TL;DR: A city, divided for over 100 years by a railway, is finally reunified.
Taichung (台中，literally meaning “central Taiwan”) is the dominant city of central Taiwan, with just over 1 million inhabitants within its urban districts. The city is surprisingly sprawl-y by Asian standards, with poor traffic conditions and underdeveloped urban transit (their light metro is scheduled to open late this year after decades of planning and delays).
Taiwan’s low-speed rail corridor runs right through the old downtown of Taichung. From the railway’s inception in 1905 until 2016, it ran at-grade with very few crossings, splitting the city into two halves with poor connectivity between the two sides of the line.
This has finally been fixed with an enormous viaduct project that eliminated 17 at-grade crossings over 21.7 km of Taichung soil as illustrated here:
The centrepiece of the project is the brand new Taichung Railway Station served by the new elevated tracks, situated right next to the historic old station.
The biggest change will be over the coming years, as previously segregated sections of the city gradually reconnect for the first time in more than a century.
Since first visiting in 2011 to discover a city struggling into the 21st century, I’ve observed Taichung take remarkable steps to modernisation. With the metro opening later this year, road traffic and pollution will also see significant improvements that the people deserve.