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Alishan Forest Railway

 

Main Line

  The investigation, survey, planning, and design of the Alishan Forest Railway began in 1904 by the Taiwan Governor-General Office for transporting logs from Alishan. The construction was started in 1906 by the Fujita Group, which continued railway's operations after completion. The service of the railway from Chiayi to Erwanping of 66.6km long in total started in December 1912.. Later on the railway was extended and branch lines were built to align with logging business development. Some branch lines were demolished after their use was over, and only the main line and some major branch lines survived. At present, the railway from Chiayi to Alishan is 71.4km long in total, and it is one of the famous mountain railways in the world. Although was designed preliminarily for log transportation, it also provide uphill and downhill transportation for people living in the mountain area and daily necessities. Due to the rapid development of the forest recreational area and tourism in recent years, the diesel train replaced the steam train in 1962 to cope with the travel demand of increasing visitors. The railway's business purpose changed from log transportation to passenger transportation, and gradually toward mountain tourism train. In 1984, the Alishan Express was added to the service to shorten travel time to three and a quarter hours and provide visitors with more comfortable and convenient service. To support the Railway Legend event organized by the Chiayi City Culture Center, in February 1999, the steam locomotive 26 was restored and restated service from Beimen to Jhuci. From then on, taking the "blackhead" train has become a popular and fashionable recreation.

 

 

Reference: https://www.railway.gov.tw/Alishan-en/index.aspx?sn=18072&n=20678