Hop on cypress train to visit old sawmill in Taiwan’s Alishan mountains

The program celebrates the newly refurbished Japanese colonial-era lumber mill

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Taiwan cypress trains (Alishan Forest Railway and Cultural Heritage Office photo)
Taiwan cypress (Facebook Joanna Sun)

Taiwan cypress trains (Alishan Forest Railway and Cultural Heritage Office photo)

Taiwan cypress (Facebook Joanna Sun)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan’s Alishan Forest Railway (阿里山林業鐵路) is offering visitors the one-of-a-kind experience of discovering the beauty of the island’s forests by riding on “Taiwan cypress” trains.

The trains, which will operate every weekend from July 6 to Sep. 29, were launched to mark the opening of the Chiayi Sawmill (嘉義製材所), according to the Alishan Forest Railway and Cultural Heritage Office (林鐵及文資處).

The lumber mill was opened to the public on June 30 after undergoing renovation. During the Japanese colonial period, trees felled in the mountains of Alishan were processed at the facility, the largest of its kind in Taiwan, before being cut into timber and transported to Japan and other parts of Taiwan, wrote UDN.

The public is invited to take a cypress train to Alishan Forest Railway Depot for a peek at historical steam locomotives designed for the Japanese monarchy. The recommended itinerary also includes visits to the Chiayi Sawmill and Beimen (North Gate) Station.

Beimen Station, a classic Japanese-style railway station, was built with Taiwan cypress wood. It was designated as a historic site by Chiayi City in 1998.

The train will depart on 10 trips each Saturday and Sunday for the duration of the program, with a single-trip priced at NT$100 per ticket. Visit the Alishan Forest Railway website for more information on train schedules and activities.

Steam locomotive (Alishan Forest Railway and Cultural Heritage Office photo)

Chiayi Sawmill (Alishan Forest Railway and Cultural Heritage Office photo)