The photos below are not included in the book and are intended to give the reader more context and depth into the circumstances surrounding The Peking Express story. In time, more photos will be posted, obtained through archival sources and family records from around the world.
The Shanghai Bund in 1923, a mile-long stretch of stately buildings lining the western bank of the Whangpoo River. In 1923 Shanghai had a population of thirty-five thousand foreigners and two million Chinese. You could live a modern, urbane life in Shanghai the same way you could in any major city of the West, never encountering the rural, impoverished China that lay just beyond the city limits.
The Shanghai-Nanking Railway Station in 1923. Where The Peking Express began its journey, full of prominent and wealthy passengers.
Eight Li (2.5 miles) south of Lincheng The Peking Express was derailed by 1000 bandits.
The old Lincheng Train Station—built with cut stone and German technology in 1912—is still standing strong and preserved at the Zaozhuang West Railway Station (枣庄西站) in Shandong Province.
For more than a decade, rival warlords settled scores by resorting to arms, and after each battle defeated soldiers scattered for survival. Poor and starving, most sought to be reinstated into an army, anyone’s army. Or they became outlaws.
The bandit army was a mixed bag, a compound of combustible elements: drug addicts, starving peasants, ex-soldiers of fortune, and gravediggers from the killing fields of Europe—men who had seen the backside of Hell and who knew life was cheap, men who had nothing left to lose.