As a transit traveller, I inevitably find myself drawn to all things transportation. The Tai Po Railway Museum is a small, but perfectly affordable destination. Nothing is more affordable than free!
The Tai Po Railway Museum is actually the renovated station area of the Old Tai Po Railway Station. The station was built in 1913 and was converted to a museum in 1985 after the new Tai Po Market railway station was open. Although built in the 20th Century, the old station was built with Chinese architecture and ornamentation. Even the Chinese is meant to be read in the old, traditional right-to-left style.
Inside the small station building is a collection of railway models. There models of trains from Japan, such as the Shinkansen and the Narita Express. There are models of the local rolling stock over the years, such as the MTR subway trains, the old KCR railway trains, and the LRT trains of the West New Territories. There is also a small gift shop, but don’t expect to be able to buy any rail models here.
Outside of the station building is a set of old rolling stock. There are some old engines, plus a couple of passenger cars. On the engine, the old livery was a deep green background contrasting with the bright orange and yellow letters and numbers. The most distinct feature on the old engine is the old KCR logo featuring the Chinese number 9, the character representing Kowloon in Chinese.
Then beyond the engine are the collection of passenger cars from over the years. Different cars represented different eras of the KCR cars. It was a walk through the timeline of Hong Kong railway cars. The older car just had wooden slat seats. Then mid-century cars featured more upholstered seating offering comfort for riders.
If you are a transit nut, then don’t expect a huge amount of stuff at the Tai Po Railway Museum. But when you think of what you get for the price (i.e. free), then you get a lot to look at and walk through. It is a piece of Hong Kong history and worth a visit if you like trains or transit.