The reconstruction of Alishan Forest Railway Tunnel No. 42 has started on January 8 (2021)

2021/01/08

Alishan Forest Railway just held the groundbreaking ceremony of the reconstruction of Tunnel No. 42 on January 8. The Deputy Director-General of the Forestry Bureau, Lin Hao-Chen, the Mayor of Chiayi County, Weng Chang-Liang, the legislator, Wang-Mei-Hui, the Tsou Chief from Tefuya, Avaei Vavayanan (Wang Yi-Fu), etc., gathered together to witness this historic moment.

The reconstruction project of Tunnel No. 42 adopts principles that respect the natural ecology and environmental sustainability. Based on the results of geological drilling, the new tunnel will pass through high-strength rocks to replace the existing open-cut tunnel and the bridge to connect Tunnel No. 43 and avoid the landslide area. The work will use existing roads to access the site to achieve the multiple goals of minimizing landscape disturbance, taking safety, and natural preservation into account. The produced soil and rock due to the construction will be backfilled in the existing storage site in stages. Afterward, native grasslands will be restored at the site to avoid the impact of air, noise, and traffic. After completion, the original Tunnel No. 42 will be preserved as an educational spot to convey the importance of the environment, history, and culture.

The groundbreaking ceremony was held at the east entrance of the existing Tunnel No. 42. The tunnel was lit up with a warm yellow beam, like the head of a locomotive, symbolizing that the train is about to leave after completion. Equipment such as the tamping machine, lifting jack, gauge meter, pickaxe, etc., were also displayed at the site. The invited Tsou chief, elders, and wizards conducted a blessing ceremony in the Tsou language to communicate with the mountain god that the project is about to be carried out. Other guests were invited to pray for the safety of workers and the construction.

According to Lin Hao-Chen, the Deputy Director-General of the Forestry Bureau, the typhoon Morakot severely damaged the Alishan Forest Railway on August 8, 2009, causing 421 damages to the entire railway. After successive repairs, the 1104-meter-long Tunnel No. 42 was the last reconstruction project at that time. The trial run of the whole line was successful in September 2015. However, the typhoon Dujuan caused the collapse of Tunnel No. 42 on September 28 of the same year. Today, thanks to the Liming Engineering Consultants' planning, Environmental Simulation's assistance in environmental impact assessment, and Raito Engineering's construction work, we can initiate this reconstruction at this moment.

Weng Chang-Liang, the Mayor of Chiayi County, stated that the long-awaited reconstruction of Tunnel No. 42 has finally realized. Alishan Forest Railway is a world-class tourist attraction in Chiayi. It is a cultural heritage belonging to all citizens in the country and promotes the development of mountain villages along the line. We look forward to the open to traffic of the Alishan Forest Railway in 2023 to show the new value of sustainable development of the railway. The Legislator, Wang Mei-Hui, said that the Alishan Forest Railway is Taiwan's pride. She is very pleased to witness this moment with all the guests

Huang Miaoxiu, the director of the Alishan Forest Railway, said that although the reconstruction of tunnel No. 42 has gone through three obstacles (tribal councils, environmental impact assessment, and cultural heritage deliberation), there is also favor and support from the tribe, central and local governments, legislators, experts, scholars, and non-governmental organizations. The ceremony held by the Tsou tribes will bless the environmental stability. In addition, all the guests were invited to fix the track spike to symbolize the thorough success of the construction work on time. Please continue to assist and supervise us and look forward to the completion of the construction as scheduled by the end of 2022 and the open to traffic of the whole line in 2023.

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Last updated on:2021-09-27
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