火車快飛

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1987 / 6月

文‧李光真 圖‧邱勝旺


六月九日是鐵路節。今年的節日顯得特別;從光緒十三年(西元一八八七年),劉銘傳在台灣創建第一條鐵路通車以來,台鐵運行了整整百年。


當你搭乘自強號電聯車,坐在寬敞亮麗、空調良好的豪華車廂堙A平穩無聲地馳過嘉南平原,田間美景盡收眼底。你可曾想到這一趟火車之旅,盛載了百年來斯土斯民的聚散離合,與十五個世紀前人類文明的夢想?

手持大旗,駿馬前導

火車在時空中奔馳。

一百五十一年前,西元一八二五年九月廿五日,英人喬治.史蒂芬遜駕駛他改良製造的機車(火車頭),牽引兩節高邊無頂篷車,載著旅客、煤炭和麵粉,由一位同鄉手執大旗,騎馬前導,自小城司徒克頓(Stockton)緩緩啟動,以每小時十餘哩的速度,駛向六十一公里外的鄰城達令頓(Darlington)。

這是世界第一輛行駛於公用鐵路上的火車。儘管它黑煙滾滾,車聲震天,卻引得沿路居民爭睹圍觀,雀躍萬分。

火車的發明,改變了人類的時空觀念,從前要步行數個月的旅程,縮短為短短數日;騾馬獸力不勝負荷的物資,火車輕而易舉地載運各地。火車拉近了人與人的距離,促成了路旁鄉鎮的繁榮。不出幾年,世界各個先進國家都爭相鋪設鐵路。其中橫貫美國中部的太平洋鐵路,還是由數萬名離鄉背井去謀生的華工(苦力)築成的。

奇技淫巧,何方神怪?

火車在中國首次出現是在清同治四年(西元一八六五年),由英商在北京宣武門外鋪設小鐵路,試行小火車,藉以炫耀其新鮮奇巧。

此舉固然引起開明之士的好奇與讚嘆,但一般百姓卻群情駭怪,視火車為破壞風水沖犯神明的「淫技邪物」。再加上清廷懼怕國外列強以築鐵路為名,暗行侵略掠奪、瓜分中國之實,不久便勒令拆毀。十年後,英商怡和洋行鋪設的吳淞鐵路,也因為行車時撞死了一名清廷士兵,引起民情激憤,最後難逃被拆除的命運。

直到光緒七年,西元一八八一年六月九日,清廷在李鴻章、劉銘傳等人力陳之下,終於開始興建從河北唐山到胥各莊間約九公里長的運煤鐵路,名為唐胥鐵路。

唐胥鐵路名為鐵路,卻沒有「火車」。剛開始運行時,竟然是用騾馬拖載運煤車廂,亦步亦趨踱完全程的。原來清廷礙於大臣力諫,不得不興建鐵路,卻又怕淞滬事件重演,所以早就言明唐胥鐵路築成之後,不准啟用動力強、速度快的機車,必須改用騾馬拖載,才准興建。直到通行翌年,英籍工程師利用開礦機器的舊鍋爐,做成一輛小機車來行駛,才算開啟中國鐵路機動力之始。

早期的中國鐵路,就在列強垂涎環伺、清廷矇眛不決中一寸寸構築起來。相較之下,偏居海角一隅的台灣,反倒因為掣肘阻力較小,鐵路發展稍形順利。

丟丟銅仔,火車到呀!

「火車走到伊都,阿嬤伊都丟,唉呀崩坑內,

崩坑的水伊都,丟丟銅啊伊都,

阿嬤伊都,丟阿伊都,滴落來——」

這首朗朗上口、人人熟悉的台灣民謠,據說寫得就是台灣火車通車後,人們攜老扶幼,帶著飯盒,趕來探新的景況。

光緒十三年(西元一八八七年)六月間,台灣鐵路也在巡撫劉銘傳力陳之下開始興建,由英籍總工程師規劃,從台北大稻埕起,向北延伸至基隆,全長約廿八公里,一直到光緒十七年(一八九一)十月完工。

