Hexing Station, a station along Neiwan Branch Line in Hsinchu County, is famed for its Japanese wooden single-storey houses across the station area. In building the Taiwan Comics Dream Park (台灣漫畫夢工場), the Hsinchu County government outsourced the operation and renovation of Hexing Station to Lavender Cottage (薰衣草森林). After few months, the Hexing Station area was given a fresh look, completely representing the old-time prosperity of 1940s society.
Hexing Station has old-fashioned clocks, antique train cars and Japanese decoration, and is famous for a romantic love story about a man chasing after a train and a woman, which made Hexing get another name─ Love Station. In constructing Taiwan Comics Dream Park, the County government engaged in maintaining the facilities and decoration in the station and carrying out the public tender to outsource its operation, and Lavender Cottage finally took the operating concessions. Lavender Cottage declared the trial operation of Hexing Station on May 7, and its store manager Xu Guo-Zhen stated that Hexing Station’s classic love story and historical values are two key factors to motivate them to plunge into this beautiful task.
Opened in 1950, Neiwan Railway Line mainly delivered the coal mine and lumber. Since factories stood in great numbers at Zhudong, Hexing and Neiwan Station, the cargo traffic of Neiwan Line used to be rather heavy. Hexing Station even ranked 2nd in the total cargo traffic of Taiwan railway. However, as the wheel of time turned, Hexing Station lost its economic benefits after Taiwan Cement's Zhudong Plant announced its close, and the Taiwan Railways Administration even once had the thought of leaving Hexing Station abandoned. Nevertheless, sponsored and “adopted” by Zeng Chun-Zhao and his wife, Hexing Station finally escaped the destiny of being abandoned.
This love story is based on the romantic relationship between Mr. and Mrs. Zeng. Dating back to the years when Zeng Chun-Zhao attended the National Hsinchu Senior High School, Zeng met Peng Zhi-Hui, a girl from Hsinchu Commercial Vocational School, on the train, which marked the start of their connection. 2 years later on the day of a monthly exam, fearing that he would miss the exam, have to repeat the 9th grade, and disappoint Peng since he overslept and missed the train in the morning, Zeng kept chasing after the train along the track for over 2 kilometers. Zeng caught up with the train in the long run and boarded the train at Jiuzantou Station. His effort eventually paid off and won him Peng's heart.
This beautiful romance story about love and train chasing has been handed down for generations, making Hexing Station surrounded with intense romantic atmosphere. The Lavender Cottage recently undertook the renovation of the shabby train cars and offered free comic books for visitors to further appreciate the old-time glamor and custom that intertwined with the new and old history.
Source: Transportation and Tourism Department of Hsinchu County government & Lavender Cottage (薰衣草森林)
Writer: Fang Hui-Ru