Old Mountain Line

Today we're in Miaoli to see what I think is one of the most beautiful railroad bridges in Taiwan.
Miaoli is a county south of Taipei, north of Taichung. The Old Mountain Line, runs through it and is quite historical. We took a train from Taipei to here, Sanyi, and we・ll be making our way to Shengxing Station, an old station on the Old Mountain Line.
This is Shengxing Station, built a little over a hundred years ago.
This is one of the highest train stations on the island, at an elevation of 402 meters above sea level. Taipei is That way and Kaohsiung is that way. This part of the railroad has been closed for some time now, but once in a while they・ll still drive trains up here for special occasions.
In 1895 when China lost the first Sino Japanese War, Taiwan was given to Japan, and is the reason is why buildings like this station house that was constructed in that era have a very Japanese look.
What's interesting about the station house and the station master・s house is that in the construction, no nails or screws were used in the carpentry. See how the wood panels on the wall here are fitted into these angled slots? So when they・re put together, they stay together even through some of the strongest earthquakes.
This is that dramatic railroad bridge I was talking about.
This is Longteng Bridge, built in 1906. It was first badly damaged and cracked during an earthquake in 1935 and completely collapsed by the disastrous Jiji Earthquake in 1999. The red bricks and the remaining arches are beautiful even as rubble. Photographers like to come here to take pictures and I・ve seen quite a few couples come here for wedding photos. This is an official historical site, by the way.
There・s a tree growing out of the section of the bridge that came down. That reminds me of how life goes on despite disasters great and small. This place makes me philosophical. You should come.
 
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