Taipei, Oct. 11 (CNA) Rail travel in Taichung will enter a new era on Oct. 16 after the first phase of construction work to elevate the Taiwan Railways Administration's (TRA's) five stations in the municipality is completed and inaugurated.
The city will bid farewell to its ground-level stations, and scenes of people and vehicles waiting at level crossings for trains to pass will be a thing of the past.
The elevation of Taichung's railway system has been the TRA's largest renovation project in recent years.
The new elevated stations -- Fengyuan (豐原), Taching (大慶), Tantze (潭子), Taiyuan (太原), and Taichung (台中) -- will be inaugurated by 7 a.m. on Oct. 16.
The length of the new elevated railway is 21.7 kilometers, and was built at a cost of NT$37.24 billion (US$1.18 billion). It will be the longest elevated railway passing through a city in Taiwan after its inaguration.
In a second phase of construction, five more elevated commuter stations will be added to the line.
The newly renovated Taichung station will have one story underground and three stories above ground. Designed to have good ventilation, it will not need air conditioning, even in the hot summer weather.
The project means that 17 level crossings, three overpasses, and 18 underpasses in Taichung will be removed, the Railway Reconstruction Bureau under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said.
(By Chao Li-yen and Lilian Wu)ENDITEM/J