Updated on: June 30, 2018
Alishan Forest Railway was the brainchild of Japanese colonial government back in the 1906 where they discovered a seemingly endless supply of valuable trees and it took them almost 20 years of constructing the perilous railway routes reaching the highest point ever in Taiwan railway history – Zhushan station at an altitude of 2,451 meters above sea level to facilitate logging.
Alishan line being the main line, is the longest line with multiple steep gradients and one can enjoy the amazing climate changes throughout the train ride through the mysterious foggy forest.
Take a jig jag choo choo train on the zhushan line to catch the morning sunrise across jade mountain, enjoy the picturesque Alishan mountain view or hike through the sacred forest giant tree trails where millennia-old cypress and yellow cedar trees dwell within at the Zhaoping station.
If you ever wondered how these little trains navigate and ascend the Alishan mountains or how do they facilitate direction changes, look no further.
Alishan Garage Park 阿里山森林鐵路車庫園區 is a secret hideout located at the base of Alishan forest railway not known to many, even locals. While this garage used to service the steam trains used to ferry visitors and necessities around Alishan mountain, it has since become a treasure trove of old school “blackhead” steam locomotive, diesel engines, earlier version of transport – cypress carriages amongst many other trains and equipments after the 2009 typhoon morakot suspended the entire train service. Truely a blessing in disguise to train fanatics!
Head down to this amazing garage for the answers to your questions or simply enjoy the nostalgic feel of riding in a traditional train.
It is indeed amazing to see the extent to which humans would go to in a bid to obtain riches and the irony is that without the greed of human nature, we would never be able to enjoy such a magnificient scenery and explore Alishan the way we can today. After years of restoration, train services finally got back on track in 2016.