Dashu Old Railroad Bridge Relives its Glory/百年大樹舊鐵橋 越來越精彩


Dashu Old Railroad Bridge Relives its Glory

◎English translation: Lin Fang-ju 

◎Photos by Pao Chung-hui


長1526公尺的大樹舊鐵橋橫跨高屏溪 The 1,526m-long Dashu Old Railroad Bridge spans the Gaoping River.  This year is the 100th anniversary of the completion of Dashu Old Railroad Bridge, a 1,526m-long bridge across the Gaoping River. Dubbed "the first long bridge in the Orient," the bridge was the first modern transportation connection between what is now Kaohsiung City and Pingtung County. Trains stopped using the bridge in 1987, but in light of its significance in the history of transportation in Taiwan, and its place in the hearts of local people, Kaohsiung City Government requested permission from the Ministry of Culture – which oversees the bridge because of its status as a relic – to reuse the old bridge. A 307m-long pedestrian path was built on the bridge, and it opened to the public in September 2014. This path has turned the long-closed bridge into Kaohsiung's first aerial lookout. Its uniqueness has made it one of the city's top attractions.

  The old bridge was built during the Japanese colonial era to meet logistical demands. Sugar and other raw materials had to be moved between Kaohsiung and Pingtung. Because the bridge was erected over Taiwan's broadest river, flood prevention was a major challenge during construction. Iida Toyozi, a Japanese engineer, designed the bridge and supervised its building. After more than two years of work, the bridge was finished in 1914.

  The old bridge consists of 24 sets of steel trusses, each 11.73m long. There were also 23 bridge piers made of granite and red bricks. These piers are about 9.5m high, and linked by arches to support the bridge. The steel trusses rusted over time, and have been replaced with trusses manufactured by Taiwan Railways Administration. However, the bridge still looks like it did decades ago.

今年是舊鐵橋通車100週年 This year is the 100th anniversary of the bridge's completion.  Strict regulations limit the ways in which nationally-recognized historic sites can be renovated. Such work must not damage the original structure in any manner, and the original appearance must be left intact. Lee Yung-chi, the architect in charge of the restoration project, built an elevator at the abutment base to enhance accessibility. Boardwalks link the elevator and the bridge. A pedestrian path has been built on the eastern end of the bridge, over the wooden sleepers. The path is wide enough for wheelchairs. At the western end, the sleepers remain unchanged. Visitors can look up or down from the railroad to enjoy different views. The exposed wooden sleepers also enhance the site's historic atmosphere. Lee says he thinks the greatest success of the renovation project are the accessibility features. "Keep in mind the old railroad bridge has a maximum capacity of 150 people," he reminds those planning to visit, adding that if you are going to walk on the wooden sleepers, wearing flat shoes is advisable.

舊鐵橋南面是廣達120公頃的濕地公園 The view south takes in the 120-hectare wetland park.  Revamping the old bridge has turned it into an aerial pedestrian path. Standing on the bridge, visitors can appreciate the beauty of the bridge's architecture, and enjoy views southward over the 120-hectare Dashu Old Railway Bridge Wetland Park. It is an excellent place to watch migrating birds between October and March. The spectacular sunsets every afternoon are enhanced by the trains which whistle by on the newer bridge a short distance to the north. This old bridge is both a glorious relic, and also a magnificent new attraction.


Opening hours:
 9am-6pm(until 5pm October to March)    



百年大樹舊鐵橋 越來越精彩




遊客可從橋上鳥瞰景致 Visitors appreciate aerial views from the bridge.  今年是大樹舊鐵橋通車啟用100週年,這座屹立於高屏溪的鐵橋全長1526公尺,彼時為串連高雄與屏東間第一條交通運輸要道,曾被譽為「東洋第一長橋」;輝煌的過往止於1987年停駛除役。它在交通運輸史上的貢獻及民眾對它的特殊情感,任其閒置殊為可惜,為了彰顯舊鐵橋的歷史文化意涵,高雄市政府向文化部申請舊鐵橋古蹟再利用,於橋體上設307公尺的天空步道,今(2014)年9月啟用,睽違27年的舊鐵橋化身為高雄首座空中鐵道景觀步道,獨一無二的鐵橋景觀號召力十足,是高雄最具人氣的景點之一。



使用「夾具」方式固定於橋的本體 Clamps were used to fix the original structure.  國定古蹟改造工程限制嚴謹,不得以任何形式破壞本體,且需保留古蹟原始樣貌。負責此案規劃的李永祺建築師於橋台基座設置電梯,提供無障礙的友善環境,從電梯至管制門鋪設木棧道,進入鐵橋後,鐵道東側採「夾具」方式固定,再利用設施所需之結構橫樑,於枕木上裝置景觀步道,其寬度足夠讓使用輪椅人士通行,而西側則保留枕木原貌,讓參觀遊客可以細細體驗鐵橋仰視與俯視的不同風景,裸露的枕木呈現其歷史特質和美感。當被問起改造最滿意的地方,李永祺表示,藉由電梯和鋪設鐵橋步道等設置,讓行動不便的民眾也可前來舊鐵橋遊玩,他貼心地提醒遊客,舊鐵橋載重上限為150人,此外,著平底鞋漫步於木棧道較舒適安全。

  透過舊鐵橋再利用計畫,遊客漫步空中步道,不僅能體會優雅細長的橋桁空間,南面可鳥瞰廣達120公頃的大樹濕地公園,特別是每年10月至3月可見成群的候鳥飛越,下午4點多又是另一番落日景觀,北面則見火車呼嘯而過,頂著唯一一座列入國家級古蹟的橋樑光環 ,走過百年,越來越精彩!