Labor of Love | Dan Edwards (Nepal)


Dan Edwards, a retired US senior administrator and Peace Corps Volunteer, has published a book titled Railways in Nepal, which enriched Nepal’s railway history

April 10, 2023


Dan Edwards

The Rana Rule was a golden era for introducing modern technology to Nepal. Despite political setbacks, Rana monarchs implemented several social changes and brought modern technologies to the nation.

At a time when many Nepalese political leaders, intellectuals, and experts are unaware of Nepal’s century-old railway history, Dan Edwards, a retired senior US bureaucrat who served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nepal (1966-68)  has reminded Nepalis of the long history in a great detailed archival talk.

Edwards has made an enormous contribution to Nepal’s history by publishing Railways in Nepal. Based on archival research and images, the book combines the history of transportation and technology into one package, revealing many unknown truths about Nepal’s railways.

Photo: Kanak Dixit/ Twitter

A significant number of people from many walks of life attended a presentation, which was moderated by journalist and rights activists and organized by Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya. In his presentation, Edwards discussed railway expansion. Despite Nepal’s century-long history of railways, Edwards is the first to publish a book with detailed archival collections.

Edwards is a retired senior US bureaucrat who served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal. He was a geography teacher at St. Xavier’s School and a public school in the Dhading district.

Westerners, notably Americans, have made significant contributions to Nepal’s history. Fr. Ludwig Francis Stiller (1928-2009), who was born in America and dedicated his life to Nepal, died as a Nepali citizen. Nepal’s history would be incomplete without his efforts.

Edwards contributed to Nepal’s railway history by releasing the book Railways in Nepal. “During his time as a peace corps volunteer, Edwards taught us geography at St. Xavier School,” said Kanak Mani Dixit.

Dixit stated in his introduction that the book had various documents and images that were unfamiliar to Nepali readers.

Edwards showed numerous key portions of Nepalese railways to former top administrators, historians, engineers, and journalists of various ages, including senior journalist Bhairab Risal.

Author Edwards’ presentation demonstrated that he worked hard to collect images and records about Nepal’s railways.

By Dan Edwards (Nepal 1966-68)
February 2023
338 pages; 440 illustrations
$67.09 (Paperback)
This book gives the history of Tarai forest railways in Nepal in the 1920s; the Nepal Government Railway (from Raxaul to Amlekhgunj, 1927-1968); the Motor (Trolley) Railway in the Kathmandu Valley (1933- c. 1957); the Koshi Project Railway (from Dharan to the Koshi Barrange, 1957- c. 1985); the Nepal Jaynagar-Janakpur Railway (1937-2014; re-opened in 2022); the Sirsiya (Birgunj) Inland Container Depot Yard (2005 to the present); the Harisiddhi Brick & Tile Factory industrial line (abandoned); an amusement park children’s railway in Kathmandu; and plans and progress during the past decade to build new railways in Nepal. The book has 328 pages with more than 440 illustrations.

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