Discovering Taiwan's 19 Most Beautiful Train Stations

The beauty of Taiwan lies in the blue sea and sky, but sometimes it can be found in fleeting glimpses outside a window or in the towns we pass by. We have carefully selected the 19 most beautiful train stations in Taiwan, ranging from those with artistic and cultural significance, to those with stunning scenery and historical significance. Some of them are in remote locations that can only be reached by train. Let's appreciate the beauty of Taiwan's railways and embark on an affordable and unique journey together!

Hou tong (cat village) station

As soon as you leave Houdong Train Station, you are greeted by a multitude of "cats". Houdong Train Station is one of the few remaining rustic train stations of the Taiwan Railway, and the abandoned factories of mining companies nearby add to the station's sense of history. The village is surrounded by lush green mountains, with traditional Japanese-style houses and a small stream running through it. And don't forget the unique cat train conductor "Black Nose"!

SAN mo ling station

Sandiaoling Station is located at the junction of the Yilan Line and Pingxi Line, and the neighboring station is the famous "Cat Village" Houdong. The front door of the station faces the grass and the valley, and the other end of the platform is a mountain wall with only abandoned houses on both sides. The pollution from coal washing in the past is no longer there and has been replaced by the beautiful green water flowing between strange rocks and caves in the valley, which is stunning. The station platform next to the mountain wall often sees mountain springs flowing down after rain, and is known as the "waterfall on the platform", and it is also a good choice to visit the Pingxi Line on the way to Sandiaoling Station.

Sicheng Station

Many cities in Taiwan will transform old train stations into railway culture squares, such as Kaohsiung Station which retains the appearance of the Japanese colonial period. In addition to preserving history and culture, it is also a way to retain the memories of the past and hope and expectation for the future. Yilan Station has chosen to transform the area formerly occupied by the railway bureau into an urban square with a theme based on the illustrations of Jimmy Liao, making it a unique combination of two completely different styles.

Winterhill station

The main line in the east is filled with beautiful scenery at every station. The design of Yilan Dongshan Station is inspired by the idea of a "melon hut", with metal bars simulating the overlapping arcs of vines covering the station, making it very unique in shape. The best place to appreciate Dongshan Station is at the Dongshan River Forest Park on the north side of the station. Just climb up to the railway tunnel in the park, and you can see the entire form of the station, making it an excellent spot to photograph trains. In addition, when it comes to overlooking Guishan Island, compared to other locations in Yilan, this is the angle that looks most like a turtle.
The famous scenic spot "Qingshui Cliff" on the Su-Hua Highway is located between Hualien and Ren Station and Chongde Station, but due to the coastline, the cliff can only be clearly seen from the Chongde side. On the platform, one can feel the oppressive feeling of the west side cliff towering up; if one moves towards the seaside, one can fully observe the highest-level beauty of the mountain range vertical into the sea and the highway cutting through it. The majestic power of nature and the firm will of mankind to conquer nature are all on display.

Dongli station

Dongli Station is a simple small station that was once a major passenger station on the eastern trunk line during the era of agricultural economy. Its platform is at a height of about three floors and has become an excellent location to see the Huadong longitudinal valley, attracting countless tourists and photography enthusiasts to come here.

Standing in the mountains

Author Liu Ke-xiang once described a mountain station as "the station that legend says cannot be reached." Mountainous areas are located along the Binan River, and residents are mainly indigenous farmers. Due to its topography, it gives people a feeling of being isolated from the world. From the mountain, one can see the Holy Mountain of the indigenous people-Du Lan Shan and the magnificent Binan River Valley. The church, abandoned school, and homestays in this area are good places for sightseeing and exploration, and the cats and dogs at the station also leave a deep impression on tourists.

Dolion station

If you think that the continuous hills and trains are the perfect match, then you must have not seen the beauty of the blue sea and red fences. When the initial plan for the Southern Link Line was made, the distance between Longxi and Jinlun was relatively long, so the Doliang station was built in Taimali Township, Taitung County, for train crossing. The Southern Link Railway Engineering Department specially designed the station as an elevated structure, allowing passengers on the platform to overlook the Pacific Ocean. It is considered the most beautiful station in Taiwan by railroad enthusiasts. The brief darkness when passing through the tunnel and then seeing the boundless sea and clear sky again can't help but make people feel that it is so unreal and beautiful. This wonderful contrast makes Doliang Station even more profound in its beauty.

Tai Mae Li station

Once you leave the station, there is a road leading to the Pacific Ocean. The endless blue in front of you makes you forget the hot air instantly. The quiet road seems to belong only to you.

Fang shan station

Due to its unique geographical location and pristine mountain scenery, Fangshan Station has become one of the must-visit stations for railway enthusiasts and is currently one of the most secretive stations on the Taiwan Railway (the other being the Alishan Shenmu Station). The Taiwan Strait's turquoise waters and distant green mountains undulate, and on clear days, you can even see the Hengchun Peninsula, making it the most beautiful scenic spot along the Taiwan Railway line. However, visitors to Fangshan Station must pay special attention to train schedules, or they may not be able to leave!

