The Zhonghe–Xinlu line or Orange line (code O) is a line of the Taipei Metro named after the districts it connects: Zhonghe, Xinzhuang and Luzhou. As of 29 June 2013, all construction on the Line O has been completed. The line runs through New Taipei and Taipei and has a terminus in Taoyuan City.
Due to heavy traffic for residents in the districts of Luzhou and Sanchong traveling in and out of downtown Taipei, a rapid transit line was constructed to meet this urgent need. Although the Luzhou Line is technically only the section from Daqiaotou to Luzhou, the Xinzhuang Line section is commonly included as part of the Luzhou Line. All stations are equipped with platform screen doors and it is the first high-capacity line in the system equipped with them.
As of April 2016, the Xinzhuang Depot was still under construction and expected to be finished in January 2018, completing the Xinzhuang Line.
On June 1992, the construction of Zhonghe Line began. It was the most difficult and arduous one among all lines of Taipei metro. The tunnels running through Zhonghe-Yonghe area had to pass under narrow streets, skyscrapers and crowded blocks, with limited spaces for underground station above ground. As a result, the whole neighborhood traffic had its so-called "Dark Ages" when the Cut-and-cover method was used for station platforms, concourses and crossovers during the 1990s. Besides the river-crossing section, the work suffered from biogas below the waterfront. After the construction, Zhonghe Line became more costly than all the other lines, 6,249 million NT dollars per kilometer.
On 15 January 2011, Dongmen Station was still under construction while the track for the section from Zhongxiao Xinsheng to Guting (which passes through Dongmen Station) had already been laid. At the time, Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation Vice Bureau Chief Chang Pei-yi noted that there was a possibility of opening the line for service while skipping both Dongmen and Guting stations, thus allowing for through service on the Orange Line. However, this did not occur. The section opened for service on 30 September 2012 along with Dongmen Station.
On 18 December 2011, the 8.2 km (5.1 mi) Daqiaotou to Fu Jen University section passed final inspections by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications. It opened for service on 5 January 2012. On its first full day of service, the line served 82,000 passengers. The line is expected to serve 100,000 passengers daily.
Although the line was called the Luzhou Branch Line during construction, the name was changed to simply the Luzhou Line before it opened for service.
Since its first three weeks after opening, the line (along with the Xinzhuang Line section) had reached a total ridership of over 3 million passengers, with an average of 157,000 passengers per day. It is expected to cut travel time between Luzhou and Taipei by at least half, with travel time between Luzhou and Taipei Main Station cut down to 17 minutes. The system surpassed an annual ridership of 500 million for the first time on 29 December 2010, widely attributed to the opening of the new line. The line has been effective in relieving congestion, with a 24% increase in average vehicle speed crossing Taipei Bridge (to Taipei) during rush hour since the opening of the line. During the initial one-month trial, bus routes that ran parallel to the metro route experienced a 40% decrease in ridership, although bus ridership is expected to rise again after the end of the free trial.
In anticipation of the opening of the new line, property prices along the route have risen by 36% since 2008. Although small businesses along the line (most notably in Zhongshan and Datong, two older districts) have benefited from increased business during the free trial period, analysts noted that the initial business boon may only be short-lived and it may be years before these areas see real benefits as a result of the new line.
Over the years, three versions of rolling stock were used on this line, as well as on the through services between Nanshijiao and Beitou. Originally, the line used a large fleet of C301 train sets. In 1999, only a few C341 train sets were used. In 2007, some C371 train sets were introduced. Today, the entire fleet used on this line is the C371 train sets after the original C301 train sets were confined to the Tamsui and Xindian Lines upon the opening of Dongmen Station on 30 September 2012.
As of December 2017, the typical off-peak service is:
|Code||Station Name||Section||Transfer||Location||Distance (km)|
(Luzhou Lee Family Historic Estate)
|●||O53||Sanmin Senior High School
(National Open University)
|●||O52||St. Ignatius High School||徐匯中學||[planned]||16.4|
|●||O51||Sanhe Junior High School||三和國中||Sanchong||15.6|
|●||O50||Sanchong Elementary School||三重國小||14.4|
|●||｜||O19||Fu Jen University||輔大||Xinzhuang||21.5|
(Xinzhuang Temple Street)
(New Taipei City Hospital)
(Daqiao Elementary School)
|●||●||O11||Minquan West Road||民權西路||(R13)||Datong
|●||●||O10||Zhongshan Elementary School
(Qingguang Commercial Zone)
(National Taipei University of Technology)
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