Radio Taiwan International
Date: 24 December, 2020
By: John Van Trieste
It’s been a big week for Taiwan’s hardcore railway fans. Decades after Taiwan’s first stretch of railway was electrified, the entire railroad that loops around the island is now fully electrified.
It’s a scene that recalls the run-up to the launch of a new iPhone. Long lines of people, some of them in place since the night before patiently await for doors to open. But these people aren’t waiting in front of a store: they’re sitting in a train station, waiting to take part in a historic moment for Taiwan’s railways.
The Southern Link Line has been fully electrified, and the old diesel trains are no more. This stretch of track is the last piece of Taiwan’s round-the-island railway to open to electric trains, allowing for non-stop island-wide service that will shave up to half an hour off of journeys.