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Kaohsiung Harbor Train Station

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■ Introduction
  • Type:Historic buildings
  • District:Gushan District
  • Name:Kaohsiung Harbor Train Station
  • Year of the Establishment:1908
  • Announcement Num:
  • Announcement Date:2003/02/26
  • Address:No. 30, Gu Shan 1st Road, Gu Shan District, Kaohsiung
  • Established by:Railways Department (Japanese Colonial Period, Taiwan Governor-general Headquarters)
  • Administered by:
  • Contact Number of the Bureau:
  • Coverage Area:
  • Reasons for being listed as a cultural heritage site:Originally built in 1900, Kaohsiung Harbor Train Station is the oldest train station in Kaohsiung City. During the Japanese Occupation period, it was not only the hub of trade and cargo transportation in southern Taiwan but also the start of a commercial boom in the Hamasen area, thereby making the Station historically significant.
    Kaohsiung Harbor Train Station (including platforms) was registered as a historical building by Kaohsiung City Government in 2003. The northern signal building and its facilities, such as the railroad switch system and linkage-joint mechanical devices, were later included as part of the historical building due to the great value in its classical craftsmanship. As a result, the original scope was extended, and the Station was renamed as Takao Railway.
■ Touring Cultural Heritage
  • .History

    The former Takao Train Station (today’s Kaohsiung Port Station) was the central hub for southern Taiwan’s shipping and railway transport during the Japanese rule.
    The railway construction for south Taiwan commenced in September 1899, in the early stage of the Japanese colonization. The construction started from Takao and then moved north, while the construction for east-bound Fongshan side line leading to Jioucyutang was under way. The Takao-to-Tainan section was completed in November 1900 with auxiliary Takao make-shift parking space installed (located on today’s Gushan 1st Road, next to the entrance of Shoushan Trail), officially ready for operation and public use.
    Along with the completion of Ciaotou Sugar Refinery in 1901 that went into operation the next year, the modernized sugar refinery industry meant a surging demand for railway transport. In addition, as the railway construction was on an annual expansion towards the north and the east, the Takao temporary parking space also had its market area expanded and started selling a huge variety of commercial goods; soon the in-station facilities were too ill-equipped to cater to the rising number of customers. However, the construction of Takao Port was still yet to be confirmed, resulting in overloaded demand on the regional sea & land transport in the area. The Railway Ministry recognized the necessary expansion of Takao Temporary Parking Space which then went ahead and was completed in 1907, while the construction of Kaohsiung Harbor commenced in 1904 with a test run of modernized wharfs, bringing Takao into a new era of joint sea/land transport operation. In 1908, the Fongshan side line officially connected with North-South Railway and the Takao Parking Space was also transferred and renamed as Takao Train Station. In the same year, Taiwan Governor-General’s Office started the first phase of the Takao Port construction that was to be completed in 1911. The second phase started in 1912. Takao Train Station thus became the central transport hub for shipping and railway, hugely increasing Taiwan’s domestic freight and passenger traffic volume, and rapidly mobilizing Kaohsiung’s development in today’s Hamasen and Yancheng areas.
    In 1920, Takao Train Station was officially re-named as Kaohsiung Train Station, and became the busiest central area in Kaohsiung during the Japanese rule.
    Before the end of Japanese rule, Kaohsiung Harbor experienced three phases of construction, with its hinterland stretching as far as Lingyaliao (today’s Singuang Ferry Wharf). The surrounding port area between the south of Lingyaliao and Cianjheng also developed into a heavy-industrial district. For the ingredients and products transportation in and out of the assembly lines in this district located in the east of Kaohsiung Harbor, a freight railway side track was built to extend from Kaohsiung Train Station over Kaohsiung River (today’s Love River) meandering along the wharfs by Lingyaliao to reach Cianjheng (on today’s Chenggong Road). Such was Kaohsiung’s very first Lingang (meaning ‘surrounding the port’) railway line. This goes to show that Kaohsiung Train Station had successfully shouldered the mission of modernized transportation for Taiwan’s heavy industry.
    By 1937, the population in Kaohsiung City had reached 100,000. Where the Kaohsiung Train Station was, the market capacity was geographically limited and failed to respond to the demands of urban development. Kaohsiung Prefecture Government thus started to draft a Greater Kaohsiung urban scheme, intending to gradually transfer the center of the urban development elsewhere. The Railway Ministry later on built a new Kaohsiung Train Station (where the current Kaohsiung Train Station is today), the construction of which was completed on June 20, 1941; it quickly replaced the old Kaohsiung Train Station as the transportation hub in southern Taiwan, while the old Station maintained its freight transport service.
    By the end of World War II, the old Kaohsiung Train Station experienced heavy air raids due to its strategic location, was later revamped in 1947, and was restored to its current architectural appearance, now referred to as Kaohsiung Port Station.
    Between 1958 and 1968, the Government started an expansion project for Kaohsiung Harbor, building Chungtao Commercial Port, the Second and Third Container Terminals, along with Kaohsiung Export Processing Zone, Chien-Chen Fishery Harbor, Linhai Industry Park, China Steel Corporation, and China Ship Building Corporation, serving industries that were the backbone of Taiwan’s economic miracle. For freight transport, the Railway Ministry extended the existing Lingang Line by building the Chungtao side line (along the Kuojian Road), Caoya side line (along Yugang Road) and Siaogang side line (along Jhongshan Road); the above three side lines connected with the railway network (that was built during the Japanese rule), converged in Kaohsiung Port Station and was the so-called Second Lingang Line. With the First and Second Lingang Lines, Kaohsiung Port Station still played a pivotal role in the freight transport as a major hub. Essentially, it was the convergence point of the North-South Railway, Fongshan Side Line and Lingang Line, with the most complicated railway system in Taiwan, equipped with two tower blocks of complex rail track signal control; only the northern tower block remains today.
    All facilities and equipment in the northern tower block for traffic signal control were products of Japanese rule; their functionality and safety control were as competent as their counterparts from the modern technology. These facilities and equipment have now been acquired and remain in the care of the Bureau of Cultural Affairs, Kaohsiung City Government. The Railway Cultural Society, Taiwan, has been commissioned for a residence scheme to establish the Takao Railway Hall of Stories, utilizing the precious railway artifacts and equipment to serve as a great venue for contemplating the centennial development and history of Taiwan’s railway culture.

  • .Condition

  • .Building Materials

  • .Architectural Style

    The single-storey Kaohsiung Harbor Train Station is built with brick walls and reinforced concrete frames.
    The first floor of the two-storey northern signal building is built with brick, and such architecture is characteristic of traditional signal buildings in Taiwan, while the exterior of the second floor is covered with Japanese-style siding made of cypress. The northern signal building is made of brick and with a hipped roof.

■ Other Info
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  • ‧Open:Yes
  • ‧Hours:24-hour unrestricted
  • ‧Suggested Stay time:
  • ‧Fee info:
    • Fee:No
    • Fee Information:

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