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Taiping mountain forest railway to be reopened in September

2018/08/17 19:55:10

Photo courtesy of Luodong Forest District Office

Taipei, Aug. 17 (CNA) The popular forest railway in the Taipingshan National Forest Recreation Area in Yilan County will soon resume service after being shut down for six years due to damage caused by typhoons.

Rides on the Bong Bong train on the 3-kilometer-long narrow-gauge forest rail line from Taipingshan Villa to Maosing Station will start again in September, Wu Ssu-i (吳思儀), a division chief at the Forestry Bureau's Luodong district office, said Friday.

Bong Bong train services, so named because of the "Bong Bong" sound the train makes, were suspended in August 2012 when Typhoon Saola made landfall in Hualien County and damaged the forest railway, Wu said.

The service -- one of the most popular tourist attractions in the forest recreation area -- was scheduled to be restored in 2015 but because of new damage caused by two typhoons that year, the resumption of service was postponed.

Now most Bong Bong train facilities have been repaired or renovated and are currently undergoing safety tests, Wu said.

A single ride on the nostalgic forest train, which used to transport timber before logging operations on Taipingshan (Taiping Mountain) were officially shut down in 1982, lasts about 20 minutes.

After the service is resumed, each train of 10 yellow cars will be able to carry up to 90 passengers and will run every hour, with the first departure at 7:30 a.m. and the last one at 2:30 p.m., according to Wu.

(By Wang Chao-yu and Elizabeth Hsu)
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