Old-time diesel railcars transported to Taipei depot for preservation

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Courtesy of the MOC

Courtesy of the MOC

TAIPEI (Taiwan News)--Four blue diesel trains from the 1950s — the last of their kind in the Taiwan Railway Administration's collection — have been successfully shipped to the Taipei Railway Workshop on June 9, where they will undergo renovations and greet visitors as part of Taiwan's National Railway Museum scheduled to open in 2024, Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture said on Saturday.

(video courtesy of TRW Railway Museum)

The four diesel railcars were sandwiched between the TRA's Juguang Express and towed from Taitung Railway Depot to Keelung's Qidu Marshalling Yard, the MOC said, adding that they were then transported to the Taipei Railway Workshop by highway.

Once affectionately known as "Baby Blue," the DR train models were originally imported from Japan during the colonial era as part of mass industrialization but were eventually grounded by the lack of fuel during World War II, according to the ministry.

They were retrofitted and brought back into operation by the 1950s as part of the government's austerity measures, serving branch lines such as Pingxi Line in New Taipei, Neiwan Line in Hsinchu, and Jiji Line in Nantou, the ministry said. The series was decommissioned in 1999; however, only four remain intact today, the agency added.

Minister of Culture Cheng Li-chiun and Minister of Transportation and Communications Ho Chen-tan (賀陳旦) signed a memorandum of understanding on June 9 to join resources and preserve the last four non-dismantled diesel railcars, now promoted to the ranks of "Grandpa Blue," the MOC said. 

The MOC is also holding an open call for old photographs of the DR2100 – DR2400 diesel railcar series. Winning entries will be displayed alongside the decommissioned trains when the National Railway Museum opens in 2024.

(photo courtesy of the MOC)