Old Kaohsiung Station installed as part of rail redevelopment project

09/26/2021 09:33 PM
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The old Kaohsiung Station building is seen in front of one of the two buildings included in the redevelopment project. Photo courtesy of the Presidential Office
The old Kaohsiung Station building is seen in front of one of the two buildings included in the redevelopment project. Photo courtesy of the Presidential Office

Kaohsiung, Sept. 26 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Sunday that it is "an important day for the people of Kaohsiung" as a conserved part of the old railway station was installed as part of an ongoing project to redevelop the area close to its original location.

In addition to witnessing the historic moment, Tsai said she came to Kaohsiung to outline the vision planned by central and local government for the port city.

According to Tsai, the government is planning to transform the city, a heavy industry hub, by bringing in competitive sectors, such as 5G telecommunication technology, Internet of Things and artificial intelligence.

The operator of Kaohsiung's "Asia's New Bay Area" project has signed agreements or letters of intent with major companies to set up operations in the area along the coast and inside the Port of Kaohsiung, the president said, without providing more details.

At an event held to mark the occasion, Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) thanked Tsai for supporting the city's plan to transform its industries, build "Asia's New Bay Area," and expand transportation infrastructure.

Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chi-mai (right) talks about the design of the station in February. CNA file photo
Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chi-mai (right) talks about the design of the station in February. CNA file photo

He also expressed appreciation to his predecessors, including Control Yuan President Chen Chu (陳菊) and former Kaohsiung Mayor Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭), who attended the event, as well as Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), Taiwan's representative to Japan, who appeared via a video link.

The entrance and lobby of the old Kaohsiung Station, built in 1941, was preserved and moved to a location 82.6 meters from its original site in 2002, as part of a project to move the railway in the city center underground.

The relocation of the old railway structure back to a location close to its original site was completed Sunday. It will serve as a gateway linking the old and new Kaohsiung train stations.

Construction of the new station began in October 2006, and is scheduled to be completed in 2025, according to the Railway Bureau.

Inside the current Kaohsiung Station, where the canopy-like rooftop is installed. CNA photo June 11, 2021
Inside the current Kaohsiung Station, where the canopy-like rooftop is installed. CNA photo June 11, 2021

Dutch firm Mecanoo, which built the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts that opened in 2018, was selected to design the new Kaohsiung Station, which will bring together under one roof the underground railway station, Kaohsiung Main Station on the city's metro network, and a bus terminal, the design on its website shows.

The station will be covered by a rooftop park, while a 15.37-kilometer section on which tracks were laid between Zhuoying and Fongshan districts in the city have been returned to road users, with added green spaces, cycling lanes and pedestrian paths, according to the city government.

The Railway Bureau plan indicates the construction of a hotel and a commercial building near the station as part of the redevelopment project, which are expected to be completed in January 2024.

The whole project, including the station's canopy-like rooftop, one-seventh of which has already been completed, rebuilding of roads around the station and the north side of the underground station are scheduled to be completed in 2025, the bureau's plan shows.

(By Tsai Meng-yu, Lai Yu-chen and Kay Liu)

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