Sunday, January 31, 2010

Taihoku Station 台北駅

Taihoku's first station was built by Liu Mingchuan as a stop on the Qing-dynasty railroad, but in 1900 the Japanese built the station pictured above in a new location. Note the Rickshaws parked in front, a Japanese invention that used human labor to pull people in shaded comfort.

These two maps, from 1935 and 1945, show Taihoku station's location at the intersection of the main line and the Tansui branch line. The brick station used many of the materials from Taihoku's old city wall, demolished by the Japanese authorities to open up a series of broad roads lined with trees. Some of the city gates, including the North Gate, were left standing.

It's pretty clear that in front of the station was a large square, and at some point the statue of the seated figure above was added. I suspect that the large building with the smokestack in the first of the two above images is the Tobacco Factory noted on the maps.

In 1938 the station was torn down and replaced by an Art Deco-style station, built of reinforced concrete. Since the target year for the layout is 1937, and since the earlier station has more character in many ways, I'm planning on modeling the earlier station. In the 1980s the newer station was demolished to make way for the present-day station.

Update Oct 2010:

Undated image of an express train at Taihoku Station. The 500 series (this one is 532) was produced in Japan from 1919 to 1928, and after 1945 was known as the CT150 class in Taiwan.

This picture from 1936 shows the back of the main station building, as well as pedestrian crossing boards.

A birds-eye view from ca. 1932 showing the station and forecourt.

This shot from 1935 shows one of the buildings of the Tobacco Factory that stood just to the northeast of the station, near where the Tansui branch curved off to the north. This angle is from the south looking north. You can see a corner of this complex on the color postcard above.

A real overview shot of the station and surrounding area, looking west. The Tobacco factory complex shows up much lighter than the other buildings. You can also see how crowded this area had become, with small buildings and houses coming right up to the station roundhouse and platforms. The boulevard that runs from the bottom left to the center middle used to be the city wall, torn down soon after the Japanese took control of the island. The mainline followed the curve in the upper middle of the image and headed to the left in the middle of another wide boulevard, called sansen doro 三線道路, or Three-lane Road.


  1. Both stations have a lot of great character (and its a shame that the art deco one was destroyed as well) but I agree that the older one is really special. Are you planning to scratch-build the station?

  2. Hi Jerry - I think it will have to be a scratch-build, but I hope to find some parts from other Japanese station models that I can use. If you like at other stations built by Japanese authorities around the same time, the style is very similar. You can see the same type of architecture and use of brickwork on Tokyo Station, although it's on a much grander scale than Taihoku Station.

  3. You can see some paper models of the present station and the 1938 station here

  4. Very interesting and helpful, Thanks

  5. I am wondering if this is a picture of the original wooden railroad station built in Taihoku around 1899?

  6. The statue was installed in 1906 in the southern part of Taipei Park (present-day 228 Park).