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Premier visits NTM's newly renovated Railway Department Park

  • Date:2020-08-16
Premier visits NTM's newly renovated Railway Department Park

Remembering the old days before highways were built and his railroad journey from Pingtung in the south to Taipei which would take 13 hours, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said railroad networks had contributed greatly to Taiwan's progress and prosperity. Visiting the National Taiwan Museum's (NTM) newly renovated Railway Department Park (鐵道部園區) on August 16, accompanied by Minister of Culture Lee Yung-te, the premier stressed that the railway must maintain its competitiveness in a new era.

Su pointed out that the railway not only plays a major role in life of people in Taiwan, it has also shaped Taiwan's culture and driven the urban development. As the world has entered a new era of advanced technologies, the rail services must remain as competitive, and, to maintain the competitiveness, a lot can be learned from experiences, according to the premier.

He explained that by making the historical site the Railway Department Park to house exhibitions focused on the history and the culture of railway and modernization, the museum seeks to foster a greater understanding of Taiwan's railroad history.

Located outside Cheng-En Gate, north gate of the old walled city, the Railway Department Park was formerly railway headquarters during the Japanese rule era from 1895 to 1945.

Now one of the NTM's four main campuses, the Railway Department Park is solid testimony of Taiwan's modernization and its development in transportation infrastructure, economy, and culture. The complex was designated a national historic site in 2007.

In terms of scale, area it covers, and number of historic buildings, the national historical railway site tops three other NTM's campuses. It houses six national historic monuments: cafeteria, an octagon male washroom, an electrical room, a construction room, and a cone-shape emergency shelter used by Japanese authorities as the war command center.

Visitors can also see a wall and a flagstone path of the Machinery Bureau from the Qing Dynasty and experience the sounds of the train speeding on the tracks when sitting inside a Chu-Kuang Express train carriage displayed in the complex’s exhibition hall, transporting viewers to the time when railway staff still offered freshly brewed tea.