Tainan Railway Line

Tainan Railway Line

The main north to south railway line cuts straight through Tainan City, dividing the east district and its suburbs from downtown and the west. As a result, the eastern and western parts of the city are linked by many rail crossings, underpasses, and overpasses for both cars and pedestrians. For close to two decades the government has been talking about putting a rail tunnel under the city so that the railway doesn’t disrupt surface traffic. The railway in its current form adds noise pollution and traffic disturbances, and devalues central real estate. The new plan calls for the crossings, underpasses, and overpasses to be removed and replaced with commercial and residential projects. Funding for this project continues to be an issue and there’s no telling when and if this will actually happen.

I personally enjoy the character that the railway plays in the city. The neighborhoods lining the tracks are full of life and charm and some of the cities best pubs. Much like the old city walls, the railway is an obstacle of progress. And much like photos of the old city walls, the photos below may one day just be a memory of once was. I recommend getting out and exploring the areas along the tracks for yourself.

Looking north from the overpass of Zhonghua East Road

Rong Yu Street railway crossing, facing east

Rong Yu Street railway crossing, facing east

A railway crossing over a lane of Datong Road, facing northeast

A railway crossing over a lane of Datong Road, facing southwest

The railway near Shulin Street

Houses along the tracks at Shulin Street

A small underpass on Guang Hua Street

The Dongmen Road overpass

Qingnian Road railway crossing, facing east

Qingnian Road railway crossing, facing west

Minzu Road underpass, facing west

Minzu Road underpass, facing east

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Comments
8 Responses to “Tainan Railway Line”
  1. muckie says:

    Impressively profound observations and reflections on the Tainan city ! I love the rails here as well, though traffic often paralyzed. I’ve enjoyed the way you look at Tainan, you make me proud yet sorta ashamed as a local. : )

  2. Alex says:

    Great post! For me one of the principal charms of Tainan was the numerous scooter-sized level crossings, and the way an attempt to get to a familiar location by an unfamiliar route could easily lead through one of those little gateways into a previously undiscovered neighborhood.

  3. sp says:

    The Guang Hua underpass is so cute, but I’m always afraid I’m going to bang my head even though I know I’d have to actually TRY to do that.

    There was a performance set up over there today, at the street that dead ends right next to the overpass (it may be 付東街 ? ) Some sort of big stage set up, with some kind of opera going on, and next to that a smaller stage that may or may not have been for puppets…and I was about to faint from hunger so didn’t stay to figure out what was going on, and completely forgot to go back. Maybe it will be going on tomorrow. I’m not sure what it was all about.

    • tainancity says:

      Temples often have puppet theater or live theater for the benefit of the gods. It sometimes seems strange to us foreigners to see performances going on with no one watching them.

  4. sp says:

    Right, but is there a temple there on that street? I must have missed it. There were a few people watching the opera from the fronts of their houses but the puppet show wasn’t happening yet.

  5. I agree with muckie on the profound observations part, without the trains and tracks Tainan would lose a bit of it’s special flavor . Did you get into toxic tunnel for some photos? One of my favorites. Is it still called that?

    • tainancity says:

      I haven’t gotten into the tunnel to take pictures. Too toxic. I have heard it called the toxic tunnel by more than one person, so I’d say it’s still called that. Appropriate name.

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