The Shalun Branch Rail Line (沙崙支線), which will cut travel time between Greater Tainan and the high-speed railway’s Tainan Station, opened yesterday, making connections to the station, which is located southeast of the city, more convenient.
Prior to the line’s opening, the only public transportation option for people in Greater Tainan who wanted to take the high-speed train was a shuttle bus that took at least 50 minutes to get to the station, located in a sparsely populated area southeast of the city.
Traffic jams in downtown Tainan at peak hours can make the journey even longer, but the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) said its new line would take the uncertainty out of the trip.
The spur line, which runs from the TRA’s Zhongzhou Station to the new Shalun Station next to the Tainan high-speed rail station, will reduce travel time between Greater Tainan and the high-speed rail stop to about 21 minutes.
There will be 70 shuttles running on the new line every day to ensure smooth connections.
The one-way fare between Greater Tainan and Shalun Station will be NT$25, while the fare between the Zhongzhou Station and Shalun Station will be NT$15.
The TRA’s first new branch in 30 years, the 6.52km-long Shalun Line will help refresh the image of the nation’s century-old railway network, a spokesperson at the TRA’s Kaohsiung Transportation Branch said.
In addition to four colorful trains featuring Tainan’s natural environment, the Shalun Line project included renovations to Zhongzhou Station and the addition of two new elevated stations at Chang Jung Christian University and Shalun.
The TRA said that passengers can take the trains for free until Jan. 15.