Wed, May 25, 2005 - Page 13 News List

Trains cater to tourists

Traveling around Taiwan by train takes in the country's scenic attractions and avoids the traffic. photos courtesy of Taiwan Railway Administration

STAFF REPORTER

While traveling on any one of the Tourist Trains certainly has its benefits, they are certainly not the quickest way to ride the rails. Although operated by Taiwan Railways, the Tourist Trains are not priority traffic and do, on occasion, grind to a halt at some small rural train station in order to allow regular express-locomotive-driven commuter traffic to pass.

Tickets for the Tourist Trains can be booked via EZ Travel's Web site or at one of three tour companies operating out of Taipei Railway Station. Individual tickets for travel on these trains can also be purchased directly from Taiwan Railways' ticketing offices. Hotel accommodation and any additional travel costs to and from tourist spots are not included, however.

Package tours on the Tourist Trains range from NT$2,300 to NT$25,000, depending on the route and the length of stay in any one hotel/resort. The number of Tourist Train carriages is limited, and trains can only accommodate between 120 to 175 people in tourist comfort. On weekdays this makes little difference to availability of tickets, but if you plan to travel weekends, it is advisable to book seats at least two weeks in advance.

For Taiwan Railways info, log on to www.railway.gov.tw/index_ok.htm. The site has up-to-date schedules and timetables in both English and Chinese.

Tickets and train timetables can also be checked in both Chinese and English at train2.twtraffic.com.tw/TaiTrain/time.html.

For EZ-Travel Tourist Train packages, log on to eztravel.com.tw/package1/taiwan_train.htm. This site is only available in Chinese.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top