2008/04/11

談文車站



日本人在1908年完成縱貫鐵路的興建,打通了南北交通的任督二脈,也將台灣豐富的物資由這條動脈經基隆港運回母國。

這條縱貫線在中部便是今日竹南到彰化間的山線鐵路,然而由於此路線苗栗、台中段爬坡陡,加上又是單線鐵軌,就算盡全力運輸,調度上還是捉襟見肘,導致不少物資如蔗糖、米糧在等待運輸過程中腐敗,造成不小的損失。

因此自1919年,當時台灣總督明石元二郎決定在竹南至彰化間另闢海線鐵路,希望避開山區,加快行車速度,以紓解日漸擁擠的山線路段。此舉引起了台中州士紳居民的疑慮,深怕台中的交通樞紐地位因此改變,在總督府保證不廢除山線,並表示不惜以武力壓制阻撓工程的不理智舉動情況下,海線鐵路最終得以在1922年完工。

時至今日,台鐵許多的列車班次還是選擇經由山線而非海線,主要著眼於客運的考量,因為如台中、豐原、苗栗等許多人口眾多的城鎮都位在山線上,而海線在風光一時的貨運黃金時光後,業務上還是比不過山線,當年台中士紳的擔憂在如今看來似乎有點多餘。

雖然海線鐵路退居二線,但沿線還保留著自1922年通車至今的老車站,日南、新埔、大山及談文這四座老車站,提供了我們對於那個時代的想像與喚起大家對火車的濃郁情感。同一年完成的四座車站,建材皆採用台灣所產的杉木,古樸有致的不對稱日式造型建築,牛眼窗、Y型撐架及保留有木柵欄的剪票口,造型上一模一樣,只有談文車站跟其他的車站剛好是左右顛倒。

報載三月底談文站即將從三等站改為無人招呼站,台鐵也有意拆掉歷史悠久的談文火車站,事實上,老車站要被拆除的傳言與風聲始終不斷,台鐵往往認為老車站管理有困難,在這樣的想法下,早已有許多可列為文物資產的建築與文物遭到損毀。雖然苗栗縣政府將談文車站公告登錄為歷史建築,但如果談文站改為無人招呼站,又沒有人員來作維護與管理,在「破窗效應」下,這幢老建築大概也沒有什麼未來可言。

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