Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway
A 16 mile return journey by narrow gauge steam train through beautiful Mid Wales countryside.

rcIntroduction of Taisugar Railways

Introduction of Taisugar Railways

©2019 Taiwan Sugar Corporation. All rights reserved.

Sugar trains are narrow-gauged and thus are nicknamed “Wu-fen” trains or the mini-trains in Mandarin. They carry passengers besides sugarcane, bearing not only the responsibility of the booming of the industry but the duty of transportation. After almost a century, sugar trains seem to be past its prime. However, the history, the industry, and the cultural values connecting with sugar trains do not decrease even a bit. The story of sugar trains has not yet finished but to be continued, and even brings brand new impressions to the public.

In retrospect of the development of sugar train by looking at photos, the sugar railway is an important part of the sugar industry. Due to that farms and factories are interwoven into a radioactive network with sugar mills as the core, supporting huge industry and the local development. In addition to sugar transportation, it has also extended to the business of passenger transportation and cargo carrying. Internal combustion locomotives were introduced with phased plans to update power technology. Besides, the North-South Parallel Prepare Railways was also constructed then to start anti-communist trains.

The first sugar railway started in 1907 and was used by a steam locomotive. The first passenger car line " Xinying to Yanshui" started in 1909. The sugar railway network was nearly 3,000 km long in the heyday around 1957. In 1982, the last passenger line " Chiayi to Beigang" ceased operating. It goes without saying that the sugar train links local people and its culture.

Combining the sugar industry culture and tourism, the old sugar factories have transformed themselves into diverse cultural parks. Currently there are five sugar train routes in operation, bringing visitors to explore the sugar culture. For example, tourists will see the beautiful 346 Steam Locomotive at Xihu Sugar Railway Cultural Park, and the antique wooden train station at Suantou Zhecheng Cultural Park near Taiwan High Speed Rail Chiayi Station and Southern Branch of the National Palace Museum. In addition, tourists can experience a sugar train ride at the so-called sugar train’s hometown at Wushulin Park. A depot and a cement sleeper workshop located in Xinying Sugar Railway Cultural Park are used for maintenance of sugar train engines and making concrete sleepers. Lastly, the modern recreation area of Kaohsiung Flower Farm Centre and Sugar Museum provides a relaxing atmosphere where visitors can easily enjoy the pastoral sceneries during the sugar train ride as well as the cultural heritage and assets like the Baroque historical buildings and factory tours.

  • Xihu Sugar Railway Cultural Park

Xihu Sugar Factory is the only one left in Changhua County. It stopped its sugar business and became a cultural park in 2002 and was certified as Environmental Education Facilities and Venues in 2016. The grand factory area preserves the complete factory buildings, the sugar-making machines, the locomotives of carrying sugar cane, the sugar train station and the railway texture, which makes it become the main spot of keeping the sugar industry's cultural in central Taiwan. Regularly, at the end of year, people are welcomed to attend the Sugar Railway Cultural Festival which was the most representative activity of the park. The operation of sugar trains from Xihu to the old Zhuoshui station started from 2007 and changed to transport the passengers instead of sugar cane. The round-trip of visiting train goes about 7 kilometers including Changhua Plain and the old Zhoushui Stream, which takes 50 minutes and provides a thorough experience of sugar railway culture.

More information: https://tsc14.taisugar.com.tw/eng/content/index.aspx?Parser=1,12,76

The historic building of Xihu Sugar Train Station was built in 1921. It was the transfer station of sugar train and Taiwan Railway to carry both the sugar cane and the passengers.

In 2017 Sugar Railway Cultural Festival, steam locomotive 346, gasoline locomotive 524, inspection car 135, and diesel locomotive 827 gathered to march side by side. It had become a spotlight in the festival.

Steam Locomotive 346 carried the passengers to cross the Zhoushui Stream.

  • Suantou Zhecheng Cultural Park

Let's take the sugar train and listen to the tour guide's introduction to enjoy an artistic and historical journey! The crisscrossing railways and the old trains witness the rise and fall of Taiwan's sugar industry. The chime of the hundred-year-old bell at Suantou Station launches our nostalgic experience. Heading to Taiwan High-Speed Rail Chiayi Station outside the factory, deep into the Jianan Plain, and then back to the factory cultural area. You can look around the factory area to enjoy the view including the factory facilities, the Japanese dormitories, and sugar railway carriages. The total length of the route is about 5.3 km and takes about 35 minutes. Begin your wonderful weekend with your family and friends from the Suantou Zhecheng Cultural Park!

