two labels.

TGM (2021)

Tomas Garrigue Masaryk (1850-1937), familiarly called TGM, co-founded Czechoslovakia at the end of WWIO, in 1918, together with Milan Rastislav Štefánik (1880-1919) and Edvard Beneš (1884-1948). He served as its first president from 1918 to 1935. He is the first head of state to visit the Mandate for Palestine in 1923 and 1927. Czech Republic and Israel issued identical stamps on November 30, 2021. The stamps represent the portrait of the politician and an artistic mosaic of the Kfar Masaryk kibbutz in Northern Israel (founded by Jewish immigrants from Czechoslovakia and Lithuania). The tabs show the flags of both countries. Mixed FDCs, mixed souvenir sheets and mixed maximum cards became available.