Monday, January 9, 2012

Taiwan notes 100th anniversary of Tourist Train

The Alishan Forest, with its beautiful natural scenery and rich ecological resources, is a world famous tourist destination. The Beimen to Erwanping section of Alishan Forest Railway officially opened for tourist  traffic on December 25, 1912. Along with the mountains sacred frees, sunrise, sunset, and sea of clouds, the railway is one of the “Five Wonders of Alishan.” The Alishan Forest Railway was once a very busy train track because of previous logging operations on the mountain. With changes to Taiwan’s economic structure, the railway’s role has shifted from a transporter of lumber to a transporter of people. It is a cultural asset that offiers its passengers scenic spots and historical architecture dating from a century ago. To mark the 100th anniversary of the opening of the railway, the Chunghwa Post issued a souvenir sheet on December 25, 2011.

The souvenir sheet has a bright color scheme with mountains and a route map in the background. Four different trains are featured. One of the two stamps features one train pulled by a No.31 steam engine passing through flowering cherry frees (NT$25); and the other, headed by a diesel engine, is coming out of the No.1 tunnel (NT$5). Elsewhere on the sheet there is a train on the No.13 Bridge over the Niuchou River and a train being pulled by the No.25 steam engine. The golden emblem on the upper left corner is the railway’s 100th anniversary seal.

The First Day Cover

The stamp designer for this issue was Tseng Kai-chih. The souvenir sheet was produced by the China Color Printing company, Ltd. The size of the sheet was 140 X 105 mm. The two stamps on the sheet have individual sizes of 40 X 30 mm and have a perforation of 12 1/2.
Special Commemorative Booklet
In addition to the stamp a first day cover was produced as well as a stamp folded. A special commemorative pictorial booklet  containing the souvenir sheet, 6 postal cards showing views of the forest and a special silver foil sea.  The booklet will sell for NT300 a copy.
To take a ride of the train click on the following links.