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10月號 2018 Oct
專題報導-72歲英國蒸汽機車頭抵臺 揭開臺英鐵道文化交流序曲
寫在前面
 台糖公司將於107年12月8日~9日,在蒜頭糖廠蔗埕文化園區舉辦「2018台英鐵道交流活動」,本次活動特別向英國威爾普蘭菲爾鐵道公司(W&LLR)借用製造於1946年的蒸汽機車‘Dougal’(杜高),作為揭開活動序幕的楔子,也是觀眾進場首入眼簾的亮點,本次活動將呈現時間上下穿越七十餘年,東西橫亙十萬里的文物特色,精采可期。為讓大家更瞭解英國普蘭菲爾鐵道公司,特請該公司秘書長麥瑞禮先生撰文引領介紹。

圖中外型小巧亮眼的英國W&LLR八號Dougal火車頭將在2018糖業文化節-台英鐵道交流暨嘉年華活動遠渡重洋來台亮相。
 
THE WELSHPOOL & LLANFAIR LIGHT RAILWAY威爾普蘭菲爾鐵道
The Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway (W&LLR) is about 12km long, running from the town of Welshpool, close to Wales’ border with England, to the smaller town of Llanfair Caereinion. Like Taiwan, Wales once had many narrow- gauge railway lines, most of them built to bring slate from quarries to a nearby harbour or main line railway. As the slate industry declined, many of them turned to tourist traffic instead and today 11 railways, including the W&LLR, are known as the ‘Great Little Trains of Wales.’
威爾普蘭菲爾鐵道(The Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway,以下簡稱為W&LLR)是一條從靠近威爾斯與英格蘭邊境的威爾普鎮,一路綿延到較小的蘭韋爾卡蘭永鎮,全長約12公里的鐵道。如同台灣,威爾斯亦曾擁有許多窄軌鐵道線,其中大部分是為了將採石場的板岩運送到鄰近港口或幹線鐵路。時至今日,隨著板岩業的衰退,許多鐵道包括W&LLR在內的11條鐵道便轉為觀光用途,以「威爾斯地區的小火車傳奇」廣為人知。
 
Some of these are newer railways, built from the beginning to carry tourists. Although the W&LLR was opened in 1903, it differs from the other early lines in that it was built not to carry slate but the agricultural traffic of the region to the market in Welshpool. After closing in 1956 it was re-opened by volunteers in 1963 and has been providing a tourist passenger service during the summer ever since.
儘管W&LLR早在1903年便成立,它與其他鐵道線的不同之處在於它的建造並不是為了運送板岩,而是作為將該地區作物運往威爾普市場的農產品運輸之用,但其中有些較新的鐵道一開始就是為了載運旅客而建造。1956年結束營運後,幸於1963年,由志工們重整旗鼓,再度提供觀光客運服務至今。
 
It also differs from the other railways in Wales in its gauge of 2ft 6in (762mm), which it shares with the lines of the Taiwan Sugar Corporation (TSC) and the Alishan Forest Railway.  Most of welsh lines run on narrower gauges, such as 60cm. Although the gauge may be the same, in other respects the W&LLR had more in common with Taiwan’s old push cart lines than with those of the TSC. It was built as cheaply as possible, with light track and steep gradients, to improve access to what was a remote area and carried general traffic rather than that of a single industry.
W&LLR的軌道尺寸與威爾斯當地鐵道不同,卻與台糖公司及阿里山森林鐵路同為762毫米(即俗稱的五分車)。 大多數的威爾斯線是在更窄的軌道(例如60公分)上運行。 儘管就軌距來說,W&LLR與台糖公司相同,但在其他方面,W&LLR與台灣的舊手推車線相比更為相似,同樣盡可能以最低成本建造,多為輕軌且是陡坡地形,希藉此來改善對偏遠地區的便利性,不是為了單一產業使用而是作為一般交通運輸。

