Clock Tower at Tsim Tsa Shui – A landmark of the Age of Steam Trains

The Old Clock Tower (Former Kowloon-Canton Railway Clock Tower – CN: 前九廣鐵路鐘樓) located near Victoria Harbour in Tsim Tsa Shui was originally part of a bustling rail station that served steam trains heading to what was then known as Canton (Guangzhou). The station and clock tower was built in 1915 and was shifted to Hung Hom in 1970. The clock tower that is the last remnant of the station is now a declared monument.

The inside is closed to the public although it does open occasionally and you may be lucky to be there at the right time and take a look inside. Around the tower is open and free to visit 24/7 and it is a likely area that you will spend some time as it is a very central point for tourists in HK and a nice area to wander around.

Attractions near the Old Clock Tower

  • Kowloon Public Pier (九龍公眾碼頭)
  • Star Ferry Pier (天星碼頭)
  • Avenue of the Stars
  • Hong Kong Museum of Art (香港藝術館)
  • Hong Kong Space Museum (香港太空館)
  • 1881 Heritage (Old Marine Police Headquarters)
  • The Penninsula – heritage site and hotel
  • Harbour City (海港城) – shopping mall

Hotel pick near the Clock Tower

The Salisbury – YMCA of Hong Kong – There are a lot of luxury hotels in this vicinity and the Salisbury  is a rare find offering amazing location, harbour views, pool, gym and more, for part the cost of its nearby neighbors.

History

The plan of Kowloon-Canton Railway was realised in 1904 with its terminus in Tsim Sha Tsui. The terminus design was assigned to A. B. Hubback due, in part, to his experiences in designing Railway Terminus in the Straits Settlements, Malaya. The Kowloon-Canton Railway was inaugurated on 1 October 1910; however, construction of the station did not begin until 1913 mainly due to the advent of World War I. The materials required for the construction could not be shipped on time, and construction was halted for some time. Part of the station, including the Clock Tower, was completed in 1915, and the whole station on 28 March 1916.

The original station in 1914

The Clock Tower reused the clock from the demolished Pedder Street Clock Tower. However, only one side had a clock, and it was not until 1920 that the remaining three sides of the Clock Tower were installed. They began operation on the afternoon of 22 March 1921, and have run ever since except during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong during World War II. During the fighting prior to the occupation, the clock tower building sustained damage, leaving the marks of combat present to this day.

In 1975, Kowloon Station was moved to the present-day Hung Hom Station on the newly reclaimed Hung Hom Bay. The building of the station was demolished in 1977 despite the protest and petitioning from the Heritage Society and other pressure groups. However, as a compromise, it was decided that the Clock Tower was to be preserved, and it is now accompanied by the Hong Kong Space Museum, Hong Kong Museum of Art and Hong Kong Cultural Centre, all built on former station grounds.
The bell inside the Clock Tower was on display in Shatin Station from mid 1980s to 1995 and was moved to the KCRC Office in Fo Tan from 1995 to the early 2000s. Finally, the government moved the bell inside the Clock Tower in 2010.

Sources: Wikipedia

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Details

  • Website: www.amo.gov.hk
  • EN Address: Star Ferry Pier, Kowloon Point, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
  • Getting There: MTR Tsim Sha Tsui Station, Exit E.

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