TAIPEI Mass Rapid Transit System formally opened its Tamshui heavy metro line on March 28. Running northwest from Taiwan Railway Administration’s Main Station in the heart of the capital to the suburban town of Tamshui, the line largely follows the alignment of a former narrow-gauge branch. The first contracts for the Red line were awarded in 1987, with the aim of having trains running by the end of 1993. The first cars arrived in November 1992, and test running was formally inaugurated on September 27 1994.

Revenue services began immediately after the 09.30 opening ceremony on March 28, although this was marred by protests about the NT$80 metro fare being higher than the NT$65 bus fare. At the opening ceremony, Taipei Mayor Chen Shui-bian announced that the MRT’s Chungho line would open at the end of 1998, and the Nankang line by 2000. o