Friday, November 16, 2012

Some photos from the Taipei Railway Workshops

We visited the Railway Workshops as part of the pre Congress tour – the congress being the TICCIH Congress which was held in Taiwan in early November 2012.

As I understand it the Workshops were established by the Japanese colonial administration c1900 and were part of a series of now redundant railway infrastructure forming a heavy rail corridor. The workshops are still open but seem mostly to use used for storage.


It was difficult to get a decent plan but this plan was seen in the works so may be accurate.



There was a large boiler in residence we were told it was from DT  668 but as we saw that loco in steam two days later maybe it was a spare, Here we see Neil Cossens inspecting the boiler.

Later we entered a workshop that contained numerous furnaces and metal working equipment such as steam hammers which we assume was for metal fabrication. The equipment was a mixture of German, British and Japanese origin.


We all expressed the hope that any conservation of the site understood the importance of the contents of the workshop as well as the buildings.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Heavy Metal in the Red House

The Red House in Ximending District of Tiapei was built in 1908 as an emporium to provide a modern market for Japanese goods to the Japanese community and to the Taiwanese as part of the process of trying to assimilate them (Taiwan being a Japanese colony at the time)

The building was designed by Kondo Juro, a western-styled architect in the Taiwanese prefectural civil engineering office at the time, the market entrance, incorporating both octagonal and cruciform shapes, was paralleled by no other in the east and west. The market entrance also took on the ‘eight trigrams (bagua) design considered boldly creative then. Octagon Building, Cruciform Building, and the adjacent South-North Square are now collectively known as ‘The Red House.’

Red House 1 

The interior of the central pavilion is very nice well restored and with excellent interpretive material and displays. The rest of the buildings are used as art space. Most were locked but we gatecrashed one and found a Taiwanese Heavy Metal Band.

Red House 2 They were great. This is what historical buildings should be recycled as!