Construction of the high-speed rail (HSR) station in Yunlin County is scheduled to commence in Huwei Township (虎尾) tomorrow, with costs to exceed NT$1.5 billion (US$51.8 million).
Yunlin County is one of the three counties that do not yet have high-speed rail stations, along with Miaoli and Changhua counties.
Minister of Transportation and Communications Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國), Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (THSRC) chairman Ou Chin-der (歐晉德), Yunlin County Commissioner Su Chih-fen (蘇治芬) and other dignitaries have been invited to attend the ground-breaking ceremony.
The Bureau of High Speed Rail said the construction of the high-speed rail stations in Miaoli and Changhua would be launched on Jan. 25 and Feb. 6 respectively.
All three new stations are to become operational by 2015, the bureau added.
Meanwhile, the bureau said that the government has completed the building of the high-speed rail station in Taipei’s Nangang (南港) district and handed it over to the THSRC to install the machinery and railway tracks. The contract stipulates that the company must complete the work by 2015.
The bureau said the company would need to re-examine its operational model because the number of stations has increased from eight to 12, and the travel time of the express train service from Taipei to Kaohsiung must not exceed 96 minutes.
THSRC estimated that travel time from Taipei to Kaohsiung would increase to two-and-a-half hours if the train stops at every station along the route except Nangang.
Because the station in Yunlin is in Huwei Township, whose name is literally translated as “a tiger’s tail,” THSRC said that the architecture would convey the imagery of a tiger’s stripes and tail.
Because Yunlin County is known to have a land subsidence problem, the company said it planned to adopt a new construction method to ensure the stability of the new station, which is on an overpass. Instead of using dirt to refill the ground under the overpass, the company is planning to use solid and high-density expandable polystyrene (EPS) to fill the ground to avoid additional sinkage.
The company said that 1m3 of fill dirt weighs between 2 tonnes and 2.5 tonnes, but 1m3 of EPS weighs only 200kg.
However, EPS costs about NT$3,000 per cubic meter, which is 10 times more expensive than fill dirt.