The nation will soon start building its first light-rail system in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Tamsui (淡水), as soon as final approval is received from the Executive Yuan, the Bureau of High Speed Rail said yesterday.
The comprehensive plan for a medium-capacity light-rail transit system (LRT) as an extension of the Tamsui MRT line secured the approval of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications last month. The bureau will submit the plan to the Executive Yuan for final approval after making adjustments to the project based on suggestions made by members of a review committee in the ministry, Bureau Deputy Director-General Allen Hu (胡湘麟) said.
According to the bureau’s plans, the light-rail project would consist of two routes: the Green Mountain Route (綠山線) and the Blue Sea Route (藍海線).
The total distance of the two routes would be approximately 14km and they are expected to be completed in two stages.
The first stage of the construction would cover 11 stations on the Green Mountain Route, which begins at Hongshulin MRT Station, as well as stations B6, B7 and B8 on the Blue Sea Route.
Among the stations on the Green Mountain Route, seven would be built on overpasses. The four other stations on the Green Mountain Route and three stations on the Blue Sea Route are to be built at ground level.
The route of the first stage of construction would be about 9.5km long, with full operations scheduled to start in 2018, Hu said.
The second stage of construction involves six other stations on the Blue Sea Route, which is to pass through Tamsui’s Old Street area (淡水老街).
The B1 station on the Blue Sea Route is to be located in the same building as the Tamsui MRT station.
Construction of the second stage is scheduled to be completed in 2023.
Although the light-rail system would be designed for a highest operational speed of 70kph, the average operational speed would be between 17kph and 50kph, Hu said.
He added that the light-rail system would be powered by electricity, but the bureau would avoid power lines spoiling the view of the skyline.