The last carriage of the DR2652-model train is scheduled to be handed over to the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) for preservation today, the railway service said yesterday.
The diesel DR2652, also known as the “zippy train,” was imported from Japan in 1954. With its body painted blue, the train operated at a speed of 105kph, the fastest train service at that time. It reduced travel time between Taipei to Kaohsiung to about five hours.
According to TRA officials, the “zippy train” was discharged from active duty in 1978 after electric Tzuchiang-class trains were introduced.
The administration said that one of the train’s carriages was purchased by Wang Neng-hung (王能宏), chairman of Wang Zhang Fa Industry.
After Wang bought the train carriage, he placed it next to a McDonald’s restaurant on Jhongshan Road in Changhua City and it was used to host children’s birthday parties.
The TRA said the owner of the property on which the train carriage was parked had decided to take back the property for other uses.
To prevent the carriage from becoming scrap steel, Wang donated it to the TRA, with officials saying they had agreed to restore and preserve it as an important railway cultural heritage asset.
Wang is scheduled to sign the contract with TRA at a ceremony today.
The carriage will be towed to the TRA’s Taipei Railway Workshop for restoration after the ceremony.