Taoyuan International Airport MRT
|Locale||Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan County
Republic of China (Taiwan)
|Transit type||Airport rail link, Rapid transit|
|Number of stations||24|
|Operation will start||December 2015|
|System length||51.03 km (31.71 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) (standard gauge)|
|Electrification||Third rail 750 V DC|
|Taoyuan International Airport MRT|
|Taoyuan Airport MRT|
The Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Access MRT System, commonly known as the Taoyuan International Airport MRT, is a rapid transit system planned to connect Taipei and Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, before linking up with the Taoyuan MRT to THSR Taoyuan Station and onwards to Zhongli. Construction began in 2006. Plagued by multiple delays, the system is currently scheduled to begin service in December 2015. Construction is being overseen by the Bureau of High Speed Rail of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, which oversees the construction of the Taiwan High Speed Rail as well as regional rapid transit systems (except the Taipei Metro and Kaohsiung MRT) in Taiwan.
The planned route starts from Terminal II of Taoyuan International Airport and extends eastward, passing through Luzhu, Linkou, Guishan, Xinzhuang, Sanchong, and finally terminating in Taipei City. From the airport, it will also extend southward passing by THSR Taoyuan Station before terminating in Zhongli. The route will be 51.03 km (31.71 mi)-long with 7 underground stations, 15 elevated stations, and two maintenance depots (Chingpu and Lujhu). Elevated track makes up 40.11 km (24.92 mi) of the total route length. The total budget for the project is NT$93.6 billion. As of late September 2012, the project is 82.64% complete. Upon completion, the line is expected to serve over 143,000 passengers per day. The line will have a maximum operational speed of 100 km/h (62 mph).
Two types of services will be offered: Commuter Trains and Express Trains. While both trains travel the same route, Express Trains will stop at fewer stations and are specially provided for airport passengers. Commuter Trains, which stop at every station, will operate from Taipei to Zhongli in 70 minutes, while Express Trains will run from Taipei directly to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in 35 minutes. During the initial stage of operation, services will run with a 10 minutes headway for Express and Commuter Trains (or 5 minutes per train), with a target interval of 3.75 minutes between trains.
In-town check in and baggage check services will be available at three stations: Taipei Main Station, New Taipei Industrial Park Station, and THSR Taoyuan Station, thus extending airline check-ins to downtown Taipei. Although check-in and baggage services have already been added at THSR Taoyuan Station, it will be further streamlined with the completion of the MRT. Checked baggaged will be delivered to Terminal Two, where they will be scanned and directed to the appropriate airline. Baggage handling equipment will be installed, including check-in counters, conveyor belts, container handling equipment, container elevators, and control systems. Baggage will be transported from the check-in counter into containers, which will be loaded onto Express Trains. Flight information display systems will be installed at Express Train stops (A1, A3, and A8) as well as at Taoyuan Station (A18). They will also be installed at check-in counters and in each Express Train car.
The train sets will be built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries. Each car will be powered by traditional, AC three-phase induction motors with 750 V DC power supplied via third rail. Four-car configurations will be used for Commuter Trains, while Express Trains will have five-car configurations due to an extra baggage car. The car body will be constructed from stainless steel. In Commuter Trains, each train car will have 50 longitudinal seats with two wheelchair areas and two luggage racks. Express Train cars will be equipped with 54 seats with one wheelchair area and three luggage racks. Each train car will have three doors per side, while the baggage car will have five doors per side. An onboard baggage handling system, including control equipment, will be installed. The first train set (of 28 ordered) were shipped at the end of July 2011 and started arriving by the middle of August 2011. Initial track testing for the first set will begin in October 2011. Of the 28 train sets, 11 will be Express Trains while 17 will be Commuter Trains. All Express Trains and one Commuter Train will be constructed in Japan; the rest will be made in Taiwan.
As one of the New Ten Major Construction Projects, a rail system to connect Taoyuan International Airport with existing transportation hubs was announced. This metro route was originally planned to be constructed as a BOT project. In 1998, the project was auctioned to Evertransit International Development Corp. (長生國際開發), a subsidiary of Ever Fortune Industrial Co. (長億實業). However, the company failed to begin the construction, and in 2003, the government cancelled the contract.
