Wed, Feb 07, 2018 - Page 3 News List

New ‘green’ train has first trial run

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Second to fourth left, Forestry Bureau Director-General Lin Hua-ching, Council of Agriculture Minister Lin Tsung-hsien, Transportation and Communications Minister Hochen Tan and other guests attend the launch of a train illustrated with wildlife images at Nangang Railway Station in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

A new train illustrated with images of animals to raise awareness of environmental issues yesterday had its first trial run from Taipei’s Nangang Railway Station to New Taipei City’s Fulong Railway Station.

A collaborative project between the Forestry Bureau and the Taiwan Railways Administration, the eight-carriage train is adorned with the illustrations of more than 20 animals, such as a pangolin, an African grass owl, a leopard cat, a Chinese box turtle and a frog.

Passengers can watch ecological films on the train.

Starting tomorrow, the train is to run on the west railway network from Keelung to Hsinchu, the bureau said, adding that it would also likely operate on the south railway network when necessary.

“The train is not merely a transportation tool, but also a platform for environmental education,” Forestry Bureau Director-General Lin Hua-ching (林華慶) said at a ceremony at Nangang Railway Station.

The animals live in the “borough-mountain” areas between the plains and mountains at altitudes below 1,000m, but most are not well-known species, Lin said, adding that the bureau hopes to make more passengers aware of them through the newly decorated train.

Starting this year, various government agencies are joining forces to create a national ecological “green” network, including projects such as eco-friendly farming, ecological forestation and insecticide reduction, he said.

In particular, the bureau is working with the Ministry of Transportation and Communications to install “wildlife pathways” in areas where animals are likely to be hit by traffic, Lin added.

Given the nation’s biological diversity, the ministry is trying to reduce the environmental impact of its construction projects, said Minister of Transportation and Communications Hochen Tan (賀陳旦), a former chairman of the Ecological Engineering Development Foundation.

The nation’s transportation infrastructure negatively affects wildlife habitats, but such consequences can be avoided if developers conduct thorough ecological surveys before a project begins, Hochen said, urging people to be more aware of the issue of roadkill.

People used to pay scant attention to efforts to preserve the nation’s natural heritage, Council of Agriculture Minister Lin Tsung-hsien (林聰賢) said, adding that people could support farmers adopting eco-friendly methods of agriculture by purchasing their produce.

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