Two water stations

Unlike the bustling and noisy stations in the metropolitan area, some small towns in the central and southern parts of Taiwan still retain their appearance from half a century ago around their train stations. Ershui Station in Changhua County is the most typical example. The station building itself has a long history and still maintains the layout of Japanese-style reinforced concrete bricks from that time. The design of the outer columns can also be seen in other stations of the same period, such as Zaoqiao and Tongluo. On both sides of the roundabout in front of Ershui Station, there are rare four-story connected buildings from the early days, housing hotels, cafeterias, and shops. Although its former glory is gone, standing there, one can still imagine the bustling scene of the past.

Shenmu station

Alishan Station and Shenmu Station are two stations on the Shenmu Line. Riding the slow Forest Train shuttle through the mountains, feeling the old time passing by. Shenmu Station and Fangshan Station are the only recognized secret stations in Taiwan. Alishan Railway Station is located on the top of the misty mountains, built with logs, simple and spacious. While waiting for the train at the platform, there may be women who pick tea waiting for the train together, and it doesn't feel like sightseeing, but it's the beginning of experiencing life. Getting on the train, departing for the deep mountains, the train emits a sound that only existed in the distant past, and the scenery outside the window is peaceful and indifferent.

Longquan station

Longquan station is close to Ershui, and this small station only has a platform without a station building. The station is located on both ends of the famous "Green Tunnel" where the railway and the bike path run parallel, making it a delightful sight to see trains and bicycles running in the green tunnel together.

Checheng Station

Hidden in the small mountain city, Checheng Station is the final stop of the Nantou Jiji Branch Line, also known as the "last station". The Japanese-style wooden station gives people a sense of tranquility. Surrounded by green mountains and flowing streams, there is a long wooden plank road beside a shaded cedar forest, along with the sound of birds chirping. At the end of the railway tracks, there is an ancient banyan tree where the elderly often sit and chat. Perhaps, they are telling stories from decades past to passersby.

Chase points station

There are fewer and fewer old wooden station buildings on the Taiwan Railway, with most of them concentrated on the coastal line. The Zhui Fen Station is the largest in scale. The black beams and columns, neatly arranged roof tiles, authentic wooden fences, and quaint waiting room all display the traces of time. The station has also preserved the common small gardens seen at early stations, and there are often wild cats roaming nearby. Zhui Fen is a Japanese place name, with the literal meaning of "divergence point." Later, it was extended to mean "striving for high scores in exams," which, when combined with the nearby Cheng Gong Station, created the auspicious ticket combination "Chasing Success." Remember to inform the station staff that you want a "hard-style ticket" when purchasing to truly make it meaningful.

Battery top station

If you want to find the best station scenery along the North section of the Taiwan Railways, Qiding Station is definitely the top choice. This unmanned station is located between Hsinchu and Zhunan, not far from the sea, and its topography provides an excellent view. From the observation deck next to the station, the railroad tracks, platforms, and trains are all beneath your feet, accompanied by greenery and a sea view on both sides, creating a delightful picture; moreover, Hsinchu and Miaoli have strong coastal winds, and the government has installed many wind turbines here. These pure white "windmills," high or low, far or near, also highlight the unique charm of Qiding Station.

Hsinchu Railway Station

Appearance: A mix of Japanese and German styles, non-overpass type, with outdated interior facilities. Hsinchu Station is the oldest existing station in Taiwan, completed in 1913, and is a representative work of Taiwanese Baroque architecture. The designer is said to be Matsuzaki Manabu, the illegitimate son of Emperor Meiji of Japan.
Shifen Station is the largest station on the Pingxi Branch Line and is also the main meeting point for trains. Here, train drivers exchange ancient copper road signs (train travel permits) to obtain approval to continue driving. The old streets of Shifen and the Jing'an Suspension Bridge around the station are good places for many tourists to take pictures. Walking from Shifen Station to Shifen Scenic Area is a wonderful journey because Shifen Waterfall is right next to the railway. There is also a waterfall viewing suspension bridge on the railway, and tourists standing on it to watch the train pass through the tunnel is even more fascinating. The geographic scenery between Shifen Station and Sandiaoling Station on the Pingxi Railway is very unique, and this section includes six tunnels on the Pingxi Branch Line, each with its unique charm, leaving people captivated.

Kim tong station

Jingtong Station is the terminal of the Pingxi Branch Line and was once a bustling town in the coal mining industry. The small and wooden station building from early times has been well-preserved, along with the old-fashioned platform, creating a nostalgic atmosphere that has become a filming location for movies and dramas. The common point of the Pingxi Line (Shifen, Pingxi, Jingtong) is that they all have old streets. If you have to choose two of them, Shifen and Jingtong are recommended, with many mining remains on the other side of the mountain, making them must-visit tourist attractions. In addition, the "Pingxi Line" in tourism refers to adding the mountain city of Jiufen, which has a beautiful night view that you should not miss when passing by!

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