鐵道迷必訪 行駛於山海間的復古藍皮火車 | Last blue commuter train takes you on trip down memory lane

The only remaining blue-painted ordinary train in Taiwan is running between the mountains and oceans in southern Taiwan. (traffic.memories Instagram)
The only remaining blue-painted ordinary train in Taiwan is running between the mountains and oceans in southern Taiwan. (traffic.memories Instagram)

【看英文中國郵報學英文】行駛於南部山海間臺灣僅存的藍皮普快車,斑駁的車廂、老式皮質坐椅,車廂內鋪面而來的復古感,搭配臺灣絕美的山光海景,藍皮火車吸引了大量國內外的鐵道迷造訪。

The last “blue” commuter train (藍皮普快車) brings passengers to the mountains and oceans, and vice-versa, in southern Taiwan.

The journey takes them on a trip down memory lane too — antique seats, retro interior design, unique blue color coaches — that attracts thousands of local and international rail lovers each year. 

The blue painting along with the noise by rowdy diesel engines together weaving a picture of Taiwanese people’s daily life in the 20th century. (Chen Chih-tung)
The blue painting along with the noise by rowdy diesel engines together weaving a picture of Taiwanese people’s daily life in the 20th century. (Chen Chih-tung)

身為臺灣最古老的火車車種,以日治時期留下的客車編成車廂,各站皆停的營運模式,讓由轟隆作響的柴電機車所牽引、藍色塗裝車廂組成的列車成為20世紀臺灣民眾不可分割的生活印記。

Most people don’t know but this is the oldest type of train operating on the Taiwan railroads. The coaches date back from the Japanese colonial era (1895-1945).

The slow train stops at every station, and there is little wonder that the blue commuter train and its noisy diesel engine have become synonymous with the lives of Taiwan people in the 20th century.

Taiwanese writer says the blue-painted ordinary train can “dissipate the gloom.” (traffic.memories Instagram)
According to a local writer, the blue commuter train can “dissipate the gloom.” (traffic.memories Instagram)

一天一班的藍皮火車行駛在連接台東與屏東枋寮的南迴線上,被臺灣作家形容為「解憂火車」,是臺灣唯一沒有冷氣的火車,也是唯一可以開窗的火車。現在的列車仍由1970年引進的柴電機車所牽引,超過半世紀的車廂,載著慕名而來的鐵道迷,從屏東枋寮上車後,先欣賞臺灣西部平原風光,接著穿過中央山脈南端一個又一個山洞後,迎面而來的是湛藍色太平洋,而列車則緊貼海岸線繼續向台東奔馳。

The blue commuter train only runs on the South-Link Line (南迴線) connecting Fangliao, Pingtung (屏東枋寮) and Taitung City (台東), one round-trip every day.

The decades-old coaches, towed by a diesel engine which was imported in 1970, has no air-conditioner, meaning it is the only train in Taiwan in which you can open the windows.

If you board at Fangliao station, the train takes you across a borderless plain first, a series of tunnels, and finally, across the Central Mountain Range.

The Pacific Ocean will then appear right in front of your eyes as the train continues to head to Taitung along the coastal line.

With windows open, you can directly experience the winds blowing and fresh colors of nature, that’s why a Taiwan writer once said that the blue commuter train can “dissipate the gloom.”

Taking a blue-painted ordinary train is the best way to experience the local-called “downmountain” wind. (Chen Chih-tung)
Taking a blue-painted ordinary train is the best way to experience the local-called “down mountain” wind. (Chen Chih-tung)

搭乘藍皮火車絕對是親身體驗落山風最好的方式。落山風,就是每年十月到隔年十月,翻過中央山脈吹進恆春半島的東北季風。起風時,風會將整台火車吹得轟隆作響,好似鐵軌會飄,開著窗扯著喉嚨聊天,聽著老列車長沿路說故事,將山海風光盡收眼底。

Taking a blue-painted ordinary train is also the best way to experience the local-called “down mountain wind” (落山風).

The wind is the northeast monsoon which passes through the south part of the Central Mountain Range, dashing down the west side of the mountain and creating a strong downslope wind in Pingtung.

Every winter, when the down mountain wind starts, the blue commuter train becomes shaky; since the windows are open, the rumble of the train forces you to talk to each other loudly. 

The train conductor will remind passengers to wave and say hello to the station staff when passing through the stations. (Chen Chih-tung)
The train conductor will remind passengers to wave and say hello to the station staff when passing through the stations. (Chen Chih-tung)

藍皮火車是全臺灣最慢的火車,沿途大大小小的車站均會停靠,一些南迴線上的秘境像是枋野、瀧溪車站等,都是只有藍皮火車才能到達的車站。列車長會提醒乘客說經過鮮少旅客進出的車站時,記得跟站長揮揮手,「這裡每天只有站長跟站工兩個人,有話也說到沒話,跟他揮個手,他會很高興。」

As the slowest train in Taiwan, the blue-painted ordinary train stops at every station. Therefore, some secret places on the South-Link Line can be reached only by the ordinary train, such as Fangye (枋野) and Longxi (瀧溪).

The train conductor will remind passengers to wave and say hello to the station staff when passing through the stations. “There are only one station master and one staff there the entire day. They will be happy to see you guys waving at them.”

想要搭上乘載著臺灣人兒時回憶的藍皮老火車,每天早上10:40從枋寮發車,下午到達台東;還有下午16:10從台東回程,兩小時後回到枋寮。

If you want to take a ride on the train which carries many people’s childhood memory, go to the Fangliao station in the morning. The Ordinary Tain 3671 departs from Fangliao at 10:40 every morning, and the return trip Ordinary Train 3672 leaves Taitung at 4:10 pm.

【本文經作者同意,改編自陳志東臉書】| The content is originally from Chen Chih-tung’s Facebook

By Carol Kan