Hong Kong heritage: The Hong Kong Railway Museum

Posted on June 1, 2019 by Toothpicker There have been 0 comments

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After my visit to the Green Hub, I walked downhill and headed towards The Hong Kong Railway Museum located about 10 minutes away. This is a small but very pleasant free open-air museum that is likely to attract railway fans and families with children.

Located at the old Tai Po Market railway station built in 1913, the station buidling is of indigenous Chinese architectural style, with pitched roof and decorative figures on its facade that are commonly found in old southern Chinese temples.

 

The Hong Kong Railway Museum

The Hong Kong Railway Museum   The Hong Kong Railway Museum

The Hong Kong Railway Museum

The Hong Kong Railway Museum

The Hong Kong Railway Museum

 

The Kowloon-Canton Railway (British Section) opened in 1910, and Tai Po Market station was erected three years later as one of the stops in the New Territories. After the Kowloon-Canton Railway was electrified in 1983, the station was taken out of service and was declared a monument a year later.

Inside the building, there are permanent exhibits of the station and railway's history, a refurbished ticket office, and signalling house.

 

The Hong Kong Railway Museum   The Hong Kong Railway Museum

The Hong Kong Railway Museum

The Hong Kong Railway Museum

The Hong Kong Railway Museum

The Hong Kong Railway Museum   The Hong Kong Railway Museum

 

However, the main attraction here is not the exhibits, but the heritage locomotives on display, and the six coaches where visitors can walk through. One of the heritage locomotives is the W. G. Bagnall 0-4-4PT narrow gauge steam locomotive that ran on the narrow gauge Sha Tau Kok Railway line between Fanling and Sha Tau Kok. When that closed, the two steam locomotives were transported to the Philippines to be used by the sugar mills. The locomotives eventually returned to Hong Kong and were restored.

The second locomotive is Sir Alexander diesel locomotive that was introduced in Hong Kong in 1955 to replace the steam ones, and it was named after former Governor Alexander Grantham.

 

The Hong Kong Railway Museum

The Hong Kong Railway Museum

Steam locomotive W.G.Bagnall 0-4-4T

The Hong Kong Railway Museum

Sir Alexander diesel locomotive

 

The six other coaches are from different periods: 1911, 1921, 1955, 1964 and 1976. Visitors can walk through each coach to see the changes that took place over the years.

 

The Hong Kong Railway Museum   The Hong Kong Railway Museum

The Hong Kong Railway Museum

The Hong Kong Railway Museum   The Hong Kong Railway Museum

The Hong Kong Railway Museum

 

There were very few other visitors while I was at the museum (probably because it was a weekday), and I really enjoyed my visit. From the archive photographs, I could imagine how exciting it must had been when the railways were built and steam locomotives were introduced. Although this is not a major museum, it traces and celebrates the history of Hong Kong's railway, which has played (and continues to play) a crucial role in the city's infrastructure. Hong Kong's public transport system is regarded as one of the best in the world, and ironically it has surpassed the British system decades ago, so if you want to see where it all started, this museum would be a good starting point.

 


This post was posted in London, Hong Kong, Architecture, Architectural conservation, Transport and was tagged with Hong Kong, architecture, museums, heritage, Architectural conservation, trains, Tai Po, The Hong Kong Railway Museum

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