Transportation Management

National Freeway No. 5, Hsuehshan(Xueshan) Tunnel-Facilities

The northern tip of National Freeway No. 5, i.e. Nangang Interchange connects to National Freeway No. 3. Along National Freeway No. 5, there are interchanges at Shiding, Pinglin (Control Centre), Toucheng, Yilan, Luodong and Su'ao. National Freeway No. 5 is approximately 54 kilometres in length, whereas Hsuehshan(Xueshan) Tunnel, between Pinglin and Toucheng, is roughly 12.9 kilometres in length.

1. Tunnel Structure
Hsuehshan(Xueshan) Tunnel is a twin-bore, two-way tunnel. In contrast to most European tunnels, such as St. Gotthard, Mont Blanc, Fréjus, that are mostly single-bore and two-way, Hsuehshan(Xueshan) Tunnel has a structure that eliminates the possibility of vehicle collisions. The descriptions of the structure and facilities are as follows:

Items Descriptions
Design Speed 90km/hr
Speed Limit

North of Hsuehshan Tunnel (15K): 80km/hr

South of Hsuehshan Tunnel (15K-54K, including the tunnel): 90km/hr

No. of Traffic Lanes A total of 4 lanes in both directions
(two lanes in either direction)
Width of Lanes 3.5m
Net Height 4.6m
Slope Downward slope from north (Taipei) to south (Yilan)
Pedestrian Connection Tunnels One connection tunnel for pedestrians every 350 meters, with a total of 28 connection tunnels
Vehicle Connection Tunnels A total of 8 connection tunnels with one connection tunnel for vehicles every 1,400 meters
Emergency Parking Bays One emergency parking bay every 1,400 meters along side with connection tunnels for vehicles. A total of 16 emergency parking bays in both directions.
Pilot Tunnels Pilot tunnels are set up below the centre of the two main lanes so that rescue vehicles can enter. Inner diameter is 4.8 meters. They are connected with all the connection tunnels for pedestrians and vehicles.
Ventilation Shafts There are a total of three sets of ventilation shafts. Each set consists of one intake and the one outtake.

Road users can push open the doors to enter the connection tunnels for pedestrians and vehicles in case of emergencies. They should follow the instructions to access the lane of the opposite direction or pilot tunnels. (Connection tunnels are air proof and equipped with positive pressure air, hence the air from the main traffic lanes cannot enter.)

2. Electrical Facilities
Electrical facilities mainly include tunnel power supplies, lighting, ventilation, fire detection and prevention facilities. The deployment of these facilities is as follows:

Items Descriptions
Power Supplies Pinglin has set up a 161KV ultra-high-voltage substation; while Toucheng has set up a 69KV one.
Emergency Generator At the either end of the substation is a diesel generator that can supply power continuously for 24 hours.
Uninterruptible Power Supplies At either end of the substation and the control center is a UPS that can supply power for 15 minutes.

1. Different lights are equipped for different locations in Entrance Zones, Border Zones, Changing Zones, Inner Zones and Exit Zones. Generally speaking, lighting is controlled on the basis of seven stages in accordance with the luminance outside the entrances. Emergency lighting is available on the pedestrian pavements on the left side of the vehicle lanes (50cm from the ground at the space of 50m) in case of emergencies.
2. Lighting is also equipped in the non-main lane zones (connection tunnels, equipment warehouses and facilities rooms).

Fire Detection System There are two types of fire detection systems: linear variable thermal detection systems and linear cable temperature detection systems. They automatically connect to the tunnel ventilation system, traffic control system, monitors and emergency lighting equipment in case of fire alarm.
Fire Hydrant Cabinet On the right side of the direction in which vehicles move, there are fire hydrant cabinets every 50 meters. Inside each fire hydrant cabinet is a handheld fire extinguisher. There is a 40mm fire hydrant valve (including a 30 meter water hose) for rescue staff and road users to put out fire initially. There is another 65mm fire hydrant valve for fire fighters to use.
Escape Guide Lights There are escape lights every 50 meters on the left side of the direction in which vehicles move. There are also escape lights at the entrances to the connection tunnels for pedestrians and vehicles.
Ventilation System

