Halfway to NoWhere

Ranting and Complaints of Life in Taiwan

Good Bye Railroad Crossing

Train

Train

I bet most people who lived in Taiwan in the 80’s and 90’s could probably recall the noisy railroad crossings in the city. Of course, it’s not a scene unique to Taiwan, as most developed countries in the world probably went through the gradual phasing-out of surface rail and the building of underground railways.

 
When I was a kid, I remember the “Ding-ding-ding” warning bell as the rope slowly descends from the skies, barring all vehicles from crossing the danger line. There was always that curiosity of ‘what happens if I go under that rope?’: Unfortunately, that desire has a tendency to be interrupted by the all-too-knowing adults who will put the foolishness to an abrupt end if you even tried.

However, even though the curiosity remains within the dark corners of my heart, the realization of it has become impossible, since all surface railways in Taipei will be dismantled after the last train made its way past Nangang Station right after midnight (12:01 am) on September 21. Surface rail has forever become a shadow of childhood memories – at least for Taipei City.

Here are some of the pictures I managed to grab starting 9 p.m. the previous night near Nangang station:

 

Crossing lights

Crossing lights

 

At the railroad crossing

At the railroad crossing

Close distance shot

Close distance shot

A view of the station from the railroad crossing

A view of the station from the railroad crossing

 

Emergency stop button at the crossing outpost

Emergency stop button at the crossing outpost

A view of the train stopping at the station platform

A view of the train stopping at the station platform

 

Inside the train station; everyone getting ready for the last trains

Inside the train station; everyone getting ready for the last trains

The arrival of the last train

The arrival of the last train

It’s quite something to be able to witness the “last moment” of Taipei’s old railway. I guess I’ll miss the train trip where you can see the cars and scooters waiting at the intersection as the train continues traveling towards its next destination.

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September 26, 2008 - Posted by | Good excuse for photos

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