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Japanese-era train station restored to its former glory

鐵道迷新去處 百年古蹟山佳車站修復亮

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

Following a restoration project lasting more than one year, on Thursday last week the scaffolding finally came down on the nearly 100-year-old Sanjia train station, revealing its new look to visitors. Washed granolithic finish columns and wooden eaves showcase the fusion of Western and Japanese architecture that forms the building’s style. Sanjia station, which is full of the quirks and details of a small railway station, is expected to become a popular new tourist destination in New Taipei City’s Shulin District.


The station, now a New Taipei City-designated historic site, was originally constructed in 1903. Its primary function was for the transport of coal from the Sanjia mountain area. Starting in 1928, the line was used to transport ferroconcrete and wood for use in the construction of buildings. Over the years, the station’s superstructure gradually fell into disrepair and became riddled with termites. After a new station building was opened in 2011, the old building was boarded up and shrouded in tarpaulin.


In 2015, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) set aside NT$21 million to carry out a restoration of the old station. Sanjia is now the only surviving Japanese colonial-era train station, preserved in its original form, on Taiwan’s west coast mainline between Cidu station in the south and Taoyuan in the north. As such, Sanjia holds a special place in the history of Taiwan’s railways.


The TRA says the station’s roof was reconstructed using Chinese cedar, and windows and doors were matched to the originals by using Taiwanese cedar. After replastering the walls, straw was rubbed onto the outer surface to produce a special textured effect, restoring the building to its original form, just as it was when it was first built in 1928.


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