Monday, September 30, 2013

Taoyuan Announces Taoyuan-Xinzhuang Line Alternatives

Last week the Taoyuan County government released two alternatives for a rapid transit line between Taoyuan Train Station and Huilong MRT Station, slated to be the Taoyuan MRT's Brown Line.  The first alternative would be what the linked article calls light rail, and would run underground in Taoyuan City and elevated for the rest of its length.  (I was under the impression, however, that in Taiwan a rail line had to run on the surface for at least a quarter of its length to count as light rail.)  It would be 11.5km long, and cost NT$23.5 billion, or NT$2 billion/km (US$67 million/km).  Its depreciation rate, or the portion of construction costs that would be paid through operating profits, would be just over 30%.  The second alternative is a monorail line, which would be elevated for its full length and cost NT$16.4 billion, or NT$1.4 billion (US$47 million/km).  The lower cost would bring a higher depreciation rate, of 40%.  Presumably this is largely because the whole route would be elevated, which would be more acceptable with monorail since they can use sleeker support structures.

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