Hsuehshan(Xueshan) Tunnel has three sets of ventilation shafts. They are enhanced longitudinal ventilation systems. Each set consists of three air-changing stations and relay stations. There are also 36 axial-flow vans. The main lanes are equipped with 112 jet vans.
2. The vans on the main lanes emit air in a single direction, in the same direction in which vehicles are running. Vans will not start between 250 meters in the upstream and 500 meters in the downstream in a fire in order to avoid the destruction of the smoke layers. Smoke in other areas should be emitted through shafts and entrances. In theory, thick smoke should not seep into the upstream of the fire disaster points. The vehicles in the downstream should move away as soon as possible.

Other Detection Systems Air-quality detection machines and visibility detection machines are both operating in sync with wind turbines, which are automatically switched on to repel dirty air.

3. Traffic Control Facilities
Traffic control facilities can be divided into three parts: data collection, information display and control centers.


System Name Facilities Description
Data Collection Vehicle Detector(VD)

1. There is a vehicle detector on the main lane for every 350 meters. They report the traffic conditions.
2. Vehicle detectors are also equipped at emergency parking bays. As soon as vehicles access emergency parking bays, reports will be sent to the control centers as soon as possible to call the relevant authorities for assistance.

  Closed-Circuit TV (CCTV)

1. There are CCTV installed every 175 meters along the main lanes.
2. There are CCTV at the entrances to the tunnels, connection tunnels and equipment rooms.

  Emergency Telephones There is an emergency phone every 175 meters.
Information Display and Provisions Changeable Message Signs (CMS)

1. There is a CMS at each emergency parking bay along the main lanes, i.e. one CMS for every 1,400 meters. There are a total of 16 CMS for both directions, to provide traffic updates to road users.
2. There are also CMS at the entrances to the tunnels.

  Lane Control Signals (LCS) There is a LCS every 350 meters above the lane. The green arrow ↓ indicates “pass”. The red “X” indicates that the lane needs to be closed due to certain situations in the tunnel.
  Changeable Speed Limit Signs (CSLS) There is a CLSL every 350 meters. The speed limit is set at 70km/hr at the initial stage of the operation and may be lowered over time depending on the traffic conditions.
  FM Radio All FM channels broadcasting tunnel traffic safety, information on road conditions and emergencies are available within the tunnel. Road users can listen to the radio by switching to the FM channel on their radios. During an emergency, Control Center staff will broadcast breaking news and updates so that road users can follow instructions (such as switching off car engines, waiting in the cars, and abandoning the cars and evacuation).
  Horns Horns are situated every 50 meters. In case of special situations, Control Center may also broadcast announcements so that road users can follow the instructions.
Control Centres Central Computers Central computers process the collected information and automatically generate response plans so that operators can issue commands and execute plans.
  Graphic Display System The graphic display system displays road conditions and relevant information. In the event of an accident, the system will automatically lock on to the images of the accident location.
  Telecommunications Systems

1. Fixed lines: These include emergency telephones and intra city calls so that Control Center can speak with the personnel and the rescue team with the tunnel.
2. Wireless: A dedicated wireless system is available for engineering, police and fire prevention departments.
3.Mobile phones:
All the mobile operators have set up their base stations and Radiaflex LCX Cables. There is mobile coverage within the tunnel.

4. Law Enforcement Facilities
Law enforcement facilities have been set up within the tunnel to crack down on violating lane-changing, speeding, driving below the lowest speed limit and forcing a car. Also, the Legislative Yuan has passed its third reading of the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act. Consecutive reporting is allowed in the tunnel in order to ensure that drivers abide by the law. This will deter drivers from taking chances and eliminate the potential danger factors due to traffic and therefore reduce accidents.

5. Others
In addition to the above facilities, we have also increased the fire resistance of the fire doors. Furthermore, the control stations on both ends of the tunnel (to control and expel vehicles that are forbidden entry) and fences near the entrance of both sides of tunnel (to prevent vehicles from re-entering from upstream during any accident) have also been established.

6.Illustration of Security Facilities in the Tunnel


Date of Posting :2007-12-06
Source of Information:Traffic Management Division
Last Updated:2020-09-28
Visitor Counts:18740