||SACRED MT. ALI AND THE FOREST RAILWAY|
Formosa (Taiwan), originally name by Portuguese in 1544 meaning "beautiful Island”, is the #4 tallest island in the world. Located in the center of Taiwan, Mt. Ali towers the highest of 2,663 meters (about 8,736 feet). Mt. Ali is world famous for its 'five rare sites' including the Sunrise, the Ali Mountain Forest Steam Rail, the famous Mt. Ali Sacred Tree, the Grand Sea of Clouds, and the Flamboyant Cherry Blossom.
This narrow-gauge forest steam rail was constructed during the early period of Japan's 1895-1945 occupation of Taiwan. Planning began in 1904 at the instruction of the provincial government. As the system had to transport logs down a precipitous mountain, its tracks have a gauge of only 762 millimeters, with an average gradient of 6.25 percent. The minimum turning radius is 40 meters. The Forest Steam Rail chugs out of the foot of Mount Ali. By journey's end, the train will have climbed to an elevation well above 2,000 meters, trundling through 55 tunnels and across 77 ridges that afford breathtaking views of deep ravines and distant peaks. It's one of the most famous alpine railways still operating in the world today, others being the systems coursing the Indian Himalayas and the Chilean Andes.
||Charlie Chu / Elvis Lu
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