這短短廿八公里的鐵路,竟費時四年之久,一方固然工程艱鉅,一方面也是民眾懷有疑懼,怕鐵軌破壞風水,震動祖墳,所以多方阻撓。施工中最艱難的一段位於獅球嶺(今基隆市區),開鑿隧道十八鎖(約五百七十三公尺),是台灣第一座隧道。因為工程艱鉅,劉銘傳還特別在南坑口題了「曠宇天開」四個大字,左右各有一副對聯:

「五千年生面獨開羽轂飆輪從此東莊通海嶼

三百丈岩腰新闢天梯石棧居然人力勝神工」

台灣鐵路(初即北基鐵路)是僅次於唐胥鐵路後的中國第二條鐵路,最早的兩輛火車頭——騰雲號與御風號——還是從拆毀的淞滬鐵路上轉運來台使用的。

可遠觀,不可搭乘?

天梯石棧的巧奪天工,羽轂飆輪的龐然巨物,固然引得大家千里迢迢,好奇觀望,但教他們坐趟試試,卻還真困難。

北基鐵路闢建之初,民眾怕火車隨時會爆炸,多半只肯觀望不肯搭乘。為了鼓勵起見,當時還准許用郵票代替車票,省去乘客到站買票的麻煩,所以當年郵票上都印有「可通用火車票」的字樣。更妙的是,當時車行速度平緩,若是同時有幾個人在鐵道邊攔車,也可以停下來中途載客。

平日如此,到了假日,卻另有衙門規矩。比如農曆過年,全體鐵路員工放長假一個月,即使有人為了返鄉團聚而願「冒險」賞光,也只有另謀交通工具。

北基鐵路開工後不久,劉銘傳又繼續修築自台北南行,經桃園、中壢,抵達新竹的路線,共長七十八公里。可惜不久劉銘傳與清廷不和,稱病請辭,台灣鐵路的發展竟因此中斷。

甲午戰後,台灣為日本割據。面對這塊資源豐富的殖民地,日本人將修築鐵路列為第一要務,在十年內次第完成從新竹經台中抵高雄,共計二九七.三公里的西部縱貫線鐵路。

台灣三寶,悉數運日

除了西部縱貫線外,各糖業、礦業及林業輕窄鐵路網也密密築起。台灣的蔗糖、煤、木材、食米等資源,就從島上各個角落,源源不絕地運往日本,為日本市場提供廉價原料。

至於花蓮到台東這段東線鐵路,因為沿路崇山峻嶺、溪澗湍急,工程幾度停頓,拖到民國十五年才完工。但東線鐵路鋪設的鐵軌是二呎六吋,比西線為窄,使得島上東西部居民無法聲氣相連,互通有無。

日本人雖為台灣鐵路奠定了完整的規模,但是二次世界大戰末期,台鐵在盟軍猛烈轟炸下,各種設備都慘遭嚴重破壞:橋樑傾圯,涵洞堵塞,鐵軌更是受創累累,許多支線鐵軌甚至被拆起,轉供日本軍需之用。此時,更有一批批台灣同胞被推上火車,送往南洋戰區做軍夫。多少人在月台上目送著自己的丈夫,兒子,愛人,隨著汽笛聲起,緩緩駛離,從此再無歸來之時。

慘澹經營,推翻「預言」

民國卅五年台灣光復,留下歷經戰火摧殘的鐵道。而台鐵中、高級日本幹部,在悉數遣返日本時,曾經揚言:「依台鐵現況估計,不管做任何努力,頂多只能苟延殘喘六個月罷了!」

面對這樣譏峭的「預言」,台鐵的復元工作剛開始的確是東拼西湊,慘澹經營。直到政府遷台,大陸上一批優秀的鐵路人才陸續來到台灣,才正好為台鐵注入新血。從修補傾圯橋樑、抽換腐朽枕木及損毀鋼軌,修護橋涵路基開始,再逐年添購新的機車,加強保養和修護的種種設備措施……就在這樣一點一滴的努力中,台鐵奇蹟般地「活」了下來,而且擔負起台灣早期最主要的陸路交通工具的重任。