After the BOT project failed to go through, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) decided to build the line directly from the government budget. The terminus in Taipei was shifted from Ximen to Taipei Main Station to facilitate transfers to other forms of public transportation (including TRA and THSR). There were disagreements between the MOTC and the Taipei City Government regarding the exact location of the terminal station. The MOTC preferred an elevated station just north of the Taipei Main Station, while the City Government wanted it built underground just west of Chengde Road. The MOTC's plan was less expensive and would require less time to construct, but it would have obstructed the scenery of the surrounding area. The two sides finally compromised, agreeing to build the station underground with the City Government covering the additional cost. The revised project was approved in September 2004 and construction began on September 25, 2006.
A special industrial zone is planned around the THSR Taoyuan Station area. Land acquisition for the Sanchong City section totaled 2.07 ha (20,700 m2) and cost NT$1.4 billion, including land and buildings.
- December 4, 2008: MOTC announced that would be extended to Zhongli by 2017. On December 31, 2007,
- December 31, 2008: The Gate of Taipei and the Taipei station began construction.
- February 13, 2009: MOTC announced that the line would be handed over to the Taiwan Railway Administration to operate. However, after Ma Ying-jeou took office, he asked the Bureau of High Speed Rail to reassess the possibility of operating the line with the Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation (TRTC) and the Taiwan Railway Administration.
- May 9, 2009: The Taiwan Railway Administration announced they would not be able to operate the line. Thus, the MOTC asked either TRTC or the Taoyuan City Government to create the Taoyuan Mass Rapid Transit Corporation to run the line.
- May 12, 2009: The MOTC and the Taoyuan County Zhongli City Office organized a public hearing for the "Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Access MRT System Construction Project" extension to Zhongli.
- May 15, 2010: The Council for Economic Planning released a report about the Taoyuan Airport MRT extension to Zhongli and development of the surrounding areas. An additional two, underground stations are planned, and it will cost an estimated NT$13.801 billion to complete.
- 2010: Sanchong residents living in the Boai New Community requested an additional station be added to the route: Boai (A2A). They requested the City Council to approach the Taipei City Government to add the station. The City Government responded by saying that they were under financial and time pressures to complete the line by June 2013. However, former Taipei County Magistrate Chou Hsi-wei and Vice President of the Executive Yuan Eric Chu supported the addition of the new station. In order not to affect the opening of the line by 2014, the station base would be preserved for Stage 2 construction. Addition of the station will cost an additional NT$1.94 billion in addition to the design and construction of a flood wall (NT$300 million), bringing the total estimated cost to NT$2.24 billion. It is expected to be completed in five years and open by 2016.
- August 5, 2011: Construction on the 40 km (25 mi) elevated track sections (out of the total 51 km (32 mi)) was completed.
In May 2013 it was announced that the opening of the Airport line from Taipei Main Station to Huanbei will be delayed by two years to the end of 2015. The original plan was to open the main part already in October 2013.
The entire system is expected to cost NT$113.85 billion. The first train sets from Kawasaki Heavy Industries are expected to be delivered by July 2011. Platform screen doors will be installed at all underground stations, while elevated stations will be equipped with automatic platform gates. By July 2011, the last of the line's elevated support pillars will be erected and by August 2011, construction of the elevated viaducts will be completed.
In addition to tracks and stations, joint development projects are planned to boost development around stations. In April 2011, Kingdom Construction Corp. signed a contract to construct a 16-story residential and commercial building near the future Linkou Station.
The design of core E&M systems (including rolling stock, power supply, signaling, communications, depot equipment, platform screen doors, etc.) and the design and construction of two depots (Chingpu and Lujhu) were awarded as part of a contract worth NT$25.5 billion. Hitachi, in cooperation with Marubeni Corporation and Kawasaki Heavy Industries, won the bid for the E&M systems and signed the contract on January 12, 2006. The groundbreaking ceremony for the power supply system was held on October 1, 2010 on behalf of five contractor companies including Hitachi. Motorola will supply the digital radio communications system for the line.
