Hsinchu Railway Station 新竹火車站
Hsinchu Train Station is the oldest active railway station in Taiwan. It is also one of the most magnificent and largest Japanese-era railway stations still operating in Taiwan. However, plans are underway for a new station, which would likely render this place a mere museum soon. It is definitely worth a look during your next trip to Hsinchu.
The first Han settlers to what is now Hsinchu arrived in the early 1700s. They created the old bamboo city of Zhuqian, which later became a city made of brick and earthen walls. During the Qing Dynasty, Liu Mingchuan completed a railroad on the west side of Taiwan in 1893 that extended from Keelung to Hsinchu as its terminus. An earthen Min-style building was built as the Hsinchu Railway Station at that time.
In 1896, a second-generation train station was built in Hsinchu, which was much larger and made of wood.
After the Japanese took control of Taiwan in 1902, they created a new urban plan for Hsinchu and destroyed the old city wall. The railway was also improved, and a newer wooden station was built for Hsinchu, as the third generation station in the same year.
Construction began on the fourth generation station in 1908, in front of the surviving Yingxi City Gate. Construction was completed in 1913, costing 22,500 Yen. This version of the station still stands today.
The station is built in a fusion of Baroque and Gothic styles, with a steeply sloping tile roof and thick red brick walls. An office building was also built next to it.
During WWII, part of the building was damaged during allied bombing raids.
After the ROC took control of Taiwan, they repaired damage to the station caused during the war and connected the station to the newly opened Neiwan Line.
In 1989, the fan-shaped roundhouse near the station was demolished. In 1994, the roof was upgraded to steel tiles. In 1998, the building was declared a national monument. In 2011, the train station was connected to the Liujia Railway Line which connects to the Hsinchu HSR station. The station was also connected to the Hsinchu Airport Line from 1939 until it was demolished in 2000.
Before the pandemic, the station saw about 7 million passengers per year, the 7th busiest station in Taiwan.
In the future, the station is planned for a "Hsinchu Grand Station Platform Plan" which will likely mean creating a new station mimicking Osaka station in Japan, and leaving the fourth generation station as a museum, much like has been done in Taichung and Kaohsiung.
Free unless you plan to board a train.
6 AM to Midnight
How to get there:
Take the TRA to Hsinchu Station. You can also visit from Zhonghua Road Section 2 in Hsinchu.
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Please see below:
I have been to Hsinchu station a number of times. It is one of the most iconic buildings in Hsinchu, and definitely the most iconic train station still in operation in Taiwan.
Along the street here you can see a few Japanese era buildings like this one. I do not have any further info about this building.
View from Hsinchu Station from across the street.
Across the street there is a large square and amphitheater-like construction. It's where the cool kids hang out.
Another view of the square across the street.
View of the station from across the street.
Another view with traffic.
Side view with street lights in the way.
Road leading to Hsinchu Park.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for our full guide to Hsinchu to come!
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