More information: https://www.taisugar.com.tw/chinese/Attractions_detail.aspx?n=10048&s=89&p=77

Suantou Sugar Train Station, which is a Chiayi county-designated monument, was built in 1930. It is a wooden station and has a waiting room, the office room, three red brick platforms and three railway lines.

A variety of special carriages displayed in the cultural park.

Sugar Trains are modified to carry visitors

650 Steam Locomotive is not only displayed here, Dougal Steam Locomotive borrowed from Wales also leaves a memorable footprint.

  • Xinying Sugar Railway Cultural Park

Xinying Sugar Trains ran on the first business line of sugar railway in Taiwan in 1909. The factory still retains the complete railway facilities. The Xinying Sugar Railway is the longest of all sightseeing sugar railways. It starts from Xinying Station, goes through Zhongxing Station, railroad crossing, Jishuixi Bridge, Guo-yi-ho signal box, the residence of Wu Jinhuai, and old Balaoye Station, at last reaches the rural Jianan Plain. It takes 30 minutes to reach the cows' house of Balaoye Station. Spending one hour to have a round trip to make you relax and enjoy its fresh surrounding.

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The prestressed concrete bridge, which used to be set up for the route across many railway tracks, is changed to become an entrance image of the park now.

This is the new depot built in 1974. It also provides a place to park the various locomotives and to do the maintenance routine.

This is the Shunfeng internal combustion locomotive no. 54 which was bought in 1948. Steam locomotives 382 located at a further far distance.

  • Wushulin Park

Wushulin Sugar Factory was built in 1910. Wushulin Station was finished in 1946 and became an important transfer station between Xinying, Baihe, and Dongshan. Although the sugar factory was shut down in 1983, the Wushulin Sugar Train began to operate again in 2001 and run for carrying the tourists after many persons' efforts. The park remains the original view of sugar railways at that time and preserves the space and tools for production which recall abundant memories. There are not only various locomotives and trains but also antique sugar railway buildings. Exhibition halls in the park include railway hall, earthquake hall, pottery hall, and art hall. Wushulin Park combines the sugar industry heritages with education, culture, and recreation

More information: http://www.wslin.com.tw/photos.asp?nsub=B0A0D0

Wushulin Station was built in 1946. The Japanese style and Banyan trees make the station even more magnificent.

The Passenger Cars were the favorite way of transportation for the students in central and southern Taiwan. In 2011, Victory and Success started to operate again and recall all memories in the past.

Inspection car no. 111 was born in 1921 and made of Hinoki. It is the most ancient inspection car that now is displayed in the park.

The retired station manager of Wushulin Station, Lin Haixi, commanded the rural trains. The passengers took the sugar train and recall the sweet moments along the pastoral roads.

  • Kaohsiung Flower Farm Center /Taiwan Sugar Museum

Come on! Let's take the sugar train in Ciaotou Sugar Factory!

The sugar train station is near to Kaohsiung MRT and Taiwan Main Railway Line. Three types of railway gauge form a special scene in the adjacent areas. The sugar trains connect Kaohsiung Flower Farm Center and Ciaotou Sugar Refinery metro station(Exit 3) . Two places offer travelling back and forth on a ride. The railway was originally the track being used to carry sugar cane by oxcart and then became the starting point for Taiwan's sugar railway for steam locomotives.

More information: https://tsc35.taisugar.com.tw/eng/content/index.aspx?Parser=1,12,93

The depot is where the sugar trains do the maintenance routine. Due to its roof looks like"人"(means “people” in Chinese) in double, it is called the double people shaped depot.

Compared to the grand trees, the tiny sugar trains are lovely. The outdoor demonstration of sugar trains keeps the Xizhou and Hitachi locomotives, box cane car, and track maintenance car, etc.

The sugar train in Ciaotou Sugar Factory is near to MRT Exit. It's very convenient for a whole family member to have an enjoyable railway journey.

©2019 Taiwan Sugar Corporation. All rights reserved.