ON DECEMBER 12 Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp signed the Core System contract for supply of rolling stock and electrical and mechanical equipment with the Japanese-based Taiwan Shinkansen Corporation. Initialled in a Tokyo hotel by THSRC Chairman Nita Ing and TSC President Kazuo Sato, the deal is worth NT$95bn. TSC members at the ceremony included Mitsui & Co, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Corp, Marubeni Corp, Sumitomo Corp and Toshiba. Also invited were JR Central, JR West and Japan Railway Technical Service.

The two railways’ involvement reflects their joint development of the Series 700 trainset, which has been chosen as the basis for the THSRC fleet. This will initially be formed of 30 sets, each of 12 cars, able to run at 300 km/h, 15 km/h faster than the JR version. Options may take the total to 55 sets.

The deal covers supply of signalling and train control equipment, power supply for 25 kV 50Hz operation, communications systems, and staff training that includes use of simulators. Earthquake warning systems are also to be provided, as on Japan’s shinkansen.

The contract follows a Memorandum of Understanding signed by Ing and Kazuo in June last year and confirms THSRC’s choice of shinkansen rather than European high speed train technology.

H Newly-appointed Managing Director of Taiwan Railway Administration Huang Te-chih has said that TRA must be fully restructured before it can be privatised. Target date for completion of restructuring is June 2004. n