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Da Latís cog railway station to become fine art centre (May 27, 2005)

The ancient steam locomotive has come to a permanent halt at the Da Lat Railway Station.
Paintings, earthenware, sculptures and other art works will soon decorate Da Latís ancient railway station as the national historical and cultural heritage site gets turned into a fine arts centre.

The inauguration of the centre in Vietnamís only cog railway station is set for late this year.

Officials of the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong have also allowed the stationís management to charge VND 3,000 per visitor to the French-architecture-style landmark.

Station chief Ngo Minh Chau said tourists would have to play the fee from next month, replacing the now free admission.

The station, which opened in 1928 and was called Cremaillere (cog railway) by the French, also houses some flower gardens, for which Da Lat is famous, and a 4.5 ton steam locomotive produced in 1936 in Japan then used for a cog railway.

Now the railroad transports tourists for seven kilometres to Trai Mat in the suburbs of Da Lat. But between 1928 and 1964, it linked Da Lat and Phan Rang.

Then the cog railway was needed to climb up the steep sections of the mountain ranges between the highlands city, which is about 1,500 metres above sea level, and the coastal town. (SGT)

Reprinted with permission from Nhan Dan Newspaper


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