一樣火車,兩樣心情

當年運送軍伕去南洋充當砲灰的火車,這時滿載著北上求學及謀生的農家子弟。擠在燠熱狹窄的車廂堙A火車上一份十元的排骨菜飯也是不敢奢求的奢侈品;顛顛晃晃,一整天才到得了台北。

但是這一切都是美好的,只因為火車會帶著他們,駛向充滿希望、憧憬的未來。

民國四十二年起,政府開始進行一連串的「四年經建計畫」,到了六十年代,台灣已經從落破、貧窮中掙脫出來。當年的農家子弟,有的出國留學,在異域生根;有的則留在台北做起小生意,攢了錢,買了房子,遇到假日,帶著打扮得漂漂亮亮的妻兒,拎著大包小包的禮物,乘著改良後舒適的列車,回到鄉間探視父母親。卅多年來的悲歡歲月,聚散離合,就這麼在台鐵的軌跡上留下刻痕。

前些年,台灣省鐵路管理局還常收到匿名或具名的民眾信函,堶悸了錢和道歉函。

有位張先生,在民國四十一年時,還是個三餐不繼、身無分文的小零工,只因為朋友急病,他從楊梅趕搭夜車到板橋探病,「逃」了一次票。卅多年來,他作生意發了財,有了名氣,但對這件往事,卻始終耿耿於懷。他最後終於鼓起勇氣,寄還一筆錢給鐵路局,解開了卅多年來的心結。

羅東阿婆探女兒

火車的故事說不完;有個人的心事,也有共同的記憶。

民國六十九年一月廿五日北迴鐵路試行通車前夕,花蓮市街上一片燈海,家家戶戶都懸掛淺黃色「祈安圓醮」的燈籠。九座醮壇陸續地搭建起來,街頭巷尾到處是牌樓。

花蓮市十幾年沒有建醮活動了,為了北迴鐵路全線通車,特別建醮三天,全體市民吃素,表示他們的虔敬與感恩。街頭上一座牌樓寫著「天恩浩蕩,國運昌隆」,另一座寫著「東西交通從此大開」——花蓮人期盼多年的一刻,終於到來了。

一對住在羅東的老夫婦,一大清早就趕到宜蘭,搭乘鐵路局的試行列車,去探望六年前嫁到花蓮的女兒。六年來,老太太因為會暈車,不敢走蘇花公路,所以從來沒有到過女兒的家。坐上北迴鐵路試行火車的那一剎那,老太太百感交集,掉下淚來,多年的夙願總算得償了。

從宜蘭南聖湖到花蓮田浦的北迴鐵路,屬於十項建設之一。北迴鐵路的完工,真正改變了東部人的時空感。去台北這件過去看來舟車勞頓、足足可耗去一整天的苦差事,如今穿山越嶺,三小時就舒適地到達了。

逢山開洞,遇水架橋

北迴鐵路可真是「穿山越嶺」而來。它全長八一.六公里,一半是築在大大小小的隧道堙B橋樑上的。「逢山開洞、遇水架橋」,說來簡單,但碰上東部山區頑劣的地形、土質、和氣候,常令施工人員有行不得也的感嘆。從沿線居民爭相捐地、捐錢、奉添茶水,組織工程慰勞隊的種種舉動中,他們知道,北迴鐵路的闢建是台灣東北部居民長久以來的盼望夢想,他們要為之實現。

在北迴鐵路之前,台灣最長的隧道是福隆「草嶺隧道」,長約二公里。但北迴鐵路全線十六座隧道,遠遠超過舊紀錄。以北回線上排名第三的「永春隧道」來說,全長四○二○.五公尺,是「草嶺隧道」的兩倍。長還不算,這座由南澳溪底河床下卅公尺穿過的隧道,還是北回線上工程最艱險的一段,榮工處嘗試了許多種不同的施工方法,足足費時五年之久才完工。

