A new century for the Pingxi line from an industrial to a tourist and then a heritage railway
2:30 PM, Monday 29 Aug 2022 (20 minutes)
UQAM, pavillon J.-A. De Sève (DS) - DS-1420
It is in 2021 the Pingxi Line which was built for the coal mines along it meets its 100th anniversary. It was almost abandoned after all the mines closed in early 1990s’ due to few population there. Fortunately a lot of visitors came by trains and it became a famous tourist railway in 21st century. But most visitors come for flying Sky Lantern in Xifen or playing with cats in Houtong while Houtong means Monkey Cave. Few of them know or care about the history of coal mine there. Recently the previous workers and enthiuthiasts in Houtong, Xifen, or Chingtong realize the importance of the cultural heritages of coal mine here and there are still many tools, facilities, equipments, structures remaining. They came to collect these to exhibit, to record the oral histories from the retired workers or engineers, and to preserve and/or restore the old facilities, equipments, or strucures. Some of them guided the tourists around the mines and some played drama or dance about the life styles of miners. Also they used the facilities as the stages for a festival or a market. Many of them cooperated with university professors to study the culture of coal mine. They also communicated with coal mines groups or museum in Japan, Korea, and UK. The final goal is to provide visitors not only for fun but also the history and culture of this area. The Pingxi Line is built for carrying coal at first, then carrying visitors later. But now it links people in this area and tries to show the true value of the coal mines in its 2nd century.