The Changhua Roundhouse is perhaps the last of its kind in Asia. It was originally made to turn steam locomotives around that could not reverse and repair/service them in the fan-shaped building. It is still in operation and is open to the public to visit for free.
The Changhua Roundhouse was completed in 1922, built by the Japanese after the completion of Taiwan's coastal railway line from Zhunan to Changhua, in order to provide a place to repair and maintain locomotives. Originally the building only had 6 stalls, but later up to 12 stalls were built by 1933. The building was also bombed during American air raids during World War II. There were originally six roundhouses in Taiwan, but the others have all been demolished. The Changhua Roundhouse was also going to be demolished, but the voices of local people saved it from being destroyed. Later the building received historical monument status. Currently, the roundhouse has two steam locomotives ( CK124 and CK120) and two types of diesel locomotives (DT668, and DT650). The roundhouse is a popular spot for tourists on weekends.
Tuesday-Sunday, 1 PM to 4 PM (open from 10 AM on weekends)
How to get there:
By Car/Scooter: From Changhua TRA station, travel north and turn left on Zhangmei Road Section 1. The roundhouse is on the left right next to the train tracks. There is limited parking on the side of the road.
By Train: The roundhouse is within five minute walking distance from Changhua TRA Station.
Please see below:
I have been to the Changhua Roundhouse twice. It is a beautiful piece of railroad history that all railroad enthusiasts should visit. The best part is it is free and open to the public.
For an overall view of the area, see our drone video above.
Or check out our 360 degree panorama above. Drones are not allowed above the train tracks.
Near the roundhouse, you can actually walk right onto the tracks, there is not much stopping you. But don't.
Be careful to only visit during opening hours, or else you will see a close door.
Walking into the roundhouse area. Many places are closed off to tourists.
But you are allowed to walk right up to the trains.
View inside the roundhouse.
Another view outside.
Closeup on one of the operating Diesel locomotives.
Walking near the rotating track.
There is also a platform here where tourists can take all the photos they want.
Closeup on the rotating track.
Kids playing on the tracks.
You can see there is a lowered platform so mechanics can work on the trains from underneath.
Other views from the platform.
Old Japanese dormitory on the premises.
Last view from the rotating platform.
Steam locomotive on display.
View via drone.
Another view via drone.
View from the south via drone.
View from the east via drone.
For more reading you can check outSpectral Codex's blog on the roundhouse here, which is the reason I visited in the first place.
If you have time, you can also check out the abandoned railroad dormitory village across the street. I will post a separate blog about it soon.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more of our blogs on Changhua to come!
We are US Expats that have extensive experience living, working, and travelling in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.