March 5, 2016

2348 TAIWAN - Locomotive CK124

The first Taiwanese railway was buit during the Qing Era, between 1887 and 1893, but only after two years, Taiwan was ceded to the Empire of Japan. Completely rebuilt and substantially expanded under Japanese colonial government (1895-1945), the Taiwan's railway network inharited the Japanese influence, present even today. Of course that the rolling stock was also mostly Japanese. During the heyday of steam locomotives, more than 200 units coursed Taiwan's plains and mountains.

Among these were seven tank locomotives 2-6-2T, built for Taiwan between 1936 and 1943 by the Japanese company Nippon Sharyo in Hokkaido. Only one of them, CK-124, manufactured in 1936 and decommissioned in 1979, was restored back on operational in 2001, and since then traveled from time to time. On March 12, 2012, to mark the 125th anniversary of the railway's operations, Taiwan Railways Administration's (TRA) CK124 and Japan’s C11 171 have officially become sister trains.

On that day, to celebrate the sister locomotive agreement, the TRA's Midsummer Beautiful Island - Neiwan Tour (led by CK124 and CK101) commenced its journey simultaneously with Japan's Fuyuno Shitsugen (led by C11171SL) at 10:09 A.M. Few months later, the TRA offered a limited edition of commemorative rubber stamps. From July 11 to August 29, they were for sale on the Midsummer Beautiful Island Train between Ershui and Checheng every Wednesday to fulfill the public's appetite for collectibles.

About the stamps
The first stamp is part of the series Flowers Postage Stamps (I), designed by Hung-tu Ko and issued on March 12, 2009:
• Calliandra emarginata (1.00 TWD) - It's on the postcard 2348
• Bombax ceiba (2.50 TWD)
• Delonix regia (10.00 TWD)
• Spathodea campanulata (32.00 TWD)

The second stamp is part of the second set of the series Taiwanese Berries, about which I wrote here.

Taiwan Railway Administration - Wikipedia
About TRA - Taiwan Railways Administration official website
Locomotive relationship made official - Taipei Times

Sender: Ian (postcrossing) TW-1835951
Sent from Taichung (Taiwan), on 11.02.2016

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