Travelers leaving from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport will be able to check their luggage in at Taipei Railway Station before boarding the Airport Rail, the Bureau of High Speed Rail said yesterday.
“When the Airport Rail is launched in 2014, passengers can check in and get their boarding passes in the city first,” Bureau Director-General Chu Shu (朱旭) said. “The Taoyuan airport will be the fourth system in the world to offer in-town check-in service, following airports in Kuala Lumpar, Hong Kong and Bangkok.”
The in-town check-in service will also be available at stations in Wugu (五股) and Taoyuan. The Taoyuan Airport Rail station is in the same building as the Taoyuan High Speed Rail Station.
The Airport Rail system will have a total of 22 stations, 15 of them elevated, and seven underground, including those near Taipei Station, the National Taiwan Sports University, airport terminals I, II and III, the Airport Transit Hotel and Huangbei Road in Jhongli (中壢).
The bureau took reporters on a tour of a construction site near the airport terminals, where it is using tunnel-boring machines to drill six tunnels.
On-site engineers said that construction was different from that used for Taipei’s MRT system because the MRT bored mainly through layers of soil, while they had to dig tunnels through gravel.
They also said that construction was more challenging because they had to spend more time taking out the gravel.
The underground section at the airport passes through several sensitive zones, including runways and control towers, but the bureau said it has reinforced protective measures to ensure that construction does not compromise flight safety.
The bureau has yet to drill four tunnels in the airport section.
The bureau plans to begin Airport Rail operations from Sanchong (三重) to Jhongli by June 2013, Chu said, while the Taipei-Sanchong section was scheduled to begin operations in October 2014.
Despite a minor delay in construction of the electromechanical systems, Chu said the bureau has not changed its deadlines.
The Airport Rail system will offer both express train and general train services, Chu said.
The express train service will go directly from Taipei Station to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in about 35 minutes, he said.
The general train service will stop at every station along the route and will take about 70 minutes to reach the airport from Taipei, he said.
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