Taiwan's president told: Build a railway museum

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TAIPEI, Taiwan – Railroad historian Su Chao-yu recently met with Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou and gave him this message: Taiwan needs a national railway museum. Their conversation was streamed on the Office of President’s website, the China Post has reported.

Su said Taiwan has a rich railway culture, which many foreign railroad fans would find attractive. He said Taiwan should step up and promote its “train culture” internationally. Su, who has written 30 railway-related books, said many countries have national railway museums. In Taiwan the five major railway networks, including the high speed train system, have their own museums, but a new body must be set up to coordinate these resources, he said.

Su, an assistant professor of transportation from a university in southern Taiwan, noted that many Japanese visitors love traveling around Taiwan by train. He added that Taiwan could invite more Japanese visitors to travel around the island by train, which he described as a form of railway diplomacy.

The president agreed that the railway culture could help Taiwan find an “outlet” in terms of international relations. He did not commit to having his administration build a museum, but said collaboration between the government and private sectors can help preserve Taiwan’s railway culture in the future.
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