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Nick_Burman

Human-powered tramway in Taiwan

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Nick_Burman

 

 

Travelling across the hills of Taiwan on a human-powered tramway, presumably 508mm (20") gauge. Must have been one hell of a fun ride!

 

Cheers Nicholas

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katoftw

Up hill doesn't look fun for the workers.

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miyakoji

Those downhills make me pretty nervous, I had to turn it off :grin

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cteno4

Looks like a fun down hill ride! Love the passing track.

 

jeff

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ben_issacs

Folks, 

The man powered tramways popped up in various parts of Japan itself, and as Taiwan was part of the Japanese Empire, they were there too.

On a long time ago visit to Taiwan,  there was one such line operating as a tourist attraction somewhere out from Taipei, and might still be working.

The cars must have some form of brakes, but these  aren't obvious.

There is documentation about them, but all in Japanese.

Might be something on Wicki.

Gauge might have been 600mm, two foot.

Regards,

Bill, 

Melbourne.

 

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Railtunes
Posted (edited)

According to Charles Small in "Rails to the Mines", the push car railways had gauges ranging from 500mm to 600mm, with 545mm being common. His book includes drawings for 500mm gauge rolling stock. He also notes that some of the coal lines in the Keelung area "built their steam operated lines to 610mm - 24 inch gauge" while, on other mining lines that started as push cars lines, they "applied [steam locomotives] to those lines, ... the gauge was set at 508mm since this is 20 inches. As a result, the 500mm gauge in Taiwan has never felt the weight of locomotives on its rails". 

As for braking, Small gives this description:

"All  the cars have brakes.The brake shoes are logs suspended bby wire or chain whose average diameter in 80mm. Two of these are installed. Wrapped around each log is a piece of heavy wire, about 3mm in diameter and these form a loop at one end of the car. The brake pole is a piece of pine which is wedge shaped at the end.

The brake is applied by putting the wedge end of the pole in the loop and pulling back on the pole which forces the logs (shoes) against the wheels."

You can get a few quick glimpses of the braking in the video, the best being the very opening shot where the driver of the first car is holding onto the brake lever at the front of the car. Other spots are at 1:31 and 1:46 and 3:47 where the convoy is entering the station with the water buffalo on the track.

- Paul Ingraham, AsiaNRail

Edited by Railtunes
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Kamome
On 4/7/2019 at 6:57 AM, Nick_Burman said:

Travelling across the hills of Taiwan on a human-powered tramway, presumably 508mm (20") gauge. Must have been one hell of a fun ride!

The cameraman possibly didn’t realize he was creating a first version GoPro. The downhills certainly look fun.

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Takahama Trainwatcher

Imagine how that would be different today, at least in the great state of NSW. There'd be, at the least:

1. Fences protecting the track.

2. Cables to keep the drivers from straying too far from the vehicles to prevent runaways.

3. Signs indicating inclines, declines, curves and crests.

4. The requirement of a licence.

5. A requirement for insurance including public liability.

6. Compulsory announcements, such as: "Stand clear, the vehicle is leaving the track to permit another train to pass."

7. Compulsory seatbelts and helmets.

8. Speed limiting devices.

9. Logbooks for crew.

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ben_issacs

Folks,

Adding to Takahama's list of requirements would also be a 'Blood Chit',  for the passengers to sign, which in case of injury to a passenger would put all the blame on him or her, and open them to being sued by the railway co.,and which would over-ride the Public Liaibility Insurance.

Bill, 

Melbourne.

 

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katoftw
10 minutes ago, ben_issacs said:

Folks,

Adding to Takahama's list of requirements would also be a 'Blood Chit',  for the passengers to sign, which in case of injury to a passenger would put all the blame on him or her, and open them to being sued by the railway co.,and which would over-ride the Public Liaibility Insurance.

Bill, 

Melbourne.

 

That is not what a blood chit does.

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cteno4

Yeah I’ve only heard blood chit used for the messages flyers would carry to try to get aid from civilians if shot down over occupied territory and they didn’t speak the language. Maybe you were thinking liability waiver?

 

jeff

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ben_issacs

Jeff,

Yes, 'Blood Chit' was more a military thing, largely for RAF  blokes operating in India in the Khyber Pass area and elsewhere, but it still more or less covers the requirements of the man-powered tramways waiver.

Getting back to this subject, there were published in Japan in about 2009 a twelve volume set of monthly booklets entitled 'Railway Atlas of Japan'.

Very detailed maps, lists of  all the stations, and much other info.

After this series finished, there was published two more booklets on the railways of the Japanese Empire, namely, Manchuria, Korea, Taiwan and Sakahalin, of which  I have both.

The Taiwan section covers twenty five man powered railways in some detail, plus another 28 without he same detail, so there were a lot of them in that country.

All seem to be shown as 610mm (24 inches) gauge.

A couple of lines were  20-25 km. in extent, a long push! 

Regards, 

Bill, 

Melbourne.

 

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cteno4

Bill,

 

US military has used them extensively since wwII and still use them for behind the lines work. The military term of blood chit is not used as any sort of liability waiver as you are proposing and not used for a liability waiver anywhere else I’ve found. If you google “blood chit” and “liability waiver” brings back nothing. It’s a promise for reward for giving the holder help—nothing to do with liability.

 

jeff

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ben_issacs

Jeff, 

Thanks for your comments on blood chits and waivers, when riding a man powered tramway, a blood chit might still be useful to get assistance from the locals.

Anyrate, blood chit is a good phrase to stick into a topic, even if it ain't relevant, and it got an answer!

Regards,

Bill, 

Melbourne.

 

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