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Alishan trains back in operation on Jan. 28

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- After being heavily damaged by Typhoon Morakot in August 2009, the Alishan Forestry Railway is ready to carry passengers once more after holding an inauguration ceremony on Jan. 27.

The railway will officially be in operation on Jan. 28, allowing tourists to take the train from Chiayi Station to Fenchihu (奮起湖), but the route from Fenchihu to Alishan will not be included as the railway is still under repair, said Ministry of Transportation and Communications officials in charge of the Alishan Forestry Railway.

Visitors eager for a train ride may call the Alishan Forestry Railway starting at 9 a.m. on Jan. 23 to reserve train tickets.

Starting the day that trains are back in operation, passengers purchasing one-way or round-trip tickets from Chiayi to Fenchihu will be given limited collectors'-edition train tickets and a commemorative keychain; only 2,000 passengers will receive these souvenirs.

There will be a train going from Chiayi to Fenchihu each day at 9 a.m., heading back to Chiayi at 2 p.m. An extra train will be in operation on weekends.

Prospective visitors may call (05) 2256918 to reserve tickets five to 15 days in advance; each person is allowed to reserve four tickets.

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