The Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) held a groundbreaking ceremony for its depot in Fugang (富岡), Taoyuan County, yesterday.
The depot will be used as a facility for train maintenance, with the first stage of construction scheduled to be completed by 2011.
TRA Project Engineering Department Director Chen Hong-ling (陳鴻麟) said the new facility meant that TRA trains would no longer need to run on sections of track used by Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (THSRC) trains.
Chen said the original TRA depot was in Songshan with both TRA and THSRC trains sharing the underground tunnel between Taipei and Songshan, with TRA trains operating on rails on the south side and the high-speed rail trains on the north.
However, the high-speed rail system is planning an extension from Taipei to Nangang (南港) in 2012, which would force a TRA train to use the high-speed rail tracks in order to reach the depot in Songshan.
“As the high-speed rail system has gradually increased the number of trains it is operating daily, we are concerned about possible safety issues if they continue to use the depot in Songshan,” he said,
The TRA’s new maintenance facility will be constructed on a 62 hectare site, and the entire project is estimated to cost approximately NT$10 billion (US$295 million).
This includes the budget allocated to purchase the land, he said.