Abandoned railway station bringing past to life

01/25/2020 11:48 AM
Photo courtesy of the Kaohsiung Museum of History
Photo courtesy of the Kaohsiung Museum of History

Kaohsiung, Jan. 25 (CNA) Old things can be valuable in modern times, when plastic and fast food dominates some people's lives, like the Cishan Station (旗山火車站)built in the Japanese colonial era on a railway line in Kaohsiung that long ago fell into disuse with the rise of road transportation.

Constructed from wood, plaster and red bricks between 1913 and 1915, the railway station, which has been deserted since 1982, was designated as an example of historic architecture in 2005.

It was restored four years later and transformed into a museum telling the stories of its history and the glory days of the Qiwei rail line it once served.

According to the Kaohsiung City Bureau of Cultural Affairs, which runs the museum, named the "Sugar Railway Story House," Cishan Station attracts nostalgic railway fans.

The station, situated in Qishan District, was an important transportation hub for sugarcane, bananas and tobacco, as well as local residents, from 1910 to 1978.

The station had its prime time in the 1930s, with both passenger and cargo transport services, but its popularity faded in the 1970s when road transportation replaced the railway and the local sugar industry began to decline.

It was deserted after traffic on the 39.4 kilometer-long Qiwei line stopped in 1978 and the tracks were completely torn out in 1982.

Photo courtesy of the Kaohsiung Museum of History
Photo courtesy of the Kaohsiung Museum of History
Photo courtesy of the Kaohsiung Museum of History
Photo courtesy of the Kaohsiung Museum of History

(By Cheng Chi-fong and Elizabeth Hsu)

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