The Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) yesterday celebrated the breakthrough of the Shanyue Tunnel (山岳隧道) connecting Taipei’s Nangang (南港) district and New Taipei City’s (新北市) Sijhih (汐止) District, which would improve the mass transit service between the metropolitan areas.
Since the high-speed rail began operations in 2006, TRA has planned to improve mass transit service between the nation’s metropolitan areas. To increase the transport capacity, TRA decided to construct a third line of 2.21km between Sike Station and Nangang Station. TRA said the Shanyue Tunnel was the most difficult part of the construction. Though the tunnel is only 0.72km long, it was constructed in a difficult geological area.
The TRA said the tunnel was close to the Keelung River, with a section being built beneath the riverbed of Dakeng Creek (大坑溪). Construction of the tunnel started in September 2010 and did not reach the breakthrough until yesterday.
A third rail has already been added in the section between Keelung and Cidu (七堵) stations.
Aside from the construction of a third line between Nangang and Sijhih, the Railway Reconstruction Bureau and TRA are also building a third line between Cidu and Sijhih. These two projects are scheduled to be completed by the end of this year. TRA said that the line between Sijhih and Nangang was the most popular section among commuters, adding that the train service would be available every 10 minutes once the third line was in place.
The TRA said that the third line would be available from Keelung to Nangang. The delivery of 296 new commuter train cars will also begin in October, and is scheduled to be completed by the end of next year. The travel time between Taipei and Keelung will be shortened to 35 minutes.