Sat, Apr 01, 2017 - Page 3 News List

‘New’ Xinbeitou Train Station opens to public today

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

The reassembled Xinbeitou Train Station in Beitou District’s (北投) Qixing Park in Taipei is to open to the public today to serve as the window to Beitou, officials said.

Featuring a wooden exterior and copper roof tiles, the building — which functions as an exhibition venue and information center for tourists — is faithful to its previous incarnation from the Japanese colonial period.

Built in 1916, it was the terminal station on the rail line to Beitou’s hot springs.

It was disassembled in 1989 and moved to the now-defunct Taiwan Folk Village in Changhua County to make room for the construction of the Taipei MRT’s Xinbeitou station.

It was an unpopular decision with district residents, who have called for its return since 2004.

The building was reassembled using 90 percent of its original components — for example, corroded parts of its pillars were sawed away and reinforced with new materials, Taipei Department of Cultural Affairs official Michael Teng (鄧文宗) said.

The restored building is modeled after the station’s first incarnation following an expansion completed in 1937, which is evident in three evenly spaced and one wider-spaced ox-eye window on the roof, Teng said, adding that it has the same dimensions at about 276m2.

It is to function as a tourist information center about attractions in the area, he said, adding: “We hope the station will be the window to Beitou.”

The reassembly was contracted out to a building firm for NT$20 million (US$659,283), he said.

It also houses an exhibition space where photographs of different versions of the building, written documents, damaged building materials and train ticket stubs dating back to 1984 are on display.

Taipei Culture Foundation deputy director Chang Yisan (張益贍) said that although some cultural preservationists protested the decision to reassemble the station in Qixing Park instead of its original location, which now partly overlaps with an intersection on Zhongshan Road, many Beitou residents supported moving the structure to the park out of concern over its effect on traffic.

It also contains a souvenir shop selling artisan soaps, kits for hot spring baths and Xinbeitou Train Station-themed products, including a set of 3,000 special-edition EasyCards.

A “street-stomping” parade is to be held today at 1:30pm. People wanting to participate in the event should gather at the station.

A cultural and creative market is to run from today to Tuesday from 11am to 6pm, and a concert organized by Taipei Rapid Transit Corp is scheduled for tomorrow at 2:30pm.

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