Taiwan High-Speed Railway

Sunday, September 4th 2011

January 2007, Taiwan started to open their new mass transport which promising fast and convenient service for the public. Taiwan High-Speed Railway (THSR) has become one of preferable choices to move around the cities around Taiwan besides using city bus or conventional train. Its advantage is obvious, it cuts the time significantly. By using conventional train, it is needed 4,5 hours to travel between Kaohsiung and Taipei City, but by using THSR it just needs 90 minutes with + 250-300 km/h speed in average, running on 335,3 kilometers railway.

Taiwan and Japan in somewhat aspects, such as geography and demography, have several similarities. For those reasons THSR chose to adopt the system from Japan’s Shinkansen, the high-speed rail system in Japan. Taiwan High-Speed 700T Train which is used by THSR was manufactured by consortium of Japanese companies. The benefit of adopting Japan’s HSR system is its UrEDAS (Urgent Earthquake Detection and Alarm System) to prevent damage caused by earthquake. And for all its consequences built THSR, THSR corporation spend 15 billion USD, and it became the largest privately transport schemes to date.

Unlike HSR in Europe and other Asian countries, THSR has so many stop stations in one route. Taipei, Banciao, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Taichung, Chiayi, Tainan, and Zuoying THSR stations have operated till now on. And 5 other stations are still on the plan. This situation gives positive and negative points. Having so many stop stations will affect the speed optimization. The train cannot maintain its running in full speed for longer time. But behind its drawback, there is positive thing also can be gotten. It will stimulate and trigger the economic sectors of the city around the station. From business viewpoint, the people surround the station can use this opportunity to run or make a business.

Talking about improvement of HSR, speed and technology are the two hottest things that need to be concerned. As we know for nowadays there are two technologies which are applied for HSR, the conventional railway and magnetic levitation (Maglev) system. The fastest HSR which runs on conventional railway operates at France. V150 (the train type) can achieve up to 574,8 km/h. And for maglev system, the record had been broken by Japan’s MLX01 which can run 581 km/h. Therefore, it is interesting to wait THSR improves in the future, both in technological side and also its social influences.


Score : 85
#4 of 4 writing assignment in Scientific Taiwan Class, Spring 2009