The current site of Takao Railway Museum is the former site of Kaohsiung Port Station, which was also the earliest site of the current Kaohsiung Station. In November of 1900 when the southern leg of the Taiwan Trunk Railway began operation, a temporary Takao Station was built 800 meters north of the current museum site. Initially an intertidal zone and lagoon, the Ministry of Railways used sand to create a fortified tidal land. In 1905, a shore line was constructed southward, connecting the port. This area was thus named “Hamasen”, the Japanese for shore line.
When the Taiwan Trunk Railway became fully operational in 1908, the first Takao Station was moved to the current site. In 1941, as a complement to a new urban planning project, a new Kaohsiung Passenger Station was built in Tai-káng-tsng. It was at this time that passengers and freight had separate stations. Passengers on the West Coast Line were transported to what is now Kaohsiung Station; the old station, then renamed as Kaohsiung Port Station, became for freight only. Because of the air raid on Kaohsiung in 1945, the wooden station building was severely damaged. The current building was rebuilt in 1947, whose entrance is not facing the direction of Linhai 3rd Road.
For the last 100 years, Kaohsiung Port Station had been the largest freight station in Taiwan and has played a critical role in the development of Taiwan’s economy, hundreds of trains passing through every day and night. In modern times, however, railway freight transportation has been acutely affected by the convenience and accessibility of highway transportation. By the end of the 20th century, the railway freight business had plummeted.
Kaohsiung Port Station is the most meticulously conserved freight station in Taiwan, and as such, a rich source for railway history. In October 2010, the Cultural Affairs Bureau of Kaohsiung City Government adopted the station and transformed it into the Takao Railway Museum. The museum presents the original setup of the ‘60s and ‘70s, the prime time of railway freight transportation in Taiwan, for the enrichment and enjoyment of visitors. In 2008, due to the Kaohsiung Railway Underground Project, the Kaohsiung Port Station was closed for business.