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Map of the Thai-Burma Rail Link
The instigator and driving force behind the Centre's research work is long-time Kanchanaburi resident Rod Beattie, now the Centre's Museum Curator. Originally from Queensland, Australia, Rod has spent much of the last ten years uncovering the location of the abandoned section of the railway and former campsites.
Having met and talked with a large number of former prisoners of war or members of their families and having read widely of the subject, two factors became apparent to Rod.
Firstly there is a great need to provide the answers to the most asked questions from visitors coming to Kanchanaburi. "My father (grandfather, brother, uncle) died on the railway. Where? When? How?" Apart from a few unit histories (official and unofficial) and an equally small number of books providing details of small groups of soldiers, there has been no serious attempt to provide the answers which would give a great deal of comfort to the relatives of more than 15,000 allied personnel who died whilst prisoners of war, working on the railway, or afterwards.
The start to answering these questions is to know exactly where the railway ran, and where all of the numerous camps were located. To this end Rod has spent much of the past ten years locating all of the accessible abandoned railway in Thailand, including long sections which are normally covered by the waters of the Vachiralongkorn Dam.
The second phase of this research work was the drawing of perhaps the first comprehensive map of the full length of the railway. This map shows the location of all railway stations, camps and any other points of major interest.