Sun, Oct 08, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Train fans in Kaohsiung relive old memories on the Kuanghua Express

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The driver and two former train conductors yesterday take photos with the Kuanghua Express at the Kaohsiung Train Station to mark the 40th anniversary of the train.

PHOTO: CNA

Railway enthusiasts swarmed into the lobby of the Kaohsiung Train Station yesterday to take a ride on the Kuanghua Express (光華號), which at one point was the most luxurious and fastest train in Taiwan.

The silver-white train departed from the Kaohsiung Station at 9:40am yesterday and headed toward Chaiyi. After arriving at the Chiayi Train Station, passengers boarded the Alishan train and left for Chuchi (竹崎) in Chiayi County. The entire trip wound up at 7:00pm.

To recreate the ambience of Taiwan's early train travel, organizers rented three old Kuanghua Express train cars from the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA).

They also tracked down two women who used to work in the service crew on the express train. Once again, in their old blue uniforms, they provided water and lunch boxes to the train passengers just as they did decades ago.

The train tour was held to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the express train and was hosted by the Taiwan Railway Club.

Tsai Bo-ming (蔡柏明), the club's chief planner for this event, said in an online statement that the Kuanghua Express was purchased from Japan in 1966 to celebrate the birthday of former dictator Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石).

Tsai added that the diesel-powered train could travel up to 110kph.

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