Just imagine…. Riding my bike down south of Yilan I am stopping near Suao at one of temples by the road side to find some comfortable place to have a break, and while I am sitting at the table in the temple´s hall drinking the temple´s tea and emptying my lunch box, the temple´s caretaker approaches me ready to have a chat. And what is he has to tell me? He says it is not quite safe for bikers to continue riding the 2nd from Suao down to Taroko, and he suggests to take a train. And now the funny moment – he says also that it is quite possible that i will be forced then to unload my bike and to bag it to be allowed to get it on the train. And he wants to help me; he says it might be enough if I’d stopped the bike into plastic trash bags, and he gives me … two big black plastic bags! The temple caretaker! – He does exactly what you, experienced bikers, have discussed several times here, at this forum. And he does not read it!
And yes, I have transported myself together with my bike on a train between Suao and Xincheng (Taroko). And I was not the only biker on this train, at the same platform there were other bikers wanting for the same train, and from the opposite direction came also other ones, arriving by a train. So it is quite normal for the bikers to cover the distance Suao - Xincheng or Xincheng – Suao this way.
I have noticed two railway lines that stop at these stations and accept bikes:
North Link Line (white with a red strip, a regular passenger train), only end carriages have place for bikes, but very narrow doors and high doorsteps. This is probably this line that requires bagged, dismantled bikes.
Name Unknown (blue), a typical commuter train - broad, automatic sliding doors, no doorsteps, no designated bike carriages, no designated places for bikes inside carriages. And this the line that everyone transports one´s bike on– you can place it wherever you want with the load on, I lined mine against the sits, and the conductor did not bother….
The ticket office staff in Suao certainly knows the difference and, not being ask for it, sells you the ticket for this blue line trains, and informs you about the nearest departure time. It is 96 $ passenger and 48$ bicycle
The Suao station has elevators suitable for bikes from the ticket hall to platforms.