愚公移山,並非神話

鼓音隧道和谷風隧道的修築過程更是曲折。這兩座隧道本來屬於同一座山,要挖成一座谷風隧道。不料六十九年九月,隧道挖到一半時,碰上黛娜颱風挾著豪雨來襲。谷風隧道上方的蘇花公路嚴重坍方,連帶壓垮了部分挖好的隧道,引發嚴重的地層滑動,隧道內也有抽心(落磐)現象。

榮工處一時不知所措,只好向國外知名的隧道專家求救。最後決定乾脆將長一百廿四公尺的滑動地層全部挖掉,免除後患。這個工程動用了七十八部大小機具,日夜兼程趕工,足足挖了七個月,挖走的土堆可以填滿廿萬輛卡車。就這樣,一座山被挖成了兩座山,一座隧道也分隔為二。

北迴鐵路修築成功,移山的愚公——榮工處員工們尤其喜不自勝。因為這些難得的施工經驗,馬上就可以應用到新開工的南迴鐵路修築工程上,北迴、南迴,連結西部幹線,加上東線窄軌拓寬、宜蘭線雙軌工程完工後,坐在火車上環島旅行的夢想,即將實現。等到台北市鐵路地下化竣工,台鐵又將進入另一個新紀元了。

火車頭功成身退

奔馳百年,火車始終在和時間、空間競技。為了速度快、運能大,它也不斷改頭換面,順應潮流。

問起廿五歲以上的人,或許還會有這樣的坐火車經驗:——先是震耳欲聾的「嗚——」汽笛聲,然後車身一震,車輪軋著鐵軌,嘎嘎轉動,由緩而急;這時火車頭上冒出濃濃黑煙,在空中曳出一道長長尾巴,久久不散。

這個浪漫的畫面,在民國六十八年鐵路電氣化後已然「絕版」此間。

鐵路電氣化後,改用電力機車,起動快而平穩,且全無「火氣」——沒有黑煙,也沒有噪音。火車穿過山洞時,乾淨無聲,不像以往灰煙滿臉。而六十八年起,從英國引進的自強號電聯車,五輛為一組,第一輛是控制室、第二輛是動力車,第三、四輛是拖車,第五輛則是駕駛拖車,首尾兩端都有輕便的司機室,折反不用掉頭,全靠電力發動,根本連「火車頭」都淘汰不用了。現代兒童要看蒸汽式「火車頭」,還得到台北市新公園才看得到呢。

還有更遠的路要跑

說起火車頭,也有一段滄桑史。根據一位在鐵路局工作卅多年的機務處林姓工程師表示,過去「退休」的老火車頭差不多都是報廢、加以解體,再轉供其他用途。每當有老火車頭被分割解體時,和火車頭有深厚感情的司機就彷彿自己心頭一塊肉被硬生生挖起,總要難過好久。後來,老火車頭漸漸少了,退休火車頭於是被分別送往各縣市,公開展覽,讓民眾一發「思古之幽情」。

老火車頭還被印成了紀念郵票和車票;值得紀念的,當然不只功成身退的火車頭,而是它曾經賣力軋過的軌痕——歷經清朝統治、日本割據,台灣終又回到中國的懷抱;物換星移,幾經滄桑,民族感情的血脈相融,正如台鐵網路愈築愈密,為人們帶來重逢、富庶與進步。

〔圖片說明〕

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條條筆直的軌道,護送著火車駛向各個驛站。(鄭元慶攝)

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民國四十年八月,台灣縱貫線大型機車通車典禮的歷史鏡頭。(中央社提供)

P.118

台灣最早的蒸汽火車頭之一「騰雲號」,現正在台北新公園堙u養老」。

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榮民在炎陽下揮汗鋪設南迴鐵路。(陳銘政攝)

P.120

北迴列車在群山峻嶺中蜿蜒迆邐,宛若長虹。(鄭元慶攝)

P.121

枋寮學童,在舊火車車廂上嬉戲。(鄭元慶攝)

P.121

放假期間,月台上熙來攘往,擠滿了返鄉的旅客。

P.121

月台上,說不盡離別和相聚的故事。她們身上,即將上演什麼樣的故事?

