The Taiwan Railway Museum (officially National Museum of Taiwan - Railway Department Park) is perhaps the best railway museum in Taiwan. It is built inside the old Railway Department of the Governor General of Taiwan and features multiple interactive exhibitions, thousands of artifacts, and a large miniature of Taipei's railway. It is definitely worth a visit on your next trip to Taipei.
The beginnings of railways in Taiwan began with Liu Ming Chuan, Governor of Taiwan during the Qing Dynasty in the 1800s. The current site where the museum lies was once an artillery factory. After Japan took control of Taiwan, it was converted into the Taipei Railway Factory and was mainly used to repair locomotives and cars.
After the ROC took control of Taiwan, they removed many of the buildings due to urban planning.
The factory used to include over 40 buildings, but after the destruction of most of the buildings due to the construction of Taiwan's MRT in 2005, only 10 buildings remain.
The main brick building that remains was once the Railway Department Office, which was used by subordinate railway officers. Other buildings that remain on the site include the cafeteria, the male washroom, the electrical room, the construction room, and the war command center. There are also remnants of the Artillery Factory used in the Qing Dynasty and the Taipei Railway Factory on the site.
The Railway Museum began planning for restoration in 2009, with work commencing in 2014. The Museum finally opened to the public in 2020.
For a deeper look into the history of this area, you can check outthis blog by Josh Ellis.
9:30 AM to 5 PM, closed Mondays.
How to get there:
By MRT: I recommend the MRT Beimen Station to get there.
By Car Scooter: You can try to visit by car or scooter but there is really nowhere to park or stop along the side of the road, but there is paid parking nearby.
I have been to the Taiwan Railway Museum once with my kids and we had a great time. There is so much to see and do in here that you can spend an entire day.
The most iconic building in the park is of course to Railway Administration Building, which is a two story brick building with two towers on the front.
Also on the grounds you can find the ruins of the Machinery Bureau walls from the Qing Dynasty. This wall was discovered during the construction of the green line MRY and is nearly six feet tall.
Another view of the Qing Dynasty Machinery Bureau walls from the inside.
View from the south entrance and Beimen (north gate).
Leaving the ticketing counter. This is the disabled and kid-friendly entrance. The entire facility is stroller and wheel chair friendly.
These are what the entrance tickets look like.
Another view of the Machinery Bureau walls.
This is the cafeteria, which was a cafeteria for employees in the Japanese era, and has now been converted into a souvenir shop. Some of my Photos are blurred. I am not a professional photographer like Josh Ellis.
Souvenir shop inside.
There is also a modern building on the site with bathrooms and a restaurant here and tables to sit down and eat at.
In the middle of the site you can also find the old men's bathroom.
Walking toward the men's bathroom.
View inside the men's bathroom.
There are also descriptions of each building here.
The old electrical building which has been turned into a restaurant.
Inside the electrical building restaurant.
Inside the construction room, you can find all kinds of kid-friendly displays.
There is also a train inside for kids to play on.
Kids playing inside the train.
Another view of the child playing inside the train.
Some old machinery from the engineering shop on display.
Original roof tiles.
Exhibition of the ceiling moldings and trim for the administration building.
Looking down to the original foundations of the engineering room.
Wooden boardwalk outside the engineering room.
More photos of the engineering room can be found in the gallery above.
View from the back entrance of the engineering room.
You can also reach the building via elevator out back, so there is no need to climb stairs.
Hallway inside the administration building.
Entrance to the elevator.
There are also steps to the second floor.
Old office room on display.
Mock train station inside this room.
Fake railway sign.
Fake ticketing counter that you can take selfies at.
Fake rail car that you can sit in. I did not understand why it was so popular to sit on a fake train, but some people sat here for hours.
Exhibit about rail engines and a miniature.
Old floor plans on display.
3D map of Taiwan's railways.
More old equipment on display.
Fake dinner car.
More train models.
Train model cross section.
Another life size train cross section.
Looking out the window from the second story.
More photos of the north wing above.
The best part of the museum is definitely this miniature train. This is a model replica of Taipei Station before the railroad was moved underground, seen at the Taiwan Railway Museum near Beimen. A model train takes off here every hour or so.
There used to be a roundhouse in Taipei. The only remaining one is in Changhua.
This is how the railway used to look near Taipei Main Station.
View from the other side.
This is how the area around the Taipei Railway Museum used to look.
1910s Taipei Workshop.
Next to the miniature train there is also a bunch of old train seats in a row.
Another miniature railway.
More trimmings from the building on display.
Railway Engine Roundhouse.
Old ticketing gate.
Old office equipment and road signs on display.
Steam engine models.
Model of the building itself.
You can see more photos of the second story of the building in the gallery above.
Grand staircase at the entrance to the building.
Miniature of Taiwan's boat burning festival.
Chinese medicine cabinet.
More art displays on the first floor.
View looking out the front door.
View looking back at the office building.
View of the North Gate (Beimen) across the street.
View of Beimen in the reflection.
There is also another railroad related building nearby.
This one has been converted into a hipster restaurant.
More photos of the outside area above.
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more of our blogs on Taipei to come!
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We are US Expats that have extensive experience living, working, and travelling in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.