This blog was created for USASTRATCOM Long Lines Battalion Army personnel who served in Taiwan during the 1965-72 time frame. Specifically, those who lived and worked in and around Taipei are the target. If you worked at the Grass Mountain or Gold Mountain facilities or anywhere in downtown Taipei, we would like to hear from you. All are welcome to visit and contribute to this blog. Your comments and pictures are encouraged.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Sugar Cane Express, 1957-58, Southern Taiwan

Before WWII, Taiwan was a major source of sugar for the Japanese. During WWII, much of this land was converted to rice production.

After the war, much of southern Taiwan returned to sugar cane production with thousands of tons of sugar produced daily.

In the late 1950s, Tom Jones was able to capture some pictures of the railroad line used to transport commodities.

Photo courtesy of Tom Jones

We're approaching one of the many stations along the route. There was some disagreement as to this station's name, but it is near Taitung, apparently.

Photo courtesy of Tom Jones

The Luye Railroad Station was located on the East Coast.

Photo courtesy of Tom Jones

This would be considered a narrow gauge track at the Ping-Lin Railroad Station.

Photo courtesy of Tom Jones

With the mist in the background, these two railroad cars are ready for loading. The enclosures might have provided shelter for workers in case of heavy rain.

Photo courtesy of Tom Jones

Shown here are workers piling the sugar cane into a railroad car; a warehouse is in the background..

Photo courtesy of Marvin Faulkner

In 1968, while stationed near Tsoying, Marvin took this picture near Kaohsiung. 

Not only do we see a railroad car, but a locomotive used to transport sugar cane to the factories.

Card courtesy of

As you can see, some of these sugar cane processing factories were huge and could accommodate many railroad cars.
Photo courtesy of

A fully loaded railroad car makes its way to a factory.


  1. >Before WWII, Taiwan was a major source of sugar for the Japanese. During WWII, much of this land was converted to rice production.

    It's called "the contradiction relationship between rice and sugar(米糖相剋)" during the Japanese era.

    The name of the railroad station is Luye(鹿野). It's very interesting to see there is a little boy among the palm trees in the right of the second photo, who is wearing Japanese-style clothing.

  2. Do you ever get the impresssion that the Japanese occupation of Taiwan was, in many ways, a positive time in the Island's history?

    1. My relatives who lived during that time said it was the worst. Like human torture, and little food. You can't speak for my country.

  3. John, in my mind, it's impossible to say something is definitely 100% positive or negative. Quite a few infrastructures in Taiwan were done under Japanese ruling. Yet more than one hundred thousand soldiers and civilians were killed(or massacred?) during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan in 1895.

  4. For the fourth picture,the two cars are so called "caboose-gondola combination(敞守車)." The little wooden shelter is all the place a miserable conductor can get when in duty.