Thursday, 5 September 2013

I Spy (TV Series) - Robert Culp (1965) - Tai Po Market KCR Station, Tai Po

Remember I mentioned the Tai Po Railway Museum in my last post? Well, for those who don't know, the Railway Museum in Tai Po was created from the disused KCR Tai Po Market Railway station. When the track underwent electrification in 1983, the whole process saw the fall of some obsolete stations as new ones - catering for the new electric trains - came into use. Tai Po used to have two stations: Tai Po station in Tai Po Kau (later renamed Tai Po Kau station to avoid confusion) and Tai Po Market Station in the old market area. Tai Po Kau was demolished and the site was re-developed into accommodation for KCR workers, and the Tai Po Market station was turned into this fantastic little museum - well worth a visit if you are in HK.

Anyway, here is another good reason to visit the place: in the episode Affair at T'sien Cha, we get to see Cosby and Culp waiting for a train at this very spot.

I was totally astonished when AP first sent me these screen grabs, I am so familiar with this place (I lived in Tai Po for 6 years and often took my kids here) and had no idea that nearly 50 years ago Bill Cosby had beaten me to it. Amazing stuff!.

The icing on the cake is also a nicely stitched panorama, also supplied by AP, which shows the platform in its entirety.

I can tell you that the station building still looks pretty much as it does here, although I believe at some time between 1965 and the 1970's a small pedestrian bridge was added to allow people to cross the track when the train was stopped at the platform.

NB: the track was doubled here because Tai Po Market station was one of the designated passing places for trains heading in opposite directions.


  1. This was probably the most interesting part of the episode for me.

    As of my last trip to HK in March, I had no idea of this museum's existence. It's definitely on my to-do list for the next trip, whenever that is. (Hopefully, not too much longer. Man, I miss home!)

    Great to see the building has been kept, although it's been changed quite significantly, from a look at the photos on Wikipedia. Note the missing red column-and-beam structures on either side of the main portion of the building:

    It looks like they removed the column, bricked in the front to create enclosed rooms, and then removed a door in the front of one of the newly-created rooms and bricked that up, all within the 20 years between the I Spy episode and the building being turned into a museum.

    And of course, they've also demolished the original platform, done away with one set of tracks altogether, and moved the other set much closer to the building, raising it a foot or two in the process.

    Still, for Hong Kong it's a miracle that any of it has survived! ;-)

    1. aha, this photo actually shows the side of the building that faces away from the track, with the ticket office on the left and the right side of the building was the first class waiting area. You'll be pleased to hear that the red columns and beams etc face the track on the other side and are all still there - along with a small room that contains some signalling levers. It's a great place.

      The track you see on that photo - I have no idea if it was originally there as a siding or if it was put in especially so the exhibitions - including the #51 diesel tank engine, some carriages from the 50's and the narrow gauge from the Fanling branch line - could be moved in. Anyway, all in all well worth a trip to Tai Po, I feel.

  2. Ah! That's great news, I didn't realize the building was the same on both sides. (In the center, anyway.)

    Out of curiosity, does the original platform still exist unaltered on the other side of the building too, then?

    1. There is a little bit of space where the old platform was, but the protective barrier (the green framed wall at the back of your picture) encroaches on what was most of that area. Before electrification the track was often used as a thourghfare by people in and out of town and the trains were slow enough to react when they appeared.