Also known as Chinese Taipei, Taiwan is claimed by China as
a province and not recognised by the United Nations or by most countries
of the world. However, it is to all intents and purposes a country in its
own right with a vigorous domestic economy and international trade.
The first railway on the island then known as Formosa opened in 1891
from Taipei to Kee Lung, a distance of 29km.
The first lines were built to a gauge of 3ft 6in (1067mm) and
form the basis of the present day main line network. There were also
a number of 2ft 6in (762mm) gauge lines serving the logging and
sugar cane industries.
In 2007, a new high speed line was opened, built to standard gauge
(1435mm). This line is some 345km in length and links the capital,
Taipei, in the north, to the major southern city of Kaohsiung.
- Taiwan Railway
- Taiwan High Speed Rail
- Alishan Forest Railway steeply graded 2ft 6in
(762mm) gauge line running for over 70km from Chaiyi via Alishan to
Zhushan. Built as a logging railway, now a tourist line into the Alishan
National Scenic Area. The main line runs from Chiayi to Alishan, Zhushan
was served by early morning trains to observe the sunrise. The line
closed in 2011 following an accident, necessitating extensive repairs
and rehabilitation. The section between Chaiyi and Fenqihu reopened in
2014. Diesel railcars, at least one return train from Chaiyi each day.
Work to reopen the remaining section continues; passengers may travel
from Fenqihu to Alishan by local bus.
- Taipingshan Choo Choo Train 2ft 6in (762mm)
gauge line between Tuchang and Maoxing, about 2.5km. Diesel hauled.
Part of the former Luodong Forest Railway. Operates daily, except for
2 days each month when it is closed for maintenance.
- Taiwan Sugar Railway short 2ft 6in (762mm)
gauge line in Kaohsiung connecting the Sugar Museum and the Flower
Farm Garden Center. Diesel hauled. The line is a remnant of the once
extensive network of narrow gauge lines serving the sugar cane
industry. Operates every day.
- Wulai Mini-Train 2ft 6in (762mm) gauge line
about 1.6km in length connecting the village of Wulai with the nearby
waterfall. Purpose built open sided passenger trains operating on a
section of former logging railway. Operates every day.
- Taichung proposed Metro (No website
located at present)
Flag image from Wikipedia