Tue, Oct 16, 2012 - Page 11 News List

Railway brings prosperity but stifles growth
鐵路穿越 帶動發展也造成阻礙

Construction engineers work on the railway in Greater Taichung on Dec. 10 last year.
工程人員去年十二月十日於台中進行鐵路施工。

Photo: Hsieh Feng-chiu, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報記者謝鳳秋

The railway running along Taiwan’s western coastline was completed in 1908, making transport between north and south much more convenient. It also brought about rapid development and commercial prosperity in many of the major cities lining the west coast. After more than a century, however, the railway has become a significant hindrance for growth and has stagnated development in these cities, making it necessary for the railway to either go underground or construct raised platforms for the trains to allow the cities to continue to grow and prosper.

Although construction on Taiwan’s railway system started at the end of the Qing Dynasty, it was not until the Japanese ruled Taiwan that construction on a railway running from Keelung to Kaohsiung started. In October of 1908, the Governor-General of Taiwan organized a fully connected railway system in Taichung, formally opening Taiwan’s main railway line.

Besides advancing commercial development, the railway also brought prosperity to the big cities. In central Taiwan, for example, the harbor in Lukang was actually the most well-off city along the west coast during the Qing dynasty, but as the city was not part of the rail route at the time, the cities of Taichung and Changhua soon surpassed Lukang in just a little over a decade. After more than a century of development, the population in Taichung, a transport nexus for central Taiwan, has grown from 10,000 people to over a million, making it Taiwan’s third largest city.

With a burgeoning population and the need for continual urban development, the hindrance of the railway is fettering growth in the city. For dozens of roads in Taichung, it means they must either go underground or build platforms and bridges, and land located on either side of the rail line can also not be developed. Since the 1980s, calls for the railway to go underground have been continuous, and only recently was construction started on railway platforms to solve the problem of stifled development in the city.

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. nexus n.

要道;核心 (yao4 dao4; he2 xin1)

例: Wall Street is a financial nexus for the US.

(華爾街是美國的金融核心。)

2. burgeoning adj.

增長迅速的 (zeng1 zhang3 xun4 su4 de5)

例: Word has it that Myanmar’s burgeoning democracy is based on old episodes of The West Wing.

(聽說緬甸迅速發展的民主是根據電視影集《白宮風雲》。)

3. fetter v.

束縛 (shu4 fu2)

例: Feeling fettered by the current arrangement, she sought to renegotiate the contract.

(目前的安排讓她有被束縛的感覺,所以她想要重談合約。)


(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

台灣西部縱貫鐵路在一九○八年通車之後,讓南北交通更加便捷,也帶動西部各大都市的快速發展與商業繁榮。但經過百餘年的歲月,都市的發展卻因鐵路所帶來的阻隔而停頓,使得鐵路地下化及高架化工程必須進行,才能讓都市繼續發展。

台灣的鐵路興建雖起源於清代末期,但從基隆到高雄的實際規劃與興建,卻是在日治時期才展開。一九○八年十月間,台灣總督府在台中市舉辦「鐵路全通式」,正式啟動台灣陸路交通的動線。

而鐵路交通除了促進商業發展外,並帶動都市的興起,以中部為例,清代最繁華的鹿港並不在台灣西部鐵路的路線上,經過十多年的發展,其商業機能竟被台中市及彰化市所超越,而台中市又位於中部交通要道,經過一百多年的發展,市區人口從日治初期的一萬人成長到一百萬人,成為台灣第三大都市。

但在人口成長、市區開發下,鐵路所帶來的阻隔卻造成都市發展的停頓。以台中市來說,數十條道路必須以地下道或高架橋方式通過鐵路,而鐵道兩側的發展也受到其阻隔而停止。因而從一九八○年代起,台中鐵路地下化的呼聲不斷,直到目前才開始進行高架工程,以解決都市發展的阻礙問題。

(自由時報記者林良哲)

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