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Hualien offers steam locomotive trip to celebrate Railway Festival

2019/06/01 18:17:36

Photo courtesy of the TRA

Taipei, June 1 (CNA) A vintage steam locomotive will be returned to service for a 7-kilometer journey in eastern Hualien County on June 9 to celebrate Taiwan's Railway Festival.

Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) on Saturday unveiled the special journey from Hualien station to Hualien Port station, which will take a leisurely 30 minutes.

The train will make a two hour stop at Hualien Port so passengers can tour the area and then return to Hualien station, according to the TRA.

The journey between the two stations will be a unique experience because the line is used for freight transport not passenger trains, the TRA said.

"The Queen of Locomotives," an old TRA CT273 steam locomotive that was active until 1984, is the highlight of the event and will carry 200 passengers, the administration said.

Only the first 200 people who buy souvenir ticket sets marking the 132nd anniversary of Taiwan's railway will obtain a free coupon that can be used to board the train, which departs at 10:53 a.m., according to the TRA.

The souvenir ticket sets will go on sale at 8:30 a.m. on June 9 at Hualien station and cost NT$200 (US$6.2) per set, the railway operator said.

The tour is part of national celebrations for Taiwan's Railway Festival, which was introduced by the Kuomintang government in 1965 to commemorate the start of China's railroad industry during the Qing dynasty. However it is also being billed as the 132nd anniversary of the start of the railway industry in Taiwan in 1887.

(By Wang Shu-fen and Chi Jo-yao)