The power supply for the system will be drawn from two Taiwan Power Company 161 kV supplies at three Bulk Supply Substations (BSS); one incoming line will serve as the main power supply while the other will serve a backup. One substation (A8) is located between Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Linkou stations. The main RC structure was completed in March 2011, while civil engineering is scheduled to finish by the end of October. The automatic fare collection system contract was awarded to Mercuries Data Systems (MDS) on October 22, 2010 for NT$355 million.
Of the total 51.03 km (31.71 mi) route length, 10.92 km (6.79 mi) will be constructed underground while 40.11 km (24.92 mi) will be elevated. A large portion (78.6%) of the route length will be constructed on 9.3 m (31 ft)-wide viaducts, which will be used in both dense urban districts as well as rural areas with steep slopes. Two types of viaducts, single-tracked and double-tracked, will be used. Single-tracked viaducts will be constructed with a standard span of 30 m (98 ft) with mobile cranes. Double-tracked viaducts will be constructed using the Advanced Shoring Method for either 35 m (115 ft) or 60 m (200 ft) spans. A 4 m (13 ft) noise barrier wall will be used on all viaducts, and floating track beds will be used for environmentally-sensitive zones. During construction, some residents in Xinzhuang expressed concern over the 7 to 9-story high elevated track and its stability during potential earthquakes. The Bureau of High Speed Rail responded that due to a base which penetrates 20–30 m (66–98 ft) into the ground, the tracks could withstand earthquakes of over 5.0-magnitude without a problem. The system is based on steel wheel on steel rail technology.
RAIL.ONE Group will provide the RHEDA 2000 ballastless track system for the line. 150,000 modified bi-block type B 355 ties will be delivered for the line. The first set will arrive between July and December 2010, while the last set is expected to begin production in March 2011.
The Taipei terminus will be situated under the future Gate of Taipei twin towers and will be designed by architect Fumihiko Maki. The station itself will extend five stories underground. The diaphragm wall will be 53 meters deep and excavation depth will be around 27 meters. Four underground levels are planned: three for the terminus of the station and one for a parking lot. China Engineering Consultants, Inc. (CECI) won the contract for construction of the Taipei City section through public appraisal on July 8, 2005. Redevelopment of the 47 hectares (470,000 m2)-area will complex of retail, office, and hotel.
Taoyuan Airport section
The entire airport section consists of four underground stations (A12 to A14a) and is 6.85 km (4.26 mi) long. Both cut-and-cover and shield tunneling will be used for tunnel construction. Since shield tunnels will be constructed underneath existing taxiways and the control tower area, an automatic monitoring system will be used to assess the impact to the soil and structures so that a response can be made in time. In the same section, secondary grouting and a micro-pile cut-off wall will be used to reinforce the tunnels. In addition, a floating track bed will be used for the tracks crossing these areas to reduce vibrations. Continental Engineering Corporation will be constructing the underground stations and the tunnels in this section.
Five shield tunneling sections totaling 3,600 m (11,800 ft) and 1,630 m (5,350 ft) of cut-and-cover sections will be excavated. Arrival areas near the MRT departure areas will be constructed.
Tamsui River section
The section passing below Tamsui River (about 1 km in length) employs the shield-tunneling method. The double-O-tube (DOT) shield tunnel machine will be used for the first time in Taiwan. The 1.58 km (0.98 mi)-long tunnels took 12 months to dig, and were completed in December 2010.
Chingshan Road section
This section will be built along a steep roadside slope. Traditional construction methods would greatly increase the difficulty, cost, and excavation area necessary to build an elevated line through the area. In order to reduce environmental impact and cut construction time, a bamboo-cut treatment will be used in construction to keep the slope intact. Top ring girders 11.4 m (37 ft) in diameter will be used to gradually excavate the area, after which a 10 m (33 ft) diameter foundation can be placed. A total of 15 bamboo-cut foundations will be constructed, ranging from a height of 5.88 to 16.35 meters. As of June 2010, the contractor (Fu Tsu Corporation) had completed 13 of the 15 bases, with the additional two under construction.
Several stations have been selected for public art installations.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Taoyuan International Airport Access MRT System.|
- Transportation Department, Taoyuan County Government (Chinese)
- Institute of Transportation, MOTC (Chinese) (pdf)
- EDS Group