New MRT station: Nangang 新捷運站：南港
Yesterday, the blue line began going one station further to the east, to Nangang. It is one of the major train stations in Taipei, and the only expansion in the MRT system this year because the brown line extension through Neihu has been delayed at least a year.
It is a very impressive looking station. Unlike the old terminus, Kunyang, it has exits on all four corners of the station. It is also the only underground station that has the tunnels lit (from Kunyang to Nangang. I have never seen that partially done in a metro before. Either the whole system is lit, or none of it is. I wonder if the Taipei metro plans to light the rest of the tunnels for some reason.
Rather than use paint for the yellow lines, the yellow lines are made of yellowish tiles. Public artwork claims to be dedicated on 2008/12/30, so I suppose it shouldn’t exist yet. Rather than have a bunch of advertising boards, the centre sections of the platform have train paintings on the walls. It is just as well, since in the past month, I have only seen one non governmental ad on the MRT (a Toyota ad, in case you are curious).
The escalators seem to be much better than those in other MRT stations as well. The sides are made of glazed glass. The steps don’t wobble either, but I wonder if that is simply because they are new. It often seems like escalators are out of order or under repair at the stations I frequent most often.
I wonder if the station was intentionally opened on Constitution Day. Same day as Christmas here, but no longer a public holiday. I also saw a panda-themed train on the blue line yesterday, but I didn’t have my camera handy. That one might be because pandas have finally come to Taiwan. For now, there is a Chinese report including the panda train.