“Welcome Back Zhushan:” After a 3-Year Hiatus, 5 Firsts for Alishan Forest Railway


The Alishan Forest Railway and Cultural Heritage Office, Forestry and Nature Conservation Agency (FANCA), organized the “Welcome Back Zhushan - Sunrise Pilgrimage” launch ceremony today (20th November). Director Huang Miao-Hsiu of the Alishan Forest Railway and Cultural Heritage Office, Deputy Director General Liao Yi-Kuang of FANCA, Tsou elder Avayi‧Yatauyagana, Chieftain Avai ‘e Peongsi of the Tfuya Tribal Community, Chieftain Wang Chi-De of the Tapang Tribal Community, the pupils and staff of Shanlin Elementary School and Shizi Elementary School, as well as representatives from various sectors of the community interested in Zhushan station all gathered together to jointly witness this historic moment.

Zhushan Station Connects International Community by Creating a New Landmark in Alishan
The renovation project of Zhushan station is based on the concept of “the starting point of light.” The image of clouds and mist surrounding the mountains is skillfully integrated into the design of the roof. Utilizing the natural slope of the station’s terrain, visitors feel as if they are passing through a sea of clouds when ascending from the platform to the front lobby, the main staircase, to the deck of the sun-viewing pavilion, welcoming the sunrise at daybreak.
In addition, the station has retained the curved platforms, which extend their cultural value and the shared memory as the most beautiful curves in the land. The combination of steel and domestically produced Taiwan red cypress, Japanese cedar, and Taiwan acacia timber creates a structure that is both strong and flexible, as well as easy to maintain. The diagonal wood-grain tiles the station lobby and platform flooring as well as the diamond patterns on the ceiling at the station entrance draw inspiration from the totem culture of the Tsou. It echoes the Kuba image symbolizing the Tsou people’s faith and strength, and transforms the elements of the local Tsou tribes into spatial elements. Environmentally friendly measures that take into account both culture and nature include the installation of 400-ton rainwater recycling tanks on the platforms’ raft foundations, which provide a two-month supply of water each time it is filled up, greatly alleviating the problem of water shortages in mountainous areas. The roof opening of the main staircase has been adjusted to protect the growth of the precious indigenous Taiwan red cypress. The station’s original vegetation have been replanted, which helps promote environmental restoration. Additionally, low-color temperature non-blue lighting with light leakage control is used, thereby reducing the ecological impact of the lighting. To reduce disturbances to the sloped terrain, the original staircase foundations have been retained, and micro-piles have been installed to serve as supports for the main staircase. The low-reflective tinted elevator is beneficial to preventing birds dying from flying into windows. Additionally, the flow of foot traffic has been designed to provide handicap-accessible routes, thereby creating a friendlier and more inclusive travel experience. The size of the overall area has increased by 60% to offer a more comfortable and elegant space.
Not only is Zhushan station a railway station that incorporates cultural landscapes, environmental sustainability, and friendly service concepts, it has also achieved five “firsts” for the Alishan Forest Railway: it is the highest station in Taiwan, the first alpine station with Diamond-grade green architecture certification, the first station with smart eco-lighting, the first station with water-storage capabilities, and the first double-story, crescent-moon shaped platform with a single-sided bulkhead wharf construction.

The Shay 31 Passenger Train Carries Inter-Generational Memories of “Sunrise Pilgrimage”
The event kicked off with a tap dance by Shanlin Elementary School and a percussion performance by Shizi Elementary School to “Welcome Back Zhushan.” The process of the Zhushan station renovation project was presented through video recordings. With the efforts of Alishan Forest Railway and Cultural Heritage Office, Y.C Hsu Architect and Associate, Shen Ming-Hsin Civil Engineer and Associates, TCT Construction, and experts from various fields, it took three years to overcome the various obstacles faced during the reconstruction work, including those of the terrain, weather, and the pandemic. In the end, they created a railway station with the highest elevation and the highest quality for the Alishan Forest Railway. Guests boarded the Shay 31 Passenger Train, a century-old steam locomotive, departed from Alishan station to Zhushan station, creating memories of the “Sunrise Pilgrimage” for the passengers travelling on the early morning train to welcome the new dawn.
As the train arrived in Zhushan station, Tsou Chieftain Avai ‘e Peongsi of the Tfuya Tribal Community led the elders of the tribe to offer a prayer for the safety of Zhushan station’s operation. The Tsou traditional folk song troupe from the Pnguu Tribal Community sang the song “Pasu Hohcxbx,” and the beautiful vocals resonated through Zhushan station, touching the hearts of the guests. Together, under the illumination of the unique low-color temperature non-blue emitting lighting with light leakage control, the guests witnessed the historic moment where they could “welcome back Zhushan.”

Sunrise Train will Resume Stopping at Zhushan Station Starting from November 21
Director Huang Miao-Hsiu of the Alishan Forest Railway and Cultural Heritage Office said that Zhushan station stands at an elevation of 2,451 meters, making it the highest point of the entire Taiwan Railways network. The sunrise railway that led to the station was opened on January 13, 1986, and it was also the first sightseeing line of the Alishan Forest Railway planned and constructed by the Taiwanese people. In October 2020, a station renovation project was carried out to enhance the quality of operation. It is now (October 2023) completed and re-opened, once again showcasing the magnificent beauty of Zhushan, and also starting a new chapter for Taiwan’s international tourism. Tomorrow (November 21st), the Sunrise Train of the Zhushan Line will resume stopping at Zhushan station (no more stops at Dueigaoyue station). The one-way ticket for the Zhushan Line will return to its original price of NT$150. Visitors are welcome to use the Alishan Forest Railway to enjoy the sunrise view, and don’t forget to stop by and visit the beautiful Zhushan station.
Last updated on:2023-12-25
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