“A rare tour of a closer look at train structure and the process of disassembling a train; besides, the display of the retired trains built in different periods is a must-do tour for railway fans.”
Taking the scheduled train on the forest railway from Chiayi Station to Beimen station and walking for another 350m, visitors can arrive at the “Beimen Repair Plant” established during the period of Japanese rules in Taiwan ; it’s currently located in “Chiayi Garage Park.” Whose complete operation started in 1912; the garage was mainly for repairing various kinds of locomotives, passenger trains, and cargo trains belonging to the Alishan Forest Railway, and it has a history lasting more than a hundred years.
The 1st level maintenance operation will be carried out at the Former Beimen Station as a part of the daily examination. The repair plant was like the car maintenance center; when 2nd or 3rd level maintenance was needed, the trains would be sent to the site. In the workshop, various kinds of repair machinery and parts of trains can be seen everywhere. The technicians would elevate the train and go into the maintenance gap to examine the bottom of the train. To those who love the mechanical structure of trains, this tour is a rare opportunity for a close-up look at the train structure and the process of disassembling a train. There are several precious retired trains preserved in the park: the steam train, diesel locomotive, motor-powered vehicles, passengers and cargo trains; besides this, visitors can have a close look at the trains built in the different periods of the hundred-year-old railway culture. On holidays, you may have the chance to see the running Alishan Cypress Wooden Carrige.
Generally, a steam train in people’s typical impression has a longer carriage, and there are two long rods crossing at the front side to operate the train. The steam train on the Alishan Forest Railway was the SHAY locomotive built by American Lima Locomotive Works; with its rarely-seen vertical cylinders, which are very rare indeed in the world’s steam train list, the piston moves vertically to push the crank that drives the roller. The bevel gears used on the wheel can shorten the locomotive to overcome the rough terrain of the Alishan Forest Railway and the fast elevated session of log transport. The train has been transformed into a chartered tourist train and now operates according to reserved schedules; it’s the world’s most rarely seen operational narrow gauge railway.
Built from cypress wood, the Alishan Cypress Wooden Carrige allows passengers to experience the atmosphere filled with the enchanting aroma of the Alishan Cypress. The appearance of the train imitates the VIP vehicle exclusively for the Japanese Royal Family in 1925. It runs a charter service scheduled every Saturday and Sunday between Chiayi Station and Chiayi Garage Park. Visitors who don’t have enough travel time to take the full route of the Alishan Forest Railway are suggested to experience the small session train-ride in the slow-paced trip in Chiayi. The ticket is available in Chiayi Station or Beimen Station at the site.
【Chiayi Garage Park】
1. Except for the non-accessible areas, people are welcome to pay visits to the park. No admission fee is charged.
2. For related information of the Alishan Steam Train and Cypress Train, please go to the “Alishan Forest Railway Online Ticketing System” for inquiry.
- Address: No. 2, Linsen W. Rd., East Dist., Chiayi City
- Park Opening Hours: 08:00 – 18:00, from Monday to Sunday.
The “Repair Plant” is not open to visitors without reservation. People who would like to visit can book the journeys offered on our official website; the reserved guided tour service is included in the tour package. The guide tour hours are from 9:00 to 9:30 am, and all visitors are required to put on safety gear before entering.