This work aims to measure different components of natural background radiation on a train. A radiation measurement system consisting of four types of radiation detectors, namely, a Berkeley Lab cosmic-ray detector, moderated 3He detector, high-pressure ionisation chamber and NaI(Tl) spectrometer, associated with a global positioning system unit was established for this purpose. For the commissioning of the system, a test measurement on a train along the railway around the northern Taiwan coast from Hsinchu to Hualien with a distance of ∼275 km was carried out. No significant variation of the intensities of the different components of natural background radiation was observed, except when the train went underground or in the tunnels. The average external dose rate received by the crew of the train was estimated to be 62 nSv h−1.