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Chinese Culture >> Taiwan High Speed Rail

Taiwan High Speed Rail

The Taiwan High Speed Rail (Traditional Chinese: 台灣高速鐵路, also known as the THSR) is Taiwan's high-speed rail network, running approximately 345 kilometers from Taipei City to Kaohsiung City. Adopting Japan's Shinkansen technology for the core system, the Taiwan High Speed Rail initially uses the Taiwan High Speed 700T train, manufactured by a consortium of Japanese companies, most notably Kawasaki Heavy Industries. The total cost of the project is currently estimated to be USD $ 15 Billion. When completed, trains will travel from Taipei City to Kaohsiung City in roughly 90 minutes as opposed to the current 4-6 hours by conventional rail.

Trial runs open to the public, with half-price fares, will operate 19 times daily in each direction for ten days starting January 5, 2007. A formal opening is expected soon thereafter.


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 and approved by the Executive Yuan in 1992, as well as the Legislative Yuan the following year. 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.

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. The trial run will start in the end of November 2006 between Banciao and Zuoying, the opening ceremony will be held on December 7, 2006 at Taichung station and the railway is scheduled to open in middle of December 2006.

Some of the same Japanese companies have 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 a European supplier (Westinghouse Rail Systems)

The Taiwan HSR line runs approximately 345 km from Taipei to Kaohsiung (Tsoying), passing 14 major cities and counties, and 77 townships and regions

Thirteen Taiwan High Speed Rail Stations stations are planned in the western corridor. In the early phase, eight stations are located in Taipei, Banciao, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Taichung, Chiayi, Tainan and Zuoying. Five stations (Nangang, Miaoli, Changhua, Yunlin and Kaohsiung) will be built in a later phase.

Nangang (planned): underground, located in Nangang
Taipei: underground, located in downtown Taipei City, sharing the station with Taiwan Railway Administration
Banciao: underground, located in Banciao, sharing the station with Taiwan Railway Administration
Taoyuan: underground, located in Jhongli, near Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport
Hsinchu: elevated, located in Lioujia, Jhubei, near Hsinchu Science Park
Miaoli (planned): elevated
Taichung: elevated, located in Wurih
Changhua (planned): elevated
Yunlin (planned): elevated
Chiayi: elevated, located in Taibao
Tainan: elevated, located in Gueiren
Zuoying: ground level, located in Zuoying District, Kaohsiung City, joint station with Taiwan Railway Administration new Zuoying Station, line terminal until extension to downtown Kaohsiung Station.
Kaohsiung (planned): underground, downtown Kaohsiung City, joint station with Taiwan Railway Administration new Kaohsiung Station.

-From Wikipedia