Takao Railway Museum – Kaohsiung City, Taiwan - Atlas Obscura

Takao Railway Museum

A museum commemorates what was once the largest freight station in Taiwan. 

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Located in the historic terminal Kaohsiung Station, the Takao Railway Museum commemorates Kaohsiung’s historic railway. 

Kaohsiung Station opened at this site in 1908 during the Japanese colonial period, when Kaohsiung was part of Takao prefecture. The station served as the terminal stop of the passenger Trunk Line, and after 1941 as Kaohsiung Port Station, focused on transporting freight. With an ideal location close to the city’s port, the station became the largest center of commercial freight in the country. 

Unfortunately, railway freight declined with the creation of Taiwan’s highway system and the station was closed for good in 2008. But in its place, a museum opened in 2010 dedicated to the history of Taiwan freight.

Visitors can get a fascinating glimpse into the past of Taiwanese commerce. The museum’s interior is maintained to resemble Kaohsiung Station during its heyday in the 1960s-70s, complete with an antique ticket cabinet, a cabinet for shipping documents, ticket-dating machines, a wooden table dating from before World War II, and a stationmaster’s room with a port line route map, framed by curtains.

During the martial law period (1947-1987), freight transportation was considered a matter of national security. These curtains had a vital purpose, as they were designed to cover the route map and prevent state secrets from leaking.

Outside, the defunct rail lines hold several historic steam and diesel locomotives and railcars. The fanning tracks also host a cultural park with distinctive sculpture art.

Know Before You Go

Visitors can take either the Orange Line to Sizihwan or the light rail to Hamasen. The museum is right next to both stops. Hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 6 pm. Entry is free. 

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May 14, 2024

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