Construction of an around-the-island electrification railway network is a fixed policy of Taiwan. Sections that are currently not electrified include the South-link line and the Pingtung line from Chaozhou to Fangliao, which is the last mile of the around-the-island electrification railway network. Railway Bureau, MOTC was instructed by the Executive Yuan to give priority to the completion of the electrification network and the strengthening of railroad safety, and gradually construct the vision of a one-day social circle across the island. The Executive Yuan approved the South-Link Line Railway Electrification Project on June 3, 2013.
The total length of this construction project amounts to 123.4km, from Chaozhou Station in Pingtung County in the west to Taitung Station in Taitung County in the east. The engineering content of this project comprises the electrification of original lines, as well as the improvement of railway bridges and culverts, tunnels, slope protections, train stations, level crossings and electrical and mechanical equipment along the line. The project duration is from July, 2013 to March, 2022 and the total cost is NT27.61 billion.
- Speeding up of the railway: Increasing train speed – 90 minutes from Kaohsiung to Taitung and easing of the road capacity problem.
- Power unification: Simplification of vehicle types and increased train dispatching flexibility.
- Energy saving and carbon reduction: reduction of emissions and improvement of air quality in tunnels, stations and trains are in line with sustainable green public transport.
- Promotion of tourism in Eastern Taiwan: improvement of station service efficiency, integration of recreation point distributions and transportation modes and establishment of connecting public transportation and two-track railway recreation systems.