Progress Report on Taichung Metropolitan Area Elevated Railway Project
Scheduled news conferences
Railway Reconstruction Bureau
The area of Taichung’s Metropolitan Area elevated railway project reaches from the north at Fengyuan Station and goes south all the way to Daqing Station. Divided into two phases, the project’s Phase One involves switching over the railway tracks from ground-level tracks to elevated tracks. Trains will thus travel over bridges and into five already elevated stations: Fengyuan, Tanzi, Taiyuan, Taichung, and Daqing. Phase Two involves the addition of five new elevated stations, which are Lilin, Toujiacuo, Songzhu, Jingwu, and Wuquan. Taichung Station will also have a transfer function for MRT, while Songzhu Station will be linked to the city’s MRT G4 Station and Daqing Station will be linked to MRT G13 Station. Both MRT stations are part of the Green Line. After this project is completed, 17 level crossings, 18 underpasses, and 3 overpasses will be taken down. The original goal was to have the first phase open to traffic by the end of this year, and in 2014 the Railway Reconstruction Bureau (RRB) coordinated with Taichung Station’s subcontracted engineering team in crafting up a speed-up plan for the project. Both parties then signed an agreement to increase work pace. At first, the station’s subcontracted team increased work progress across the board, but problems arose later on because the team was also involved in a big workplace safety incident during an engineering project the team was contracted to carry out by another government organization. To make matters worse, Taichung Station’s ceiling is 37 meters high, making it a high-elevation construction endeavor. Therefore, the team had to take safety factors into consideration, and the team ultimately decided to take a more conservative approach by slowing down the construction pace. The RRB fully committed itself to working with the subcontracted team in hopes of sticking to the speed-up plan, but the goal of opening Taichung Station to traffic is still a long ways off. Taichung City Government worked with all the involved organizations by initiating an engineering project for roads and the public square surrounding Taichung Station. The only remaining issues that the city government has yet to solve are warehouses being preserved on the north end of Dazhi Road and taking down Dazhihui Building on Dazhi’s southern end. After making assessments and working with Taichung Station on issues involving roads being open to traffic that surround the station, a new goal of opening Phase One to traffic by August 2016 was set. The goal considers both contract stipulations and supervising the subcontracted team to ensure that priority of safety is met while the team carries out work at an increased speed.