The Bureau of High Speed Rail said yesterday that more than 50 percent of the construction work for the Airport Rail had been started, slightly ahead of schedule.
Construction of the Airport Rail’s electronic and mechanical systems began in 2006, the bureau said. Construction of the infrastructure has also started, although three of the building projects were delayed and did not begin until the end of last month.
Meanwhile, the bureau has started to draft a preliminary operational plan for the Airport Rail. The traffic control centers for the system will be in Chingpu (青埔) and Luchu (蘆竹) in Taoyuan County.
Bureau Director-General Ju Hsu (朱旭) said the Airport Rail system would have both standard and express train services. Standard trains will stop at every station along the route, with each cabin equipped with a single luggage rack, he said. Express trains, on the other hand, will stop at only two stations and one carriage will be designated to store luggage only.
Hsu estimated that to get from Taipei to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, an express train would take about 35 minutes, whereas the standard train would take about 50 minutes.
The first batch of train cars are scheduled to be delivered by Japanese contractors in 2012, including 17 carriages for standard trains and 11 carriages for express trains.
Hsu said the Sanchung to Jhongli (三重中壢段) section is scheduled to be operational in 2013. The entire route, which is 51km long, should be fully operational in 2014.
Hsu added that a total of 22 stations would be built along the route between the airport and Taipei Main Station.
Once the Airport Rail begins operations, passengers traveling to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport would be able to check in at Taipei Main Station, he said.