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Taipei-Yilan New Rail Line (Planning)
I. Origin of Project
Since 2002, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) and the Railway Reconstruction Bureau (RRB) started basic research related to the Taipei-Yilan New Rail Line. The two primary factors of the research were as follows:
1. The existing railway link consist a number of winding segments and inclining slopes, which caused the bottleneck for transportation in the area. Thus, the Speedup and Improvement Project aimed to eliminate this bottleneck, and so, tickets could be more easily obtained by the public.
2. It is estimated that the Syueshan Tunnel of the National Highway No. 5 would be congested by tremendous needs between Taipei and Yilan by 2016, so a new route to relieve the heave traffic, and by that time there would be a need for implementing new is highly expected. On September 29th, 2004, “Study of Eastern Railway Speedup and Improvement” was approved by the Executive Yuan. After words, the “Preliminary Comprehensive Planning of the Taiwan Railways Eastern Area Speedup and Improvement Plan – Yilan Direct Rail Link (including Jiaoxi Station Eastern Relocation Section)” Report was completed in 2005; however, the project was temporary suspended as per the considerations of Environmental Impact Statement issued on January 20, 2006. Nevertheless, owing to the increasing transportation demand, the alternative plan was re-initiated in 2009.

II. Project Content
The planning area of the project “Nangang-Hualien Section Speedup and Improvement Project” is from Nangang Station of Taiwan Railway to Hualien Station. Based on previous feasibility study, a number of measures were being considered to incorporate public transportation system, including increase in trains speed, distribution of public transportation capacity and allocation of vehicles, local developments, environmental impacts, financial and cost/return analysis and development of the tourism industry, etc. Also, the measures of train procurement, improvement of existing services, land development along the old and new routes, the Loading of Eastern Sand and Rock for Western guidelines, improvement plans for Su-ao Station, and adjustment in TRA ticket fares were also taken account for the evaluation in efficiency of transportation capacity and purpose of shorten travelling time.

Figure: Taipei-Yilan New Rail Line Plan
III. Project Benefits
1. Taipei-Yilan New Rail Line improves eastern region’s overall transportation system while shortening the railway’s transit time.
2. The Taipei-Yilan New Rail Line and Yilan Line form a transportation network that will boost local development.
3. The project will make railway transportation become a primary transportation means in eastern Taiwan, and it will also assist in the promotion of eastern Taiwan’s “Short transit, and enjoy Lohas lifestyle” low-carbon living environment.

IV. Development Status (updated on June 13th, 2014)
1. In January 2006, the Taipei-Yilan New Rail Line Project completed an environment impact assessment. The Environmental Protection Administration reviewed the assessment and determined that no further development should take place, and alternative plans would need to be re-submitted and re-examined.
2. In February 2009, the RRB re-initiated a preliminary project plan (feasibility study) for the alternative plans of Taipei-Yilan New Rail Line.
3. In April 2011, a feasibility research report was approved by the MOTC and sent to the Executive Yuan for further approval.
4. In November 2011, the Executive Yuan approved the report, and agreed that the comprehensive project could continue with the implementation of the project.
5. On March 18th 2013 and April 26th 2013, experts and scholars were invited for provision of advices on the project and to give site surveys.
6. The bid for comprehensive planning and technical assistance services was provided by China Engineering Consultants Inc., Taiwan (CECI) on August 19th, 2013. Project consulting services were initiated immediately - comprehensive planning, environmental impact assessment, and related works (geological investigating and surveying). The project services were estimated to be completed in 18 months.
7. After multiple considerations of communication and transportation, local development, engineering implementation, environmental impact, economic and financial factors, and other related factors for this Project’s road corridor; two new route plans were determined and submitted for re-examination. On April 22, 2014, the promotion committee held the third meeting for road corridor selection re-examination for the purpose of making a final decision on the plan; the submitted “New Plan #2” was selected as the preferred plan after a series of comprehensive assessments were conducted.
file DownLoad: Figure: Taipei-Yilan New Rail Line Plan
link Link: Taipei-Yilan New Rail Line:Evaluating Alternative Plan According to Laws and Regulations (Open New Window)


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