Shen'ao Rail Bike in New Taipei revitalizes old tracks and romanticizes seaside landscapes

An abandoned train track along Taiwan’s north coast has been turned into a rail-bike route for riders to enjoy at their leisure

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(Photo courtesy of the Tourism and Travel Department of New Taipei City)

(Photo courtesy of the Tourism and Travel Department of New Taipei City)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – An abandoned train track along Taiwan’s north coast has been turned into a rail-bike route for riders to enjoy at their leisure, slow pedaling along the old track and taking in the magnificent scenery along the coast, reports CNA.

Shen'ao Rail Bike is a joint project of the New Taipei City Government and Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA), the report said.

New Taipei’s Tourism and Travel Department said that riding along the old tracks is a throwback to an earlier age when TRA’s Shen'ao Branch Line was partially used to transport coal to the coal-fired Shen'ao Power Plant, which began operations in the 1960's.

The branch line was built to connect Badouzi on the coast of Keelung City, Shen'ao, and Shuinandong (水湳洞) to the coast below the mining town of Jinguashi (金瓜石),

When the Shen'ao Power Plant was shut down in 2007, the Shen'ao Branch Line became stagnant.

The city government and the TRA have worked together to turn the railway section from Badouzi to Shen'ao into a 1.3KM rail bike route to make the most of the beautiful landscapes of the mountains and seaside along the old track, the report said.

The Tourism and Travel Department said it will also install a YouBike station at the Shen'ao station so that visitors will be able to rent a YouBike and tour around the nearby attractions, such as Shen'ao Fishing Port, Elephant Rock(象鼻岩), Chaojing Park (潮境公園), and the National Museum of Marine Science & Technology (國立海洋科技博物館).

There will be two stages of trial operation for the Shen'ao Rail Bike, with the first stage from Dec. 18 to Dec. 27 when the track will be open to people in the travel industry, and the second stage from Dec. 28 to Jan. 17, 2019 when it will be open to Ruifang District citizens, Monday to Friday, and to the general public on Fridays and weekends.

Online booking is required for the free rides during the trial operation period, the report said. The rail bike will begin charging fees to ride from Jan. 18, 2019.