The National Taiwan Museum’s Railway Department Park in Taipei is to open to the public today.
The park in Datong District (大同) near the North Gate (北門, Beimen) is one of the museum’s four branches.
During the Japanese colonial era, the site housed the railway department of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan’s Bureau of Transportation.
Photo: Wang Wen-lin, Taipei Times
After World War II, it served as the headquarters for the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) for several decades. In 2007, it was listed as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法).
At an opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said that after the TRA moved to Taipei Railway Station about three decades ago, its original buildings fell into neglect.
In 2005, then-premier You Si-kun (游錫堃) facilitated a series of collaborative efforts between the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) and the then-Council for Cultural Affairs to restore the area, Lin said.
“Railways are an indicator of modernization,” he said.
While in the past the MOTC focused more on public transportation, in the past few years it has paid special attention to railway culture, the economy and tourism, Lin said, adding that it has designated 2022 as the “Year of Railway Tourism.”
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) told the attendees that the site was significant, as it was “one of the starting points of Taiwan’s modern history,” and has witnessed the nation’s development and changes over the past century.
Through the restoration, the nation is able to not only preserve tangible cultural assets, but also pass down intangible assets, such as architectural knowledge, craftsmanship and railway culture, she said.
Railways have driven the modernization of Taiwan, Minister of Culture Lee Yung-te (李永得) said.
The park has three permanent exhibitions: the “Historic Site Exhibition,” “Taiwan’s Railway Culture Exhibition” and “Steam Dream Works,” which was designed for children.
There are two special exhibitions on until early next year: “Taiwan Railway Hotel (1908-1945),” which explores the first European-style hotel in Taiwan, and “Debating ‘Modern’: The 1935 Taiwan Exposition,” which highlights a 1935 event marking 40 years of Japanese colonial rule.
The hotel exhibition is to run through April 30, while the other is to close on Feb. 28.
The culture and transportation ministries have opened a preparatory office to establish a national railway museum at the Taipei Railway Workshop in Xinyi District (信義), which has also been listed as a national monument, Lee said.
The Railway Department Park is open Tuesdays to Sundays from 9:30am to 5pm, including national holidays, except for Lunar New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
Admission is NT$100, although half-priced tickets are available for children aged six to 12, students, military or police personnel, people aged 65 or older and groups of 20 people or more, although groups require a reservation, one week in advance of the visit.
Chinese-language guided tours are available at 10:30am and 2:30pm.
Additional reporting by staff writer
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,