The Asia-Pacific Heritage Tourism and Rail Organisation (APHTRO) will mark the opening of its Taiwan branch office with an international rail heritage forum slated for Taichung City on Sept. 9.
APHTRO comprises of national representative bodies of locomotive heritage and tourist railways within the Asia-Pacific region, including rail or tramway enterprises, preservation groups, tourism agencies, and museums. Members and affiliates currently hail from Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, New Zealand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and the Philippines.
To advance regional cooperation in heritage preservation and revitalization, APHTRO supports projects including the steam train revival plan by the Manila Railroad Club; steam locomotive mechanical inspections of Royal Railways in Cambodia; and the transformation of the 1930 Taipei Railway Workshop into a Taiwan's first national railway museum.
A plaque-unveiling ceremony commemorating the opening of APHTRO's Taiwan office will be held at the newly launched Cultural Heritage Park in Taichung City on Sept. 9. APHTRO President Kyoichi Oda (小田恭一) and Vice President Hsieh Ming-hsun (謝明勳) will also discuss the shared values and tourism potential of locomotive heritage sites across the Asia Pacific in a forum taking place after the 9am ceremony.
The program is organized by the Asian Network of Industrial Heritage (亞洲產業文化資產資訊平台, ANIH), a platform launched by Taiwan's Bureau of Cultural Heritage in March 2018 to promote multilateral communication, information distribution, and transnational collaboration in the area of industrial heritage across Asia.
ANIH marked its debut with an open call for projects exploring the historic sugar industry in Asia in April. Sugar was an extremely sought-after commodity during the colonization of Asia, and retracing its industrial development has given rise to regional connections and patterns of the overall modernization of Asia. It also formed an indelible backbone for Taiwan's collective memories of earlier years.