Welcome To aphtro

Asia Pacific Heritage and Tourist Rail Organisation


Although there are many forums in the heritage and tourist railway sector in the
Asia – Pacific region, they are more focussed advancing their individual plans; that translates into limited co-operation between countries. On the other hand, the international co-operation has been achieved successfully in the other region. It is essential to establish and improve regional co-operation. There should be closer, more frequent and appropriate interactions 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 experiences 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 300 USD. If the price is too expensive, say more than 500 USD or 1000 USD, 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.
  • Acquiring Brill 77E Bogies at Perth Electric Tramway Society in Australia.
  • 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.

management team

Kyoichi Oda

Kyoichi Oda
President (Japan)

· Honorary Life Member of Mid-        Hants Railway, UK
· Member of Advisory Committee,      Asian Network of Industrial               Heritage

Rajesh Agrawal
Vice President (India)

· Former Director of National Rail      Museum
· Executive Director (Heritage) in        Indian Railways
· Former UNESCO’s fulltime Expert    Consultant

Nai-yi Hsu

Nai-yi Hsu
Vice President (Taiwan)

· Former President of Railway            Cultural Society Taiwan
· Alishan Forester Railway, Sugar        train expert in Taiwan

Ripan Dhawan

Ripan Dhawan
Chief Communications Officer (India)

· Passionate Heritage enthusiast
· Working closely with Rail & Cultural Heritage in the Indian subcontinent.

Events and Conferences

Visit programme: September, India

23 Sep – 26 Sep: Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Experience
23 Sep (Mon): Arrival Delhi.
               24 Sep (Tue): Morning flight Delhi /Bagdogra and drive to Siliguri.
              ♦ 25 Sep (Wed): Day trip to experience DHR.
              ♦ 26 Sep (Thu): Drive Siliguri – Bagdogra and afternoon /evening flight to Delhi.

27th Sep (Fri): Conference at NRM Delhi
              ♦ Keynote address
              ♦ Morning session: ‘Steam Heritage’, ‘Museums’, ‘Indian Railway’
Afternoon: ‘Railway Stations’ and a ‘Session by APHTRO President, Mr. Kyoichi Oda’

28th Sep (Sat): Conference at NRM Delhi
              ♦ Morning sessions on ‘Tourism’ and ‘Industrial Heritage’
Afternoon – Vote of thanks and a talk on ‘strengthen APHTRO-NRM’

29th Sep’24 (Sun): DELHI
              ♦ Fairy queen Delhi to Rewari.
Drive back via Transport museum.

30 Sep -02 Oct: Nilgiri Mountain Railway Experience
              ♦ 30th Sep (Mon): Delhi /Coimbatore by flight.
01st Oct (Tue): Full day NMR experience.
03rd Oct (Thu): Flight Coimbatore /Delhi.
04th Oct (Fri): Departure Delhi

PS: Trips to Kalka Shimla Railway, Matheran Light Railway, Kangra Valley Railway, Palace on Wheels, Golden Triangle and others can be tailor-made.

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Visit programme: 18-24 November, Indonesia

  • Sawahlunto Railway Museum, steam train ride (World Heritage site)
  • Jaladara steam train in Solo city and Tasikmadu sugar mill steam train
  • Ambarawa Railway Museum, steam train ride
  • Cepu Forest Railway train ride
  • Jakarta Transport Museum
  • RAILWAY HERITAGE TRAIL TOUR in west Java (Optional)

Brochure and booking form Form

Sat. 17 December
1. Mr. Grant Craig, President of FRONZ “Federation of Rail Organisations of New Zealand”
2. Mr. Robert Pearce, Perth Electric Tramway Society
3. Dr. Siriphong Singapore Preutthipan, State Railway of Thailand “Thai Railway Foundation and Thai Railway Museum”

Sun. 18 December
1. Mr. Paul Mahony, Department of Conservation of New Zealand “Researching Forest Railways of Asia-Pacific
3. Mr. Ripan Dhawan, APHTRO Chief Communication Officer “APHTRO new web service”
4. Mr. Dicky, A.S. SOERIA-ATMADJA, “Railway Heritage Trail”

Sat. 4 December
A)     Railway Cultural Society Taiwan (three speakers)
1. Historic (old) Mountain in Taiwan (Mr. Youwei Liu)
2. Mysterious minecart railway in Keelung River Valley (Mr. Daniel Chien)
3. Presentation of Whole Area of Taipei Railway Workshop (Dr. Nai-Yi Hsu)

The Conference was to be held in Indonesia and plans included steam train rides (Cepu Forest Railway, Ambarawa and Jaladara steam train) and visits to Tasik Madu sugar mill and the railway museum in Ambarawa.

Held through the courtesy of Jordan Hejaz Railways. It included a couple of days train ride, visit to new railway museum and workshop.

Photo gallery

Rail Museums

Railway museums preserve our railway heritage, allowing a wonderful opportunity to explore and see the various aspects of the evolution and history of the rail transport over the years. Possibilities to see old locomotives, railway cars, trams, signalling equipment and many other memorabilia.

Upcoming Tours & Destination

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Rail Heritage

It's Time to Start Your Adventures

Epic Journeys on World Heritage Railways

For rail buffs, India offers a historic railway terminus and three mountain railways designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites. This includes the Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai; the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway in West Bengal; the Nilgiri Mountain Railway in Tamil Nadu and the Kalka– Shimla Railway in Himachal Pradesh. These three railways have been chosen for “outstanding examples of bold, ingenious engineering solutions… through rugged, mountainous terrain.” The historic steam engines on these routes are popularly known as ‘Toy Trains’ because of their miniature designs. They travel at a leisurely pace along mountain trails, allowing passengers to admire the scenic landscape.

Tourism possibilities with Heritage Rail

India’s first passenger train was operated by the Great Indian Peninsular Railway on 16th April 1853. Hauled by three steam locomotives with 14 carriages, it ran between Bori Bunder (Mumbai) to Thane covering a distance of 34 km with 400 people.

Heritage rails and their scenic memorable routes are not just mere tourist attractions, they are an integral part of the history of the land. A myriad of opportunities are available today to experience the many Heritage Rail Journeys in India and rekindle the memories of the golden age of rail travel when the journey and not the destination was of more essence.

Testimonials & Case Studies

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Join Us

Full Membership

Full membership is opened for following bodies;
a) National representative body of heritage and tourist rail sector within Asia – Pacific region.
b) Heritage and tourist railways or tramways, museums which exhibit rail heritage, rail enterprises
which operate heritage trains or trams and railway or tramway preservation group which keeps
at least one rolling stock or railway facility.
c) Other organisations and individuals as may be determined by the council.
Annual full membership fee is 50 USD.

Affiliate Membership

Affiliate membership is opened for those who are interested in rail heritage and want to support the organisation.
Annual affiliate membership fee is 25 USD.
Affiliate member has no voting right and does not be eligible for election to Council membership.

Click here for Membership Application Form


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Contact Us


2, DDA Commercial Complex, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi 110017

Email Us

info [dot] aphtro [at] gmail [dot] com

Call Us

+91 11 49211000

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