Dahua Station is one of the smallest, most remote, and less visited train stations on the Pingxi Railway. There are almost no commercialized attractions, but that has also made it a pristine nature area popular with hikers. Nearby one can see natural sites such as the Dahua potholes, waterfalls, forests, and wildlife, as well as historical mining sites.
Dahua Station was completed in 1956, 35 years after the Pingxi Railway itself was completed. Its main purposes at the time was to ship coal and other mining materials from the nearby coal screening facility and also provide transportation for mine employees.
In 1990, coal production at Dahua station stopped along with the gradual demise of the coal industry in Taiwan, due to low coal import prices and safety issues.
In 1994, a small platform was built for tourists.
Dahua station is unmanned. As of 2018, only an average of 18 people per day visited the station.
Popular attractions near the train station include the Dahua Potholes, Cukeng Falls, Youkeng Falls, and Youkeng trail that connect Dahua Station to Sandiaoling Station.
A lot of visitors mistakenly stop at Dahua Station while trying to walk to Shifen Waterfall. This is a mistake! It is a really long walk to Shifen Waterfall. You are best to just wait an hour for another oncoming train.
Hours: 24/7 （first train comes at 5:32 AM, last train leaves at 10:30 PM, with one train coming every half hour or so)
How to get there:
By Train: Take the TRA to Ruifang Station, and then switch to the Pingxi Railway line. Get off at Dahua Station, and you have arrived!
By Car/Scooter: Take provincial highway 2 east toward Pinglin, then get off the main highway once you reach Shifen, then cross to the south of the Keelung River and take the Dahua Agricultural Road all the way to the end where you will find the station. There is no road that directly connects to Sandiaoling.
Please see below:
I admittedly have only been to Dahua Station once. But I had a good experience and I definitely want to go back and explore more.
I haven't actually taken the train to the station, I took a scooter there on a small back road from Shifen. Let me tell you, it is way out in the middle of nowhere.
Check out our drone footage of the area above.
The train station itself consists of a single raised platform with a small covered section.
Another view of the train station.
The only commercial enterprise I saw near the train station was this small convenience store that sells sausage, drinks, cookies, instant noodles, ice, and tea eggs. But it was closed.
As can be seen by the signage outside the train station itself. there are three major attractions near Dahua Station: The coal unloading bunker site, Youkeng Trail, and the Dahua Potholes.
From the sign: "Dahua Potholes"
"In its upper reaches the Keelung River has a large number of potholes that formed because of the different degrees of hardness of the rock. When the sand and pebbles carried by the current ground in eddies against the rock face or uneven river bed, the eventual result was potholes. Potholes often develop in areas of rapids or winding currents, where tributaries converge with main streams, and below waterfalls. The amount of water in the stream is a factor, and the Pingxi area's abundant rainfall provides plenty of water to grind out potholes.
Scouring at the confluence of the Xinliao and Keelung rivers has formed an erosion fan, resembling an alluvial fan, where the interaction between current and rock structure has carved out just about all types of potholes. The Dahua Potholes near the station, which the Economic Ministry's Central geographical survey declared a "geological sensitive area" in 2014, are especially impressive."
The entrance to Dahua Trail (which connects to Fuyoukeng Trail) is just behind the train station.
The stairs up Dahua Trail look steep and long.
Map of Dahua Trail.
"Dahua Coal-unloading Bunker"
"When coal mining along the Pingxi Line was at its peak and miners were also operating in the Youkeng area of Nanshan Village, a coal washing plant was built at Dahua from which coal was shipped out after screening in 1949. The mine proprietor asked Taiwan Railways Administration to set up a station here called Dahug Station for the convenience of its employees. The mine was located upstream beside Dahua Station and there were two pits beside the stone wall. Mines was carried out in Dahua until 1990. Today, only the mine entrance is left. The glory days of mining are gone now, but the this place is still worth a visit."
Some very old rock wall next to the trail.
Hikers going to Dahua Potholes make way for the train.
The way to Dahua Potholes is along the train tracks, in a few meters down from Dahua Station on the Keelung River.
There is a small footbridge that crosses the river here which you can use to view more potholes.
Closeup on the Dahua Potholes. This is as close as I could get before my drone went out of range and returned. This place definitely deserves a visit in person.
I maxed out the range on my drone, so it flew back home to the station.
Now you know a little more about Dahua Station. I hope to go back here for a hike and update this blog fully one day.
For our full guide to the Pingxi Railway, click here.
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.