The photos on this post are not new. They were made in November 2014 when the Songshan-Xindian Line of the Taipei MRT was finished. Originally the photos were uploaded to my private Facebook page. At that time I had no blog or any intention to share them further. But now I think it was a mistake to put them on Facebook, because the photos are somehow lost. The lifetime of a photo on Facebook is only a few hours, after that it is buried by new posts. Later people usually don’t go to someone’s album and search for older photos. I think a blog is more sustainable as well as a bigger audience can be reached when posting content. Therefore I decided to move some older photos away from Facebook and present them here. Even if they are from not recent events, I hope that someone might be interested to see the photos and read the story behind them.
The Taipei Metro also commonly known as MRT is probably one of the best subway networks in the world. It is not the biggest (it is still expanding), but from what I have seen in other countries, it is one of the most efficient, reliable, cleanest, fasted, most convenient, and easiest to use. Even people, who cannot understand Chinese, can easily navigate through the MRT system. The MRT is operated by the TRTC (Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation) and has 5 main lines (in 2015). By end of 2015 the 6th line (Airport Line) shall be opened.
The Songshan-Xindian Line, also called green line or Line 3, was opened in 1999 and connected Xindian with Taipei Main Station. The first part of the line had its terminal station in Xindian and ended at Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall. From there the trains were sharing the track of the Tamsui-Xinyi Line to Tamsui. From CKS Memorial Hall a short branch of the green line had service to Ximen. Later, after opening of the Xinyi branch, the green branch line was connecting Taipower Station with Ximen.
In November 15, 2014 the Songshan-Xindian Line was completed and officially opened. The newly opened branch is 8.5 km long and has seven stations: Beimen (北門), Zhongshan (中山), Songjiang Nanjing (松江南京), Nanjing Fuxing (南京復興), Taipei Arena (台北小巨蛋), Nanjing Sanmin (南京三民), and Songshan (松山). This time I didn’t go during the opening day to take photos. All photos are were taken one week after the official opening.
The terminal station of the Songshan-Xindian Line. From here transfer to the trains of the TRA is possible. Also access to the Raohe Street Night Market is much easier now. The photo below shows the outside of Exit 5 of the station. The night market starts left of the temple. Btw, the big temple is worth a visit. Inside the station in the transfere area from the MRT to the TRA station. The lightst at the ceiling change their colors. It is a very nice light show. A detail of the lights at the ceiling.
Nanjing Sanmin (南京三民)
On the platform of Nanjing Sanmin station. All new stations along the green line have the same style of platform doors. Makes it sometimes difficult to recognize on which station you are. Concourse level of Nanjing Sanmin station. The wooden parts (or plastic that looks like wood) give the station a nice appearance. Neighborhood of Nanjing Sanmin station. Exit 3 of Nanjing Sanmin station. For each station the exits have an own design that fits with the surrounding architecture.
Going down in exit 3.
Taipei Arena (台北小巨蛋)
Inside the MRT station Taipei Arena. The whole station has a very simple and functional design. It is made in such a way, that huge crowds can pass to the arena. Neighborhood of Taipei Arena. Looks like somebody forgot to tear down the small house and build a high-rise building. Exit 2 of Taipei Arena. The design of the exits follows the form of the arena. Optical illusion in the MRT station. When you go down the escalator it looks like the train in the pictures comes towards you. Go and have a look to see how it is made.
Nanjing Fuxing (南京復興)
Nanjing Fuxing – transfer station to the brown line. This station has a quite unique design compared to all stations along the green line and maybe even all MRT stations. This is the passage way to reach the brown line. The whole station is huge and it takes quite a while to reach the brown line. Outside the station. The glass construction to the right side of the brown line is the connection to the green line. One of the tunnels to reach the MRT station Again inside the MRT station Nanjing Fuxing. Interesting concept with the central elevator.
Songjiang Nanjing (松江南京)
Songjiang Nanjing – transfer station to the yellow line. This station has the highest amount of artwork from all new stations along the green line. The platform here is a side platform and not as usual an island platform. Therefore the entrances for each direction are also on different sides. You can reach trains for Songshan only from one side. But from this side, it is not possible to reach trains to Xindian. In my opinion this station is the most confusing transfer station in the whole MRT network. Hopefully they will find a solution to make it simpler. One of the exits… …in this interesting looking building. Some history about the neighborhood of Songjiang Nanjing station The subway tunnel at Songjiang Nanjing station.
Zhongshan station. Made in the design of the stations along the red line The only station that looks a little bit like the classic subway stations in Europe with this high and rounded ceiling. Intelligent solution is the transfer area between the train levels of green and red line. Between both platform levels is an intermediate level, which is located at the intersection of both lines. Basically you can go straight down or up to reach the other line. The glass cylinder in the middle helps to distribute the crowds. Transferring from one line to the other is super easy here. Inside the station of the green line
Outside of Beimen station. Currently it looks like the station is in the middle of nowhere. But it is close to the Tax bureau. Makes it easier to pay your tax 😉 Later when the Airport MRT line is opened, then this station will be at the eastern side of the new airport line station. There are also some historic sites to visit. Currently (in 2015) they are still under re-construction.
The station is also at the eastern end of the Taipei City Mall and you could walk from here to Taipei Main Station.
The design of the station is very different from all other MRT stations so far: it looks like a museum.
The concourse level hosts an exhibition imitating archeological excavations, which took place in the surrounding of the station.
On the day when I took the photos, there was a music performance. Traditional Chinese music. Don’t know if the station will be used later as a venue for some events.
Some artifacts but not in the real position. Everything is arranged and it looks more like an exhibition how archeological excavations could look like.
Inside the concourse level which is pretty huge. In the meantime the poles and red cord are removed. Probably they were too disturbing during rush hour.
Some information about the history around Beimen station area.