Train stations along east coast line to get a face-lift

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Oct 20, 2012 - Page 3

The project to renovate Hsincheng Railway Station — the first station along the Hualien and Taitung railway line — is scheduled to begin tomorrow, the Railway Reconstruction Bureau said yesterday.

The project is part of the “New Railway Station Movement Along the Hualien-Taitung Line,” in which the bureau plans to renovate 29 stations along the east coast line.

Aside from changing the exteriors of some of the railway stations, the renovation involves ensuring that there is a clear demarcation between passengers departing and arriving, the bureau said.

Hsincheng (新城) is the first station along the Hualien-Taitung Line and is the gateway station through which visitors can access the Taroko Gorge National Park. However, passengers have complained that the current station is old and does not offer adequate space for passengers to move around.

Based on the bureau’s plans, two railway tracks in the station will be removed and the waiting area for passengers will be expanded.

Restaurants and shops are to be located at the north side of the station, from which passengers can enjoy a good view of the mountains nearby. The renovation features designs that conserve energy and reduce carbon emissions, the bureau said.

The bureau added that there will be a plaza built in front of the station as part of the re-design which will also operate as a taxi stop. Routes for different motor vehicles are to be clearly delineated to aid the smooth movement of traffic.

According to the bureau, the renovation of Hsincheng Station is estimated to cost NT$260 million (US$8.9 million).

The entire renovation is set to cost approximately NT$6 billion in total and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014.

The Hualien-Taitung line is one of two railway lines nationwide that has yet to be electrified. The government plans to provide an electrified railway service operating along the line by next year.