CEREMONIES staged on January 27 at Tainan station on Taiwan High Speed Railway Corp’s 346 km high speed line between Taipei and Kaohsiung culminated in the arrival of a Series 700T trainset at the platform. Nearly 500 guests then boarded the train for a short ride at low speed.

Participating in the event were Vice Premier of the Executive Yuan Ye Ju-lan, Minister of Transport & Communication Lin Ling-san, Chairman of THSRC Nita Ing and Kazuo Sato, Chairman of the Taiwan Shinkansen Consortium. Other guests included representatives of the civil engineering contractors - the ceremony also marked the official completion of civil works, although some work remains to be done where structures have settled.

Engineers had worked round the clock to have the train ready for the VIP test run, and the 25 kV 60Hz power supply had only been switched on the day before. A 1·2 km test track at the main workshops had been energised on January 21 before power was fed to the first section of the main line.

Eight 700T trainsets have been delivered from Kawasaki Heavy Industries in Japan, and trials at up to 120 km/h are envisaged for up to six weeks on the 60 km section of line between the main workshop at Yenchao north of Kaohsiung and Lioujia Tainan.

CAPTION: ABOVE: THSRC Chairman Nita Ing addresses guests at the ceremony on January 27, before the arrival of the VIP test train at the platform in Tainan station (inset) Photos: Mikio Miura

LEFT: Each 700T trainset seats 989 passengers; one of the 12 cars seats 66 in business class Photo: THSRC

RIGHT: THSRC employees have been familiarised with Shinkansen technology with the help of a former JR Series 0 trainset at the Yenchao workshop Photo: Mikio Miura