To The HSR Hsinchu

The HSR train leaving Hsinchu for Taoyuan. Taken on the 16th of January 2007 with a Nikon D200 and a Nikkor 18-35mm lens. This was a 2 sec exposure with ISO 200. Part of the HSR Hsinchu Series 2.

I had to hurry the wife so that we could leave at the appropriate time, 5PM from work.

We left quickly and almost left skidmarks on the pavement on our way downtown.

We made it to the Sogo building in Hsinchy by 5:15PM.

All that was left was getting to the bridge and crossing into Jhubei, before hanging a right and getting onto the deserted highway.

The bridge was fine, and then we turned and I pushed the pedal to the metal. Last Saturday, on this particular stretch of road, I pushed my scooter to a whopping 85kph. This time, I had to hold it around 65kph, otherwise I would receive complaints from my backseat driver. Anyways, the suspension on the thing sucks when both of us are on it, so I had to slow down.

After arriving near the HSR station, I slowed down. We parked our scooter and it was 5:31PM. We had enough time to take some photos.

I snapped away and the wife took out her tripod. We went inside and started snapping photos of the inside of the station, parts that I had not seen before.

The whole thing is very impressive. Sleek, modern, made out of glass and steel. There is a beautiful long escalator leading up to the platforms. Atrium and waiting areas all around. A glass elevator for the elderly and disabled. The design looks like a steel manta ray, gliding along the path of the elevated tracks. I was mightily impressed by this structure. The indoor and outdoor lighting is superb. Just gives the right feeling to the whole thing.

We got some great shots of the tracks, the building, the view. We had a few minutes before getting on the train, so we took a lot of photos. When the train arrived, I was surprised at how low it was. Actually, this was because the platform was elevated to put the passengers at the right level.

The ride.

Well it was very fast, it took us about 23 minutes to arrive in Taichung. Very quiet, no real wobbling or anything like that. You could really feel the acceleration, like a turbocharger on a car; a distinctive whine could be heard, the whine of the wind and the train slicing through it.

The interior was spartan, but very clean and functional. We didn’t take business class, just standard fare. On our way there, we could see and feel other HSR trains passing us by. The information panel showed our speed from time to time. I saw 247kph and 300kph. It was very cool. It was fast enough to make my ears pop, just like when you take off in a plane.

Towns just flashed by as we made our way to Taichung.

The train was punctual, actually it arrived a few minutes ahead of time, but left at the designated time. We arrived a few minutes ahead of schedule. The most fun part was a turn on which the tracks were inclined so that speed was still maximized.

When we arrived, we had to disembark and make our way quickly to the Northbound train area to take the train back to Hsinchu. We only had a few minutes, and I went on my way. The wife came up behind me, but lagged behind to take some shots. I made it to almost the right place, but then the train arrived. It was a bit hectic to get onto it, but we made it and relaxed on the way back to Hsinchu.

When we arrived in Hsinchu, again a few minutes ahead of schedule, we took some pictures of the beautiful sights that we could see in the distance. We both took another half hour to snap away before we left and went home.

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