Sat, Nov 08, 2008 - Page 4 News List

Alishan railway path opens to bicycle traffic

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

A bicycle path along the nation’s only mountain railway opened to the public yesterday, allowing cyclists to enjoy breathtaking scenery on Alishan (阿里山), officials said.

The route, which links Luman Village (鹿滿) in Chuchi Township (竹崎), Chiayi County, with the township’s train station, winds along Taiwan’s renowned Alishan Forest Railway, representatives said from the township and the Forestry Bureau’s Chiayi Forest District, which co-planned the route.

The 2,565m-long cycle path cost more than NT$20 million (US$609,000) to build.

It is constructed alongside the railway, on which trains moves at only 16kph, allowing cyclists to keep pace with passing trains, district director Yang Hung-chih (楊宏志) said at the opening.

Yang said the path would remind local residents of childhood days spent chasing trains on bicycles.

He said that Lumachan Train Station, where the cycle path begins, was constructed in 1910 during the Japanese colonial period and is now a historic building.

The Alishan Forest Railway ascends from 30m to 2,216m with the use of zigzagging mountain tracks.

It passes through 72 bridges and 47 tunnels along the way.

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