In the previous article, we just talked about how to take Taiwan High-Speed Rail. However, for some tourists with limited budget, they may need some alternative way of transportation. In that case, it is recommended to take Taiwan Railway Train as a substitute. Taiwan High-Speed Rail has only single mainstream with 12 stations connected to the cities in western Taiwan; in comparison, Taiwan railway has a lot of branches so it can take you from the cities to the countries all over the island.  

So if you are a railway fan and want to have a round tour in Taiwan, don’t miss the following information in this article.

Comparison Between TRA and THSR

  Taiwan High-Speed Rail Taiwan Railway Train
Number of Stations 12 223
Coverage Western Taiwan From Taipei Nangang to Kaohsiung Zuoying All around the island Central Mountain Range and offshore islands are not included
Taipei to Kaohsiung 96~120 mins 4.5~7 hr
Tourists Mid-term to long-term trips Short term to mid-term trips
Price Expensive Cheap
Train Single type Tze-Chiang>Chu-Huang>Shuttle (from high speed to low speed)

Where to buy Taiwan Railway Tickets?

Online booking & convenience Store: You can purchase the ticket through the website (Link) then print it out in a convenience store. Also, you can book the tickets through the kiosks in the convenience store then have your tickets printed out by the cashier.

Train Station Machines: You can visit any train station to purchase the tickets through the machines. Of course you can go to the ticket booth to have a live person to help you with the process.

Tips for Traveling by Railway Train

If you plan to have a short trip, the Easy Card can be used regardless of the train class. (Yeah that means you can skip some small stops with cheaper price). But keep in mind that you can’t have a reserved seat with Easy Card.

Though traveling by train is convenient. But if you are going to Yilan, taking a bus may be a faster way. Because there are tunnels for cars and buses to go straight through the mountain while the train has to go around mountain by the coastline.

Price of TRA

The price of TRA ranges from 64NTD to 955 NTD. To know the exact rate, you can check the online selling system.

TRA Branch Line

Pingxi Line: Connected from Ruifang to Houdong, Shifen, Pingxi to Jington, Pingxi Line was used to transports the coals in the early days, now it is the most popular branch of TRA. Travelers can buy Pingxi one day pass to visit all the stations and have unlimited hop-on and hop-off.

The stations to get a one-day pass: Banchiao, Taipei, Songshan, Keelung, Badu, Raifang, Houtong, Yilan, Luodong, Pingxi, Jington, Shifen.

Find out more Pingxi tour here

Shenao Line: Shenao Line was built to support the mining industry during the Japanese colonial era. Now there are only three stations remain in operation. It’s not a long ride, but you can enjoy the sea view on the way.


The stations to get a one-day pass: Banchiao, Taipei, Songshan, Keelung, Badu, Raifang, Houtong, Yilan, Luodong, Pingxi, Jington, Shifen.

Badouzi Station-The railway is built along the shore
Find out more attractions of the north coast here.

Neiwan Line: Neiwan line extends from Hsinchu to Zhudong, Hexing, and Neiwan. It was used to export woods and concrete. Be sure to visit Neiwan Old Street, which features Hakka culture. If you travel to Neiwan around April and May, you can stay until evening to see fireflies!  

The stations to get a one-day pass: Zhunan, Miaoli, Taichung, Hsinchu, Zhongli, Taoyuan, Banchiao, Taipei, Songshan, Zhudong, Neiwan.

Neiwan Railway During the Sakura Blossom
Image Resource- https://journey.tw/hengshan-station/

Jiji Line: This branch plays an important role in the development of agriculture and industry. Jiji line goes from Ershui to Longquan, Jiji, Shuili, Checheng. If you are lucky, you can take the train based on the theme of leopard cats, a native species in Taiwan. What’s more, you can take a bus to Sun Moon Lake at Checheng Station!

The stations to get a one-day pass: Zhunan, Miaoli, Taichung, Xinwuri, Zhangua, Yuanlin, , Tianzhong, Erishui, Dajia, Shalu, Douliu

The Leopard Cat Train

Additional Special for Railway Fans

There is a mysterious train on the South-link line. The locals call it “the Blue Train” for its blue skin. The Blue Train only has one round trip from Fangliao to Taidung a day. It’s not just a train for transportation, but a train loaded with history and memories. It’s one of the first built trains of TRA, and the blue color represents the tone of TRA’s logo. Though it has been speeding on the South-link line for more than 50 years, the furnishment still remains the same- without air-con but with suspended fans hanging over your head.

Travelers can open the window to enjoy the natural breeze and fresh air.

The scenario seems quite nostalgic! Are you ready to have a romantic scenic ride with an old-fashioned vibe?

The seats have seatbacks rising almost vertically.
They may not be comfortable for travelers. But they are the symbol of the old time.
The Blue Train with blue skin.
Image resource:
https://www.alvinintheroom.com/blog/2019/12/17/tra-taiwan-blue-train

Bento-Taiwan Railway Lunchbox

A railway tour is not complete without Bento. Traveler can dig in a variety of protein — a crispy fried chicken leg, a piece of grilled mackerel, a marinated pork chop — and an array of side dishes such as tofu, soy-marinated egg, and pickles, all served over a bed of steamed rice.

When the Bentos were still available on the train, they always are sold out in just a few minutes. So you know they are superstars of TRA.

But due to the coronavirus, Bentos are not available on the train, but you can still find them at the vendors in some stations. Prices are various from 60 NTD to 100 NTD.

Where to buy Bentos?

Taipei Station Bento Store No.1, No.2, No.3, No.4
Banchiao Station Bento Store (B1 close to the ticket gate)
Taoyuan Station Bento Store (1F close to the ticket booth)
Hualien Station (Counter)
Shulin Station Bento Vendor
Songshan Station Bento Vendor
Xizxi Station Bento Vendor
Qidu Station Bento Vendor
Kaohsiung Front Station (1F)
XinZuoying Station (2F)
Taichung Station
Hsinchu Station
Zhanghua Station
THSR-Xinwuri Station

Extension: Eastern Road trip in Taiwan

最後修改日期: 5 月 22, 2020

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