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There is something magical for me, about train rides whether slow steam hauled locals or super high speed expresses that criss cross parts of Asia and Europe. Today’s seven train ride on three separate railway lines managed to combine slow and fast trains, scenery and amazing food into a beautiful day trip on the Jiji Railway.
Location and Orientation
The Jiji Line (in Manadari 集集線), is a branch line of the Taiwan Railways located in the Changhua and Nantou Counties. It’s terminus is almost at the geographical centre of Taiwan.
Built by the Japanese government to bring materials and people power to build the Mingtan Hydroelectric Plant in 1922, the line was used to transport timber and then it was reinvented as a tourist railway. Locals use the line but they are outnumbered by people who come from all over Taiwan. There were a few non Taiwanese. I encountered one bus load of mainland Chinese tourists (who did not actually ride the train) and several hundred Taiwanese school students.
It was severely damaged in the Jiji Earthquake and had to be closed twice to repair damages. The Earthquake’s impact can be seen in a few places (see below).
The length of the line is 29.7km. There are seven stations (with their Chinese characters):
The jiji line has only one track with a couple of passing points so trains services have to operate around that bottle neck. The result is that there are just 12 services each way. NB not all go to the end of the line.
I took the second service of the day to Checheng (at the end of the line) and rode back stopping along the way. If you have noted the timetable down, ts easy to do.
This article first appeared on wildabouttravel.boardingarea.com
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