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鐵路電氣化後,軌道上電纜密佈,也成為一種奇特的景觀。

P.122

耗資頗鉅的北市地下鐵工程,正在日夜趕工中。

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列車長率領著笑容可掬的隨車服務小姐,向各位問聲好。

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One Hundred Years of Working On Taiwan's Railroad

Laura Li /photos courtesy of Ch'iu Sheng-wang /tr. by Karen Chung

June 9th is Railroad Day in Taiwan, and this year is special. Exactly one hundred years have passed since the first railway was established in Taiwan in 1887.


Englishman George Stephenson's improved steam locomotive made its first run on September 25, 1825. It carried passengers, coal, and flour from the small town of Stockton to Darlington, 61 kilometers away. It moved along at only 10 MPH, and it was preceded by a man on horseback carrying a flag to announce its arrival. Nobody minded the black clouds of gagging smoke or the thunderous roar. They all cheered excitedly as they viewed the first train in the world to run on a public railway pass by in front of them.

The invention of the steam locomotive was to turn around everybody's concept of space and time. People were brought much closer together, and heavy cargo could now be conveniently and efficiently transported.

A small railway was first built just outside Peking by some Englishmen in 1865 as a curiosity attraction. It did indeed draw the interest and praise of a number of forward-looking Chinese. But the "fire cars" caused fright in the majority of people; they worried that the geomantic balance of the land was being upset, and the souls of the dead angered. The government had its own apprehensions. They feared the foreigners would use the railway to seize Peking and then divide China among themselves. For this reason, the rail was ordered destroyed. Ten years later, the Wusung Railway was built. This time a soldier of the Ching court was killed in a train accident. This set off a popular outcry, and the Wusung Railway met the same fate as its predecessor.

In September of 1887, Li Hung-chang, Liu Ming-ch'uan, and other Ching officials with an eye to the future directed the construction of the T'anghsu Railway. Nine km of track connected the city of T'angshan in Hopei Province to the village Hsukechuang to transport coal.

The Chinese railway system grew in fits and starts under an indecisive and dallying court policy. The railway system in faraway Taiwan, on the other hand, developed considerably more smoothly, since it ran into less government resistance. The first line built was the 28 km long Taipei-Keelung line. Construction on it was begun in 1887, under the direction of Liu Ming-ch'uan, and completed in 1891. Difficult terrain lengthened the construction time required. And, as on the mainland, public resistance to trains interfered with their construction and operation.

The Taipei-Keelung Railway holds the distinction of being the second successful line to be built in China, after the T'anghsu line. In fact, the first locomotives to service Taiwan were rebuilt from dismantled trains formerly used on the Wusung Railway. It is said that the well-known Taiwanese folksong "Tiu Tiu Tang" was composed as crowds of enthusiastic onlookers cheered the first train to run on this line.

Many people had qualms about riding the new "fire car"--they feared it might explode at any minute. In order to encourage more people to take the train, postage stamps were for a time accepted as train tickets. This saved the potential rider from making a special trip to the train station to buy a ticket. Trains moved so slowly then that they could be waved down to pick up passengers practically anywhere along the tracks. One major drawback to the system was that the railway authorities missed their peak seasons by giving all railway workers long vacations on major holidays, such as Chinese New Year!

Soon after construction on the Taipei-Keelung line began, work was initiated on a second line. This new line stretched a total of 78 km, from Taipei to Taoyuan, Chungli, and Hsinchu. Unfortunately, the official Liu Ming-ch'uan at this time became deeply disillusioned with the Ching government, and resigned from office. All new railway construction subsequently drew to a halt.

Taiwan was annexed by Japan as a colony after the Sino-Japanese War of 1894. Japan's first priority in resource-rich Taiwan was to build up and develop the railway system. Within one decade, a 297.3 km line was built from Hsinchu to Taichung and Kaohsiung. In addition to this line, which connected Taiwan from north to south on its western coast, major railways were linked up to the light railways serving the sugar, mining, and forestry industries. In this way, bargain-priced raw materials from every corner of the island could be efficiently sent on to Japan.

