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Taiwan opens three new high-speed rail stations

Taiwan opens three new high-speed rail stations

Three new stations in Miaoli, Changhua and Yunlin counties joined Taiwan's high-speed rail line on Tuesday in opening ceremonies held simultaneously.

To celebrate the occasion, President Ma Ying-jeou took a 25-kilometer ride on a high-speed train to Yunlin station from Changhua station.

Ma noted that the high-speed rail line has served more than 340 million passengers since it was opened in January 2007, with average passengers per day more than doubling, and the addition of three new stations will make it easier for more local residents to travel.

He also highlighted the special features of the new stations, including the Tong flower at the Miaoli station, the flowers at Changhua station, and the pillar structure at the Yunlin station.

The inauguration was part of a government infrastructure development project to establish a convenient transportation network and use rail to cut carbon emissions, Ma said.

Miaoli residents were excited when they saw the first train serving the three new stations arrive at Miaoli station from Taichung at 6:50 a.m.

More than 20 passengers on the platform also took photos to capture the historic moment.

"I've waited for so long for this day and now have finally seen the inauguration of Miaoli station," a passenger surnamed Chiu said.

The inauguration of the three stations was held simultaneously through video links.

Appearing at the opening ceremony in Changhua, Premier Mao Chi-kuo said the opening of a new station there represented a new start for the central city.

Changhua County Magistrate Wei Ming-ku said the city has stepped up shuttle bus services and designed a series of activities to form a tourism triangle between the Taichung high-speed rail station, the Changhua high-speed rail station and the popular tourist destination of Lugang.

At Miaoli station, Transportation and Communications Minister Chen Chien-yu expressed the hope that the opening of the stations will bring more tourists and business to picturesque Miaoli.

The additions will increase the number of stations to 11 from the present eight and result in a 30 percent reduction in the number of non-stop express trains between Taipei and Kaohsiung.

Trains between the two cities that stop at all stations will take 138 minutes and will run once every hour. Travel time on an express train, which calls at Banqiao and Taichung, averages 96 minutes.

To promote the new stops, Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp. has created several special offers, including offering free tickets for passengers who arrive at or depart from any of the three stations from Dec. 1 to 15.

Between Dec. 1 and 7, souvenir tickets marking the opening of the new stations are available for passengers who use the stations.

In addition, the price of a one-way ticket for regular Taipei-Kaohsiung trains has been cut to NT$1,490 (US$45.65) from NT$1,630.

The original eight stations of the 345-km high speed rail system were Taipei, Banqiao, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Taichung, Chiayi, Tainan and Zuoying (Kaohsiung).

Updated : 2021-09-24 13:47 GMT+08:00