Thu, Jun 13, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Railways to be fully electrified in 2020

SOUTH LINK LINE:From Sept. 2 to Dec. 30, some trains would have to be canceled to complete the electrification project, but bus services would be made available

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The Taiwan Railways Administration’s nationwide railway system is to be entirely electrified when the South Link Line’s electrification project is completed by the end of next year, the Railway Bureau said on Tuesday.

The South Link Line, which connects Pingtung and Taitung counties, is the only railway route that has yet to be completely electrified.

The route originally ran from Pingtung’s Fangliao Township (枋寮) to Taitung Railway Station. Most of the stations are in remote and less-populated areas, which has made construction a challenging task.

The electrification of the route would begin in Pingtung’s Chaozhou Township (潮州) — the terminal station of the railway line in the west coast — and end in Taitung’s Jhihben Township (知本).

The line between Taitung Railway Station and Jhihben has already been electrified.

The bureau aims to have the line between Chaozhou and Fangliao electrified by the end of this year to save commuters the trouble of having to change trains, bureau Deputy Director-General Wu Sheng-yuan (伍勝園) said.

The number of trains operating between Chaozhou and Taitung would have to be reduced due to construction, he said, adding that the bureau has collaborated with the Directorate-General of Highways to increase the number of highway buses in the area.

From Sept. 2 to Dec. 30, trains operating from 5pm to 9pm from Monday to Thursday and on Saturday between Chaozhou and Taitung would be canceled, Wu said.

During those times, people would have to use one of three different bus services: Kaohsiung to Taitung, Chaozhou to Taitung or Chaozhou to Fangliao.

The bus fares for those routes would be about 80 percent of the commuter train ticket price, the bureau said.

The bureau has also raised the foundations in four sections along the line, Wu said.

Linbian Railway Station has also been elevated, as it is located in a flood-prone area, he said.

The section between Nanzhou (南州) and Linbian railway stations would be upgraded from a single-track railway to a dual-track railway, and the electrification of the section between Fangliao and Jhihben would be completed by the end of next year, he said.

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