Red Brick Daily
You may have noticed a LOT of construction around the Kaohsiung Main Train Station and all the way up to Gushan, Zuoying and the Art Museum area.
What the city is doing will change residents’ lives for the better by 2018.
The city is in the final stages of putting the vast majorty of rail lines underground, much like Taipei did over a decade ago when the capital built the Civic Boulevard expressway … underneath that expressway is where the train lines now run.
We’re talking about Taiwan Railroad Adminstration (TRA) train lines; the Kaohsiung MRT and light rail system are not affected by the plans.
Kaohsiung has decided that instead of building new subway lines for now, the city will better utilize TRA lines and run them more like a subway.
The Kaohsiung mega-dig project extends from Baozhen Road in Gushan District (near the so-called “Monkey Mountain”) and covers a distance of approximately 10 kilometers.
Alongside a twin-track tunnel, new commuter stations are being constructed.
The new stations include Neiwei, The Fine Arts Museum, Gushan, Sankuaicuo, Minzu Road, and The National Science and Technology Museum.
The city is also – once again – moving the Main Kaohsiung Station; this time underground.
The new Main Station will host TRA trains and the Kaohsiung Main Station MRT.
What this means is that from 2018 or perhaps earlier, those who live in Gushan or the Lotus Lake area of Zuoying, will be able to hop on an underground local TRA train and connect to the KMRT either at the High Speed Rail MRT Station in Zuoying, or the Main Station downtown.
Currently, residents of Gushan and parts of Zuoying have to take a taxi or bus to the nearest MRT station, which is time-consuming due to traffic, prompting many to ride scooters rather than use public transport.
The city will also be combining more TRA stops with KMRT stops, such as by constructing passageways between them or having the trains run on differnt levels of the same station, making it easy to get from the Art Museum to the Kaohsiung International Airport, for example, with only two transfers.
Another major benefit for residents of Gushan and Zuoying will be the removal of road-level rail crossings, which are not only unsafe, but also traffic nightmares and just plain ugly.
Plus, Gushan will soon no longer have a “wrong side of the tracks”!
*Photo via the Railway Reconstruction Bureau