Train and Metro Travel in Taiwan
Information on getting around the country by train using the Taiwan rail network and local metro systems...
High Speed Rail
Taiwan’s High Speed Rail service is a very popular way of travelling along the country’s west coast. The service connects Taipei and Kaohsiung in less than two hours. There are stations in Taipei, Banqiao, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Taichung, Chiayi, Tainan and Zuoying in Kaohsiung.
Tickets for the service can be bought online, at convenience stores, at station vending machines and at station ticket offices. There are a number of different types of ticket, including multi-ticket passes and advance booking offers. A THSR pass is available which allows the holder unlimited travel on the service in non-reserved seats. There is also a Taiwan Railway and High Speed Rail Joint Pass, which allow the holder unlimited use of both services.
All of the high speed rail stations have shuttle buses, taxi services and car rental facilities. It is possible to connect to Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) trains at the Taipei, Banqiao, Taichung and Zuoying stations.
Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) Trains
Taiwan’s train network is a great way to get around the country. There is a train line all around the island connecting all of the major cities. As well as the main lines there are also some local services to scenic areas: the Jiji, Pinxi and Neiwan lines. The services are run by the Taiwan Railway Administration, or TRA. Tickets can be bought up to 14 days before travelling, either online or by telephone; they can then be collected from a station or post office within two days of booking. Reservations are advised for weekends or holidays. Children are charged half of the full adult fare; return tickets are 10 percent cheaper than two singles. Booklets of tickets can be purchased; these are 15 percent cheaper than the normal fare. People who use TRA services regularly can get a season ticket.
Young people living in Taiwan are also eligible for a Taiwan Rail, or TR, Pass during the summer and winter vacations. These five or seven day passes offer reduced rail travel around the country. Applications can be made at any major train station. Proof of student status is needed.
Metro Rail Systems
Both Taipei and Kaohsiung, the second largest town in Taiwan, have metro systems.
The Taipei Metro system has seven lines connecting stations across the city. The metro system runs from 06:00 until midnight.
- For a route map: Click here
Single journey tickets, which are only valid on the day they are bought, can be purchased from station vending machines. One-day passes can be bought which allow the holder unlimited travel for the duration of a day’s service. There are special tickets for cyclists, allowing bicycles to be taken on metro trains. This is only allowed at some stations and at certain times of day.
Many regular travellers in Taipei get an EasyCard, which allows for ‘touch and go’ ticketing on the metro, on buses and at some car parks in the city. To use the card simply swipe it across a sensor. Cards can be bought at all metro stations and in convenience stores. As well as a standard adult card there is also a student EasyCard for registered students and concession cards for children, people with disabilities and those over the age of 65. Once purchased, more money can be added to the card at any time at machines in metro stations, station information counters, convenience stores and some car parks.
The Kaohsiung Metro system has two lines connecting locations around the city.
- For a route map: Click here
Tickets can be bought at automatic machines or information centres in metro stations. Both single tickets and day passes are available. Student tickets are available for 25 percent less than the standard fare. Cyclist tickets are available for people wishing to travel with a bike that does not fold up.