The line connecting the eastern Taiwan cities of Hualien and Taitung was not completed until 1926. Precipitous cliffs and plunging ravines defied all but the most determined efforts to conquer them. All that was lacking now was a horizontal link between Taiwan's eastern and western halves.

The Japanese established a fairly comprehensive railway system for Taiwan. Unfortunately, it was extensively damaged in bombing raids by the Allied Forces towards the end of World War Ⅱ. Bridges were down and culverts were blocked. Tracks were in many places destroyed, or in some cases, dismantled and shipped to Japan for military use. It was at this time that many of Taiwan's young husbands, sons, and lovers were packed into trains and sent off to Southeast Asia where they were forced to fight for the expansionist Japanese. Few returned.

Taiwan's railway system was in a shambles when the Japanese left in 1946. Some Japanese military officials predicted that it could hold out at best only another six months, even with the best of efforts to restore it.

Taiwan's railways were indeed difficult to piece back together. They had to start again practically from scratch, and could function only marginally. However, a life-giving infusion of new talent began arriving from the Chinese mainland after 1949. Bridges and culverts were rebuilt and repaired, rotting ties replaced, and new tracks installed. New locomotives were also added, and maintenance and repair practices upgraded. Bit by bit of untiring efforts permitted Taiwan's troubled railways to miraculously survive, and become Taiwan's major mode of transportation of the time.

The train was how countless farmers' sons got to the "big city" of Taipei to study, work, or try their hand at business. Once successful, the train is what brought them back home on the holidays, arms weighed down with gifts for the family.

The Taiwan Railway Administration receives a great deal of mail, including letters of apology--and some with money enclosed. One was from a man who years ago came to Taipei to visit a friend in the hospital. At the time he was penniless, and slipped by the ticket collectors. Now a successful businessman, he wrote to the railway with an explanation, apology, and some money, in an effort to relieve a matter that weighed on his conscience for 20 years!

In 1980, the 81.6 km Peihuei line, connecting Ilan in northern Taiwan with the eastern coastal city of Hualien, was completed. Huge religious festivities were held in Hualien for three days to celebrate the event. The construction of the Peihuei line was certainly the most challenging and difficult of the entire Taiwan railway system, because of nearly "impossible" mountains and gorges. It includes a total of 16 tunnels. Before the Peihuei line, the longest train tunnel in Taiwan was the 2 km long Ts'aoling tunnel. Now, the Yungch'un tunnel of the Peihuei line, for example, is 4,020.5 meters long, twice the length of the Ts'aoling tunnel--and it is only the third longest on the island. What is even more impressive about this tunnel is that it is located 30 meters beneath the Nan Ao River. This tunnel was the most problematic portion of the whole Peihuei line, and it took a full five years to complete.

The rocking and bumping one had to put up with in the hot, noisy, crowded trains of a few decades ago have given way to all-electric trains that are smooth, sparkling, quiet, and clean. Taiwan's railways have unquestionably "made it," and are celebrating their 100th birthday in excellent form.

[Picture Caption]

Track after track of perfectly straight rails lead the trains to various stations. (photo by Arthur Jeng)

Taiwan's main north-south railway was opened to large-scale locomotives in August 1951. (photo courtesy of Central News Agency)

One of Taiwan's earliest steam locomotives is now on display in Taipei's New Park.

Veterans building the South Link Railway laid track in the hot sun. (pho to by Ch'en Ming-cheng)

The North Link Railway winds gracefully through the mountains. (photo by Arthur Jeng)

Some schoolgirls from Fangliao play around in an old train car. (photo by Arthur Jeng)

During vacations, the platforms are crowded with people returning home.

Train stations are full of stories of parting and reunion. What stories are about to happen here?

Since electrification, the railways have been overhung with cables.

Work on the costly Taipei subway system goes on day and night.

The conductor and the service personnel welcome the passengers aboard.

 

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