Guang'anmen Railway Station, Beijing


This photograph is not titled, but the inscription on the facade of the railway station reads, “Beijing Guang'anmen (also seen as Kuanganmen) Station.” The smaller Chinese characters along the right side read, “Summer of the Bingwu year (1906) of Guangxu reign,” and the characters on the left side read, “Written by Chen Zhaochang.” Chen (1867–1914) was designated by the Chinese government as the general manager for the General Railway Bureau and the Railway Engineering Bureau. Seen inside the station is an office, with a sign (written in Chinese and English) indicating that this is the telegraph department. The photograph is from Jing-Zhang lu gong cuo ying (Photographs of the Jing-Zhang Railway construction), an album issued in 1909 to mark the opening of the Beijing-Zhangjiakou Railway (formerly known as the Imperial Peking-Kalgan Railway), the first railroad in China designed, built, and financed by the Chinese, without foreign involvement. The photographs in the album were taken between 1905 and 1909 by the Tongsheng Photo Studio of Shanghai. The construction had three phases: the first line, from Fengtai to Nankou, was completed in September 1906. The second line, from Nankou to Kangzhuang, was completed in September 1908. The third part of the railroad, from Kangzhuang to Zhangjiakou, was finished in September 1909. The total length of the line, from Fengtai in Beijing to Zhangjiakou, was about 200 kilometers. The two-volume album depicts scenes along the railroad, including its main sections, railway stations, factory buildings, locomotives, bridges, and tunnels and culverts, as well as scenes of laborers at work during the construction and of the festivities celebrating the opening of the railway. Views and scenic spots at various stops along the line are clearly depicted, and provide a complete and systematic overview of the Beijing-Zhangjiakou railway at the time. Presented here is volume one.

Last updated: May 24, 2017