Industrial relics in northern town open to public

Songnan Town in northern Baoshan District has opened much of its industrial heritage to visitors for the first time, including a train from China's earliest railway.
Industrial relics in northern town open to public
Ti Gong

A participant of an orienteering contest takes a picture of an old train carriage that is being displayed, along with a remaining section of the Songhu Railway, China's earliest railway.

China's earliest railway and an old train are open to the public in northern Baoshan District, along with a batch of Shanghai's earliest industrial sites.

Songnan Town in Baoshan, a former lucrative industrial center in 1950s, has opened many of its industrial heritage sites to visitors for the first time as part of the city's annual tourism festival.

They include the former factory houses of the city's earliest glassware plant, a motorcycle factory, an iron alloy plant, as well as a warehouse for China's early exports.

These sites have been renovated into museums and creative parks.

A well-preserved section of Songhu Railway, China's first railway, is also open for visiting, along with an old train carriage, the township government said.

Over 300 people from both home and abroad became the first batch of visitors by taking part in an orienteering contest on Saturday along a route to include all the historic sites. The route is also part of the 2017 Shanghai Walking Contest, a city-wide campaign to encourage citizens to walk and take part in various sports.

"We'd like to invite more visitors to learn about the town's history and cultural features, while encouraging locals to develop a healthier lifestyle," said Jin Yan, an official with the township government.

Industrial relics in northern town open to public
Ti Gong

The Shanghai Museum of Glass is renovated from the former factory building of the No. 1 Plant of Shanghai Glassware Company.

Industrial relics in northern town open to public
Ti Gong

Participants pose in front of some old-style motorcycles in a former factory house of the Shanghai Happiness Motorcycles Plant.

The participants toured around the sites by either walking or riding bicycles.

The former No. 1 Plant of Shanghai Glassware Company has been renovated into a museum to exhibit the development of the city's glass industry.

China Industrial Design Museum was renovated from the former plant of Shanghai Happiness Motorcycles, once a popular form of transport for citizens.

The former site of Shanghai Iron Alloy Plant has become a park featuring steel sculptures made of iron and steel materials left over by the plant.

The import and export warehouse named Zhongcheng was built in 1959. Many made-in-China goods were exported across the world from here in the last century. The warehouse has been developed into an innovative park named Elite Valley, home to over 60 startups.

The remaining rail section of the Songhu Railway runs across the park. The 16-kilometer railway mainly in north Shanghai was built by a British bank and began operating in July 1876. The Qing Dynasty government later bought the railway. It was demolished in 1997 for the construction of Metro Line 3.

Other historic site along the recommended tour route of the town include the century-old Songnan Temple, a Buddhism temple built in Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It was used as an elementary school for decades and is now restored to its original state.

Special Reports