Airport MRT line nearly done: BHSR

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Oct 16, 2013 - Page 4

Construction work on more than 90 percent of the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport MRT line was finished last month, meaning that it is on track to begin operating in 2015, the Bureau of High Speed Rail (BHSR) said yesterday.

The MRT line was originally scheduled to start operating this month, but construction was delayed due to contract disputes between the project’s turn-key contractor, sub-contractors and equipment suppliers, as well as setbacks installing signal cables.

“Most of the facilities will be finished this year, so the trains can start test runs early next year. All the test runs should be finished by the end of next year and the line is expected to meet the conditions for operation by 2015,” Bureau Deputy Director-General Chang Wu-Hsun (張武訓) said yesterday.

The bureau said that the signal cable installation began in June and has been completed on the line from the A14 station to the A21 station. The cables are currently being installed at the stations on the northern section of the line.

The rail tracks between the A2 and A21 stations were all connected by the end of last year, while work on the electricity supply between these stations was finished in July this year, the bureau said.

It added that 6.6km of track has been laid down between the A2 station and Taipei Railway Station, with the section scheduled to be completed by May next year.

Moreover, all 28 trains for the line arrived at the Cingpu Depot (青埔) in June, so static testing is already being conducted between the A17 and A21 stations, with dynamic testing procedures set to begin in mid-January next year, bureau officials said.

Saying that 90.34 percent of the project had been completed by the end of last month, the bureau said it is confident that the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport MRT line can be opened by 2015.

The bureau added that it will also seek compensation from the project’s contractors for not completing their work on time. The contractors may face a fine of NT$12.5 million (US$421,000) per day for each day that has passed since the original deadline of Friday last week.

The MRT line will be 51.03km long when completed and stretch from Taipei Railway Station to Huanbei Station (環北站) in Taoyuan County’s Jhongli (中壢). It will pass through the airport and Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp’s Taoyuan Station, and will have a total of 22 stations.