After publishing The Taiwan Railway: 1966-1970 (台灣鐵路:1966-1970) last year, writer Loren Aandahl has announced the planned publication of his second book, Taiwan Railway: 1970-2002, at the end of this month and held a book-signing event in advance yesterday.
Aandahl, a US citizen and railway enthusiast who lived in Taiwan with his parents for 16 years between 1954 and 1970, took dozens of pictures of Taiwanese railways in those days, helping preserve Taiwan’s railway history.
Because at the time martial law was still in effect across Taiwan, taking photographs of railways and other forms of transportation was strictly forbidden, making Aandahl’s photos, which are in color, all the more precious.
At the time, Aandahl pretended not to understand Mandarin when stopped by the military or police.
Aandahl visited Taiwan 13 times between 1971 and 2002, taking more photographs of Taiwan’s new railway facilities and routes.
According to the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA), Aandahl’s second book captures the various stages of Taiwan’s railway development over the past three decades.
The second book records the route of the north link line when it was first introduced, the transition from the steam and diesel powered trains in the early 1970s to the electric-powered trains during the Ten Major Infrastructure Projects period, as well as the introduction of the first generation Tzuchiang-class (自強) trains.
The book also includes photos from other US citizens who have lived in Taiwan over the past three decades, the TRA said.
Some of the trains depicted have long been decommissioned, so it is only in these pictures that one can see them in action, the TRA said, calling Aandahl a true friend to Taiwan’s railways.