School of Commerce, Meiji University, Tokyo, Japan
This research focuses on heritage railways in terms of local revitalization. According to the definition of Office of Rail and Road (ORR) in the UK, heritage railways are “lines of local interest’, museum railways or tourist railways that preserve, recreate or simulate railways of the past; or demonstrate or operate historical or special types of motive power or rolling stock”. This means that heritage railways play a vital role in connecting the local areas with tourists, functioning as tourist attractions. Based on the fact that those who ride or see heritage railways can experience authenticity of historical carriages or locomotives, heritage railways are equivalent to heritage tourism that provide tourists with tourism experiences related to or derived from historical sites. Therefore, heritage railways have the possibility of attracting tourists and revitalizing the local areas. Heritage railways in the UK have been preserved by railway preservation society. It is said that it can be traced to the Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society in 1950. During the 1950s and 1960s, the introduction of diesel locomotives drove the mass withdrawal of steam locomotives and the Beeching Report triggered the closure of thousands of miles of railway lines, that accelerated the formation of the heritage railway movements in the UK to maintain means of transportation in the local areas. Fortunately, most heritage railways have historical and traditional railway corridor landscapes that can be used as a valuable means of tourist attractions, and this leads to now more than 100 heritage railways when narrow gauge railways and tramways are included. The concept of the chronotopoes created by Bakhtin has been applied in this research because it serves to analyze the relationship between heritage railways and railway corridor landscapes. Bakhtin (1895-1975), one of major social philosophers and cultural theorists, reveals the structurally motivated concept of time and space, calling it the chronotopes. He insists that the concept of the chronotopes presents the intrinsic connectedness of temporal and spatial relationships in the abstract formulation. This purports that it is a way of seeing time in the spatial world, too. In other words, the chronotopes show us the significance of consistency between heritage railways and railway corridor landscape in terms of the time dimension not only to create reality but also to revitalize the local areas.
Relevant Links: A Japanese-English Comparative History Study on Railways and Heritage Tourism (ingentaconnect.com)
Railways in the UK and Japan: Heritage tourism focus (openaccessgovernment.org)
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