URBAN DEVELOPMENT: A Taoyuan underground line would eliminate eight railway overpasses, eight underground passageways and 20 railway crossings
Taoyuan and Tainan have unveiled plans to construct underground railway lines on the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) system after one officially opened in Kaohsiung on Sunday.
The Executive Yuan had given preliminarily approval of the city’s feasibility report for an underground railway line last year, adding that a financial analysis should be completed by the end of the month, the Taoyuan City Government said.
The Ministry of Transportation and Communications’ Railway Bureau said it began preliminary construction on the project last month, while the city government is to revise its urban development plan and have it available for public view by next month.
The city said an underground railway line would eliminate eight overpasses, eight underground passageways and 20 railway crossings.
The project would connect developments in front of and behind Taoyuan Railway Station by eliminating a ground-level line that divided them for years, the city said, adding that the line would also connecting Jhongli and Taoyuan districts.
The Taoyuan Department of Rapid Transit Systems said the underground railway project would include revamping the station facilities at Taoyuan, Neili and Jhongli, as well as building four new stations.
The city expects to receive Executive Yuan approval on the master plan next year and to complete construction by 2026.
The Tainan City Government said that construction of an underground railway line in the city would begin by the end of this year or the beginning of next year.
Acting Tainan Mayor Li Meng-yen said in an interview with the Liberty Times (sister newspaper of the Taipei Times) that the 8.23km line would pass through the city’s Rende, East and North districts.
The land has been expropriated in Rende, he said, adding that the Ministry of the Interior has approved land expropriation plans for North and East districts.
Li said that about 300 households would need to relocate because of the project.
About 80 percent of the households have accepted compensation or moved to houses provided by the city government, he added.
Twenty to 30 households might refuse to leave, Li said, adding that the city government would continue communicating with the residents.
“We hope things would not get to the point where we have to activate a forced relocation plan,” he said.
According to the Railway Bureau’s plan, construction on the line in Tainan should be completed in 2022 at a cost of NT$29.36 billion (US$948.93 million).
The line would eliminate nine railway crossings, four underpasses and three footbridges.