About APHTRO

Although there are many activities in the heritage and tourist railway sector in the Asia - Pacific region, they are busily advancing their plans separately; it seems there is little co-operation between countries. On the other hand, the international co-operation has been achieved and succeeded in the other region. It is essential to establish and improve regional co-operation. This should be closer, more frequent and appropriate at the local level than worldwide level.

APHTRO, Asia Pacific Heritage and Tourist Rail Organisation will mainly help the improvement of our treasured heritage railways and museums by forming a co-operative organisation to unite the countries. It will provide a forum where we can share experience and exchange ideas, advice and information in many aspects. APHTRO is able to act an important role and contribute to the growth and development of the heritage and tourist railways in the Asia - Pacific region.


Our Aims and Roles

     1. A Non-profit body to represent heritage and tourist railways and museums in the Asia - Pacific region.
     2. To provide Discussion forum for meetings, newsletters and website to share and exchange any experiences, ideas and information.
     3. To promote the sustainability of its members and to support the operation of members’ activities by:
           a.)  Making submissions to and liaising with governments or local authorities as when requested its members.
           b.)  Providing access to advice, assistance and information on technical and marketing matters etc.
     4. To generate good relationship for mutual benefit with other international organisations of heritage and tourism sector.
     5. To explore and formulate bi-lateral / multi-lateral funding / programmes.
     6. To convene an Annual General Meeting and to promote conferences with relevant themes.


Our Three Principals

Firstly, for every country, for every activity, all must be treated equally. Each country has its own history of railway development and the extent to which railways have been used and are used today can be very different. People's understanding of railways, industrial heritage and heritage railway can vary from country to country. In some places activities are more advanced, in others, less so. It would be unfair to see and evaluate only their present state without considering the social and historical context.

Secondly, administration of an international organisation must not be done solely to one country's way of thinking or business style. Things can be very different by region or country. We have members and potential members in; New Zealand and Australia in Oceania, China, Japan, Taiwan and Korea in East Asia, South East Asia, each country in a different social situation, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in South Asia, and Jordan in the Middle East. Their ways of thinking, business styles and social situations are not the same region by region, or even country by country in the same region. It is very important that we try to understand such differences. Our international organisation of heritage railways must be administered by balancing ways of thinking and business styles. This might not be so easy, but administration as 'one size fits all' is entirely wrong, because that could never be supported by people with different backgrounds.

Thirdly, we must not forget our friends who are making the effort in difficult situations in developing countries. Around three quarters of our members and potential members are from developing countries, or third world level. We know ordinary life is not so easy in some developing countries so we have to consider this in administering this, our international organisation. For example, we must keep our conference fee at less than 300USD. If the price is too expensive, say more than 500USD or 1000USD, it would be like saying to the people in developing countries: "We don't need you", even though this were far from our purpose. If our administration were to be planned only from the viewpoint of people in richer countries, we would not be an Asia-Pacific organisation but a rich countries' organisation. We must never allow this.


We are supporting following projects

     Transforming former Taipei Railway Workshop into Railway Museum in Taiwan.
     Steam train revival plan by Manila Railroad Club in The Philippines.
     Steam locomotive mechanical inspection at Royal Railways in Cambodia.
     Converting steam engine to oil burning at Shibanxi Railway in China.
     Forming friends' association and introducing driving course at Jordan Hejaz Railways .
     Financial assitance for some delegates coming annual conference.