Tue, Jun 21, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Taipei Railway Workshop to be turned into national railway museum: MOC

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The Ministry of Culture (MOC) yesterday said it has reached an agreement with the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) to turn the Taipei Railway Workshop into a national railway museum.

The three parties will further discuss how they can coordinate with one another, the MOC said.

The workshop will be divided into different zones to carry out restoration work in different stages the culture ministry said, adding that the zones could be opened to visitors one at a time once work at each zone is complete.

“We are considering offering guided tours to registered visitors while restoration work is still in progress, so that visitors can personally experience how the historical site is restored and revitalized,” the Ministry of Culture said in a statement.

The culture ministry said that the workshop is where the nation’s railway system grew and evolved and is a testament to the development of the nation’s railroad infrastructure and modern industry.

It is also a historic indicator of how the Taipei metropolitan area expanded from the west to the east, it added.

To preserve the site, the property of the workshop was designated as a national historical site on April 16 last year.

However, the plan to turn the workshop into a national railway museum has yet to be approved by the Executive Yuan, as it involves several unresolved issues, from the funding of the restoration and the museum’s place in the urban development plan of Taipei to the railway operator’s ability to sustain itself financially to operate such a museum, it said.

The culture ministry said it can only entrust professionals with the task of delivering a plan on how they can restore the historical site.

“We understand that the TRA, as a railway operator, has an important task of continuing to upgrade the railway infrastructure to enhance the safety, convenience and comfort of the public transport system,” MOC Minister Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) said.

“The cooperation between the MOC and the TRA will ensure that the cultural asset can be preserved and the TRA can stay financially afloat. We hope that this glory of the railroad personnel can become a new center of attraction for tourism and culture in the nation’s capital,” Cheng added.

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