Tamsui railway line

The Tamsui line (Chinese: 淡水線; Hanyu Pinyin: Dànshuǐ xiàn; Tongyong Pinyin: Danshuei xian; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Tām-chúi sòaⁿ) was a Taiwanese railroad branch line, located in the cities of Taipei and New Taipei and operated by the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA). It connected the city of Taipei with the town of Tamsui.

Tamsui line
TRA Tamsui Line Ticket.jpg
Edmondson railway tickets used on the TRA Tamsui Line.
TypeDefunct branch line
LocaleTaipei and New Taipei
Taipei Railway Station
Stations17 (in total)
11 (at time of closure)
Opened25 August 1901
Closed15 July 1988
Operator(s)Taiwan Railways Administration
Line length21.2 km (13.2 mi)
Track gauge3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm)


The Tamsui Line was opened on 25 August 1901, during Japanese rule, and had 17 stations, two of which (Dadaocheng, Beimen), located before Taipei Railway Station were closed to passenger traffic by 1916 and 1923 respectively (the former station, located on a branch, continued to be used by freight trains until 1937). Changan and Jiantan Stations were shut down in 1950. In 1954 a temporary Fuxinggang Station was built for the 9th annual Taiwan Province Games, which closed after the games ended. A spur track known as the Asia Branch Line located before Tamsui Station provided access to the British Merchant Warehouse operated by Royal Dutch Shell, which was closed in 1971 and the surviving track was heritage-listed along with the British Merchant Warehouse in 2000. In addition, Tatung Company had a station located between Shuanglian and Yuanshan Stations, which was originally built during World War II, finally opened on 7 October 1946 and closed on 1 March 1980. The Tamsui Line was finally closed on 15 July 1988 and was later demolished.

The Taipei Metro Tamsui Line currently operates along a route similar to that of the one occupied by the TRA Tamsui Line during its existence.


The Tamsui line was a single track line with passing sidings at most stations. Sidings range from just over 1 mile apart to the maximum distance between Zhuwei and Tamsui which was a 2.6-mile segment. Because of the limited capacity, the maximum operable headway was every half-hour.

Route CharacteristicsEdit

Operating jurisdiction: Taiwan Railway Administration Route distance: 21.2 km between Taipei and Tamsui Gauge: 1,067 mm Number of stations: 11 (including both terminus—number of stations remaining when line was abandoned) Opened: 25 August 1901 opened entire line (1916 Tataocheng Station was converted to a freight only station, the Southern terminus was moved to North Gate Station; on 2 March 1923 North Gate Station was abolished, Southern terminus was moved to Taipei Main Station; in 1937 the segment between Tataocheng Freight Station and Taipei Main Station was officially abandoned.) Abolition Time: 15 July 1988 was the last day of operations; line was formally abandoned the following day, on July 16 Taiwan's first railway branch line to be connected to the trunk line network Taiwan's first railway branch line to be converted to a mass rapid transit line

Vehicle AssignmentEdit

The regular train was hauled by R0 or R20 class diesel-electric locomotive, typically with four ordinary non-air-conditioned coaches. After the project to convert East Coast Main Line to 1,067 mm gauge (from an earlier ~800 mm narrow gauge), the displaced diesel-hydraulic locomotive DH200 class was converted for a period of service on the Tamsui line. The last train was hauled by R20-class locomotive R53, with extra passenger cars attached.

See alsoEdit