Kaoh­si­ung light rail may not be­gin as planned

The China Post - - BUSINESS -

Tai­wan’s first light rail sys­tem, lo­cated in Kaoh­si­ung, might not be able to start trial oper­a­tions by the end of Au­gust as more tests and pa­per­work are needed, city of­fi­cials said Fri­day.

It might take another month for sys­tem op­er­a­tors to go through fur­ther re­views in or­der to ap­ply for fi­nal ap­proval from the Trans­port Min­istry, said Chen Horngyih, the city’s deputy sec­re­tarygen­eral a day ear­lier.

A 13 mem­ber re­view board or­ga­nized by the Kaoh­si­ung City Gov­ern­ment ex­am­ined the tram line in early Au­gust and found 21 is­sues that must be ad­dressed be­fore the south­ern Tai­wan city can reach the next stage for light rail op­er­a­tion.

The is­sues in­volve plat­form and cor­ner de­signs at the sta­tions, as well as fur­ther checks on traf­fic sig­nals at cross­roads.

An ap­proach­ing Typhoon Goni could be another fac­tor de­lay­ing re­lated pro­ce­dures, of­fi­cials said.

Kaoh­si­ung be­gan con­struc­tion of the first phase of its light rail sys­tem, which will run on a cir­cu­lar route, in June 2013.

The first phase of the pro­ject, which cost NT$ 16.54 bil­lion (US$522.45 mil­lion), in­cludes an 8.7-kilo­me­ter tram line built along the Kaoh­si­ung Har­bor and 14 stops.

The light rail sys­tem, the first to en­ter ser­vice in Tai­wan, has been de­signed and built by Span­ish com­pany Con­struc­ciones y Aux­il­iar de Fer­ro­car­riles, S.A. and runs with no wires above the trams.

New Taipei is also build­ing a light rail sys­tem, af­ter break­ing ground on the sys­tem in Dan­shui Town­ship in Septem­ber 2014.

Rail­way Elec­tri­fi­ca­tion Brings

Ping­tung Closer

Travel time by train be­tween Ping­tung and Chaozhou is ex­pected to be cut by 15 min­utes start­ing Sun­day, mak­ing it eas­ier for res­i­dents in Ping­tung County to com­mute to Kaoh­si­ung.

The Chaozhou pro­ject in­volves a 19-kilo­me­ter-long rail line from Ping­tung sta­tion to Chaozhou sta­tion, and the ob­jec­tive of the pro­ject is to ex­pand the Ping­tungChaozhou route into an elec­tri­fied dou­ble track line, ac­cord­ing to the Rail­ways Re­con­struc­tion Bureau, the agency re­spon­si­ble for the pro­ject.

The rail­way be­tween Ping­tung main sta­tion and Chaozhou sta­tion is also el­e­vated en­abling traf­fic around the sta­tions to flow more smoothly, where 24 level cross­ings and six un­der­passes and over­passes will be elim­i­nated, said the bureau.

With the com­ple­tion of the pro­ject, travel time from Ping­tung sta­tion to Chaozhou sta­tion will be trimmed down from 34 min­utes to 19 min­utes.

Com­mut­ing be­tween Kaoh­si­ung and Ping­tung will be made eas­ier as trains will run ev­ery ten min­utes on a daily ba­sis, added the bureau.

Tung A-cheng, Ping­tung sta­tion’s sta­tion agent, said that while the line will open on Sun­day, the dou­ble track will not open be­fore next Wed­nes­day as the track switchover has to be com­pleted first, and ma­jor sched­ule changes will be made in Oc­to­ber.

CNA

A view of the Ping­tung Train Sta­tion is shown, yesterday. Tai­wan Rail­ways Ad­min­is­tra­tion said its Ping­tung-Chao­jhou ( ) dou­ble-track elec­tri­fi­ca­tion pro­ject is near­ing com­ple­tion and should be ready for pas­sen­gers on Aug. 23. It will trim travel time from Ping­tung Sta­tion to Chaozhou Sta­tion from 34 to 19 min­utes, ac­cord­ing to the Tai­wan Rail­ways Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

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