Hong Kong Railway Museum
Hong Kong Railway Museum (Chinese: 香港鐵路博物館; Cantonese Yale: heung1 gong2 tit3 lou6 bok3 mat6 gun2) is a railway museum in Tai Po, Hong Kong. It is now under the management of the Leisure and Cultural Service Department. Opened in 1985, it is located at the site where the Old Tai Po Market Railway Station was built in 1913. Admission to the museum is free.
The Kowloon-Canton Railway (British Section) opened in 1910 in Tai Po Market was one of the stops in the New Territories. The station building was erected in 1913. Since then, it acted as a centre of administration and trade which indirectly boosted Tai Wo Market's economy by bringing traders there.
The KCR was electrified in 1983 and the station was taken out of service, with new stations being opened to the north (Tai Wo) and south (Tai Po Market) of it. One year later, the Old Tai Po Market Railway Station was declared a monument. The site, together with the buildings and relevant exhibits, were then given to the government by the KCRC for the construction of the Museum.
The building of the station is unique in the way of architectural style among original Kowloon-Canton Railway (British Section). It is of indigenous Chinese architectural style, with many small figures decorating the exterior, such as are commonly found in existing old southern Chinese temples.
Inside the museum
On the left of the museum, there is an exhibition room of train tickets and train models of not only KCR trains but also Japanese Shinkansen and Eurostar. The further internal part of the room is a refurnished ticket office and signalling house.
Vehicles on the track
Two locomotives are on exhibition at the museum:
- EMD G12 Diesel-electric locomotive #51, introduced in Hong Kong in 1955, which is called "Sir Alexander", named after former Governor Alexander Grantham
- A W.G. Bagnall 0-4-4T narrow gauge steam locomotive, restored from the Philippines in 1995. The locomotive is one of two that formerly ran on the narrow gauge Sha Tau Kok Railway line between Fanling and Sha Tau Kok. When that closed, they were used by sugar mills in the Philippines. The other locomotive of the pair was also brought back to Hong Kong and is reported to be undergoing restoration.
There are six coaches on the tracks for public viewing and appreciation of the contrast between the old and the new.
- A 1911 third-class compartment, #302
- A 1921 engineering coach, #002
- A 1955 third-class compartment, #223 (an educational video room)
- A 1955 luggage compartment, #229
- A 1964 first-class compartment, #112
- A 1976 ordinary-class compartment, #276
Besides, there are a pump trolley and a diesel-engined railcar.
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