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Taiwan High Speed Rail
Headquarters Taipei City
Network 335.50 km
Service Type Inter-City
Foundation 1998 — present
Track gauge Standard gauge (1435 mm)
Official website

The Taiwan High Speed Rail (Template:Zh-t, also known as the THSR) is Taiwan's high-speed rail network, running approximately 335.50 km from Taipei City to Kaohsiung City, which began operations on January 5, 2007. Adopting Japan's Shinkansen technology for the core system, the THSR uses the Taiwan High Speed 700T train, manufactured by a consortium of Japanese companies, most notably Kawasaki Heavy Industries [1]. The total cost of the project is currently estimated to be USD $15 billion, [2] and is the one of the largest privately funded transport schemes to date. Express trains capable of travelling at up to 300 km/h[3] travel from Taipei City to Kaohsiung City in roughly 90 minutes as opposed to the current 4-6 hours by conventional rail [4], although regular trains take a scheduled two hours when making all stops. Supporters of the project believe THSR will help relieve traffic congestion along the heavily traveled western corridor, while having the advantages of greater safety, high transit volume, low land occupancy, energy economy and low pollution. It has also been argued that the THSR will help promote the balanced development of western Taiwan.


THSR trains on a test run in June 2006.

The first plans for a high speed rail line linking the cities of Taipei and Kaohsiung were proposed in a Ministry of Transportation study in 1990. They were then approved by the Executive Yuan in 1992 and the Legislative Yuan in 1993. The decision to pursue a Build-Operate-Transfer method was also approved. After a prolonged bidding process, the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation (THSRC) was formally established in May 1998.

The European InterCityExpress (ICE) was initially selected to form the core system of THSR. In 1998, ICE saw the Eschede train disaster in which more than one hundred people died and another hundred were severely injured. Combined with the Chi-Chi earthquake on 21 September 1999, it was decided to adopt Japan's Shinkansen technology instead of ICE due to Shinkansen's "UrEDAS" (Urgent Earthquake Detection and Alarm System, ja:ユレダス) earthquake detection system, developed in 1992.

Actual construction began in March 2000, with running tests starting in January 2005. In late October 2005, Taiwan High Speed Rail passed its targeted speed of 300 km/h (186 mph) to 315 km/h (197 mph) during testing.

Trial runs between Banciao (Taipei) and Zuoying (Kaohsiung), open to the public and with half-price fares, began to operate 19 times daily in each direction starting January 5, 2007[5]. A formal opening was expected soon thereafter. The HSR platforms at Taipei Main Station opened on March 2, 2007.

Some of the same Japanese companies won another project in December 2005 to build a high speed rail link to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, with the exception of the signaling system which has been awarded to Westinghouse Rail Systems.

Stations and Operations[编辑]

THSR route

Thirteen Taiwan High Speed Rail Stations stations are planned in the western corridor, with eight stations already open in Taipei, Banciao, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Taichung, Chiayi, Tainan and Zuoying. Five more stations (in Nangang, Miaoli, Changhua, Yunlin and Kaohsiung) will be built in future years. The two stations in Tainan and Chiayi were built using the same architectural design and look 99 percent the same inside and out, giving rail passengers a strange sense of déjà vu when they disembark at both stations. Only the stations in Taipei, Banciao and Taoyuan are built underground, while others are elevated.

Economy and business classes compartments are available aboard each train, with the latter offering wider seating, individual audio entertainment systems and power outlets for portable electronics in each seat, as well as a WiFi network.

  1. ^ New High Speed 700T for Taiwan Unveiled at Rollout Ceremony (新闻稿). Kawasaki Heavy Industries. 2004-01-30 [2006-04-21]. 
  2. ^ Plan Overview. Taiwan High Speed Rail. [2006-05-19]. 
  3. ^ [ Taiwan High Speed Rail Link - Mott MacDonald Project Page}
  4. ^ Transportation. A Brief Introduction to Taiwan. ROC Government Information Office. [2006-05-19]. 
  5. ^ Taiwan's high-speed rail system to start trial services next week. [2006-12-28].