India, Taiwan exchange knowledge on preservation, promotion of mountain railways

India and Taiwan, both endowed with impressive heritage mountain railways, have exchanged knowledge and experience in preserving and maintaining their tangible and intangible rail inventory amid increasing natural disasters due to climate change, officials said on Monday.

While Indian Railways, with its UNESCO World Heritage railway routes, remains a model for technical caretaking and management, the Taiwanese experience in creating an ecologically sensitive tourism model is notable, they said.

The two sides recently took part in a virtual seminar — India-Taiwan Online Forum — on Railway Cultural Heritage Conservation and discussed promotion of thematic heritage tourism. The forum was organised and sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Taiwan, and co-organised by the Heritage Directorate, Railway Board, Ministry of Railways here.

Indian has three mountain railways, the Kalka-Shimla Railway, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway and Niligiri Mountain Railway, while Taiwan has Alishan Forest Railway.

“Senior officials from Alishan mountain railways and Takao Railway Museum led the discussion and shared their experience in the field of preservation, interpretation and management of their tangible and intangible railway inventory,” said Moulshri Joshi, an industrial heritage expert who attended the seminar.

The meeting was structured around two sessions namely ”Preservation of mountain railways and tourism strategies” and ”Training, research and skilling of personnel in the management of railway heritage”, she said.

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