雪在威爾斯中部並不常見,但只要一降雪,整片大地就會被厚重的冰雪覆蓋,如同2017年12月的照片,當時17號(德馬175)在熱門的聖誕節前夕,罕見地提供載客服務。 

But today, those original drawbacks add to the attraction of a trip on the line for tourists, most of whom are visiting the line as a day out for the family. They come to enjoy a ride through the scenic Welsh countryside behind one of the line’s two original steam locomotives. It would be much quicker to make the trip by car – just 15 minutes instead of the one hour on the train but speed isn’t the point: the journey is an opportunity to relax and slow down for a short time and experience something of a past way of life.
如今這些人煙罕至的鐵道線反倒成了旅客前來威爾斯小鎮觀光的最佳賣點,更是許多家庭一日旅遊的最佳首選。 透過搭乘兩輛原始蒸汽火車的任一台,便可沈浸在如詩如畫的威爾斯鄉村風景裡。比起搭乘蒸汽火車需一小時的路程,開車旅行只需15分鐘,但重點並非快慢,而是體認到:旅程是一個放鬆和慢活的機會,並可在短時間內體驗過去人們生活的方式。
 
Running a railway is an expensive business and the line employs just 5 paid staff. Without volunteer drivers, guards and station staff, it simply could not stay in business. But volunteers do more – they keep the track in good condition and outside the running season repair and maintain the locomotives and carriages. Money from the sale of tickets alone does not cover running costs and shops and a café bring in valuable additional income. Even so, the line does not earn enough to invest in major expansion or overhauls for which it also relies on donations from its volunteers and supporters.
鐵道經營是一項昂貴的事業,目前W&LLR僅僱用5名給薪員工。 如果沒有志工擔任司機、列車長和車站工作人員,根本無法繼續經營。志工做了很多工作 – 包括維護軌道狀況良好,並且在營運期之外修理和維護火車頭和車廂。對W&LLR來說,僅出售門票的收入幾乎無法抵付營運成本,即使能從所經營的咖啡廳得到寶貴的額外收益,但整體所得仍不足以投入重大擴建或翻修,因此W&LLR仍需仰賴志工和支持者的捐獻贊助。
 
Although this may sound very different to TSC, with its greater resources and full-time staff, in their tourist railway operations the W&LLR and TSC have much in common: they are both seeking to provide an enjoyable experience for families on a day out while also preserving important aspects of our respective cultural heritage for future generations.  A visitor to the two would see many similarities. Train trips at the TSC mills are usually shorter than on the W&L but more frequent. For most of the year, the W&L runs just three round trips daily, so a visit to the line requires more planning. But at former mills like Suantou, Wushulin or Xinying, the museums, cafes and shops are important parts of the overall visit. A Taiwanese visitor to the W&L would see another, more obvious link, for around 15 years ago, the W&LLR acquired a former TSC diesel locomotive, no.175. It remains in TSC colours today, still carrying its original number. Although it is not normally used for passenger trains, it has been invaluable for works trains and as a back-up locomotive. It is hoped that this will be just the start of more and closer co-operation between the W&LLR and the TSC in the years ahead.
雖然W&LLR的營運聽起來可能與擁有很多資源和全職員工的台糖公司有很大的不同,但在觀光鐵道經營面上,W&LLR和台糖公司仍有許多共同之處:他們都希望旅客能與家人在此度過愉快的一天,同時盡心為下一代保存各自重要的文化資產,當旅客造訪兩處時,即能看到許多相似之處 。台糖公司糖廠的五分車觀光路線一般而言比W&LLR短,但發車較頻繁,不像W&LLR這些年,每天只進行三趟往返班次,對旅客來說,勢必在參觀前需要作更多的規劃,而台糖公司的蒜頭、烏樹林或新營糖廠,廠內的文物館、咖啡廳和商店街等則已經規劃在糖廠整體觀光行程。 最值得一提的是,到W&LLR旅遊的台灣旅客可以發現,其實W&LLR與台糖公司之間更深刻的連結是一台約15年前從台糖收購的一輛175號內燃機車頭,至今仍保留原先的顏色和車號,雖然這輛機車頭通常不用於旅客列車,但在工程和備援用途上來說是非常珍貴。希望這個連結能促成W&LLR與台糖公司未來更密切合作的契機。



W&LLR的一個特點是擁有來自世界各地的火車頭及車廂。Joan火車最初是為了加勒比地區的甘蔗運送鐵道而建造的,車廂是從奧地利來的,圖中的Joan火車正經過一處當地早已習慣列車通過的綿羊群。
 
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