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Blog Entry# 1678849
Posted: Dec 13 2015 (21:36)

2 Responses
Last Response: Dec 14 2015 (16:48)
Rail Fanning
Dec 13 2015 (21:36)  
Guest: 7fc2c491   show all posts
Entry# 1678849            Tags   Past Edits
Reference: /blog/post/1677622
========== Story about Rail Enthusiasts of Taiwan =========
Taiwan’s train enthusiasts are not only keen train hobbyists, but also
pioneers in preserving Taiwan’s dwindling railway heritage.
On a warm, sunny morning in July 2009, scores of senior high school students stood out clearly on the platform of the Hsinchu Railway Station, not only because there was a large number of them, but also because of their “weird” behavior. Some were racing about with their cameras in order to snap the best shots of an oncoming train, while others were talking loudly about the role of railroads in Taiwan’s industrial development, as well as about their recent experiences with train travel. Although they may have been acting oddly, at least compared to typical teenagers, the students shared one thing in common: there was an excited and eager expression on their faces.These students were attending a six-day “rail camp” organized by a student club at National Chiao Tung University (NCTU) called, somewhat officiously, the Rail Institute. The club’s primary activities include offering short railway trips to popular tourist attractions and introductory courses on managing clubs devoted to trains. Since 2001, the camp has been held annually in the summer to give senior high school students around Taiwan a chance to join in the fun. “By blending knowledge and travel together, our camp activities aim to translate childhood dreams into action,” says Tsai Yue-gao, one of the current leaders of the Rail Institute.Although the fascination with trains has been around, at least for some, since the first railroads began to operate in England in the 1820s, the word “railfan” is a relatively new invention and does not show up in many printed dictionaries. In practice, the term is generally used to describe a person interested in rail transport. The hobby can extend to any aspect of the railway system, and various railfans have their own particular concentrations of interest. Therefore, hobbyists who ride, study, photograph and film trains can all be called “railfans.” Rail enthusiasts can be found all over the world, and many big bookstores in countries like the United States, Britain and Japan carry specialist magazines and books about their respective railway systems.In Taiwan, NCTU’s Rail Institute was founded on June 9, 1988—a date chosen because June 9 is Taiwan’s official Railroad Day—becoming the island’s first college student rail club. The first leader of the club was Jen Heng-yi, who is now an assistant professor at Yuan Ze University’s Department of Industrial Engineering and Management. Jen and other club members worked hard to release the first issue of what became Taiwan’s best-known railfan publication, Rail News, in 1989. Written in neat black script and containing only a few pages, it soon caught the eye of Taiwan’s railfans and became their most important source of railway information.To continue its development, the club began reaching out to off-campus railfans, and soon began attracting people from all walks of life. In the years following the establishment of the institute, other rail-related groups were set up one by one, including those at National Taiwan University and Tamkang University in Taipei, as well as one at National Cheng Kung University in Tainan, southern Taiwan. Later, as Jen and the founding members of the NCTU club left their student days behind, they established Taiwan’s first private rail association, the Railway Culture Society (RCS), in 1995.Today, the NCTU club has around 20 members, all of whom share a passion for trains and the desire to introduce more people to their hobby. Although still in their early 20s, the knowledge possessed by these young railfans should not be underestimated, as they know Taiwan’s railway history by heart and are capable of reeling off all kinds of information and stories about trains. Some can even easily recite the names of all the railway stations along the western coast of Taiwan, from north to south or vice versa. More surprisingly, some can even draw, from memory, their own detailed graphs plotting the location and frequency of passenger train operations, covered in jagged data curves. Asked when trains are scheduled to pass through any given place, these members can quickly tell you the correct answers, counting the trains off on their fingers as they go.
For more details please refer: click here
Author of this Article: DENNIS CHANG
Date of Publication: 1st February 2010
Attached Image: Members of NCTU’s Rail Institute happily show off the railway memorabilia that fill the club’s office. (Photo by Huang Chung-hsin)

7 Posts

Dec 14 2015 (16:29)
Afraaz suhail 🚂🚄🚅
AfraazSuhail^~   6720 blog posts
Re# 1678849-11            Tags   Past Edits
Great enthusiasts

Dec 14 2015 (16:48)
Guest: 7fc2d147   show all posts
Re# 1678849-12            Tags   Past Edits
Rail Enthusiasts of Taiwan are awesome....
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