When Taiwan's new rail service opens in 2005, up to 330,000 passengers per day will be able to commute the length of the island between the population centers of Taipei and Kaohsiung. Already, the Taiwanese government is planning for billions of dollars in infrastructure improvements around the five proposed stations on the previously-rural west coast, betting easy access to the train will foster development. One proposal designed by the government places a European walkable city around the 100mph train tracks. Like the expansion of the train to America's West, the optimism of design and the pragmatism of profit will inevitably collide.
Thanks to Jeffrey Goodman