Saturday, July 24, 2010

Taichung MRT

With Taipei and Kaohsiung both having their MRT's up and running, one must reasonably ask when the Taichung one will be up. While I wasn't thinking of the Taichung MRT randomly, I did randomly decide to use the Flickr search to find some photos of Taiwan. I eventually decided to search for photos of Fengyuan and came across this visual mock-up of the planned elevated station for Fengyuan.

That got me searching for more information on it, which led me to the Taichung MRT situation as a whole. According to to the Wiki, the Taichung MRT was originally approved in 2006, and scheduled to begin construction in 2007, it was eventually pushed back to late 2009. Even then, I'm not sure what was exactly started. In any case, I came across this press release for Taiwan's "Railway Reconstruction Bureau" dated for June 1st of 2010.

The current status of implementation of this project is as follows:
  1. A new electrical room has been completed for the Fengyuan Section Temporary Engineering. A temporary station platform underground pass and connecting pass have been completed for the Tanzi Section Temporary Engineering. Full casing-piles are currently being under construction on the Taiyuan-Jingwu Station Elevated Railway Engineering.
 2. Detailed design currently includes stations and bridge bids and design/inspection of the Songzhu-Daqing Section Elevated Railway Project.
 3. Changes to the Taichung County/City Railway Urban Corridor Plan were reviewed and approved by the Ministry of the Interior (MOI), and have been publicly announced for all areas other than the Taichung Station Special District, and ground object investigations have been completed.
  The Taichung Elevated Railway Project is scheduled for completion by 2014, and will remove 17 level crossings, 18 underpasses, and 3 land bridges in Taichung City and County, relieving traffic congestion caused by the railway. It will also integrate stations and elevated railway sections along the line, connecting the city and improving the cityscape, improving livability and providing residents with convenient transportation.
This PR states 2014 as when it will be completed, but most of the other articles I've seen including the Wiki state 2015 as when the green line will be completed. What is the green line? Take a look at this map here, with the MRT lines in thin dotted lines. From the map, I can't tell if you would actually be able to take the MRT starting at the Fengyuan station all the way into Taichung, as the red and green lines don't seem to reach all the way up there to the north. That would be quite disappointing to have to transfer, but it looks like if so, it would only be one stop before being able to hop onto the MRT lines.

Having already been 4 years since it's been approved and not much groundwork has actually been done, I really question their ability to meet the 2015 deadline. Perhaps if Taichung gets a new mayor, things might actually speed up (or not).

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