Wed, Oct 25, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Officials say THSRC has not breached its contract

MOVING ON With the government's support, THSRC chairman Nitang Ing expressed confidence that it would be able to get the high-speed rail system operating soon

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Bureau of High Speed Rail said yesterday that the Taiwan High Speed Rail Co (THSRC) has not breached the terms of its build-operate-transfer (BOT) contract as there was nothing to indicate that the bullet train would not be able to operate in the future.

"Inspections on the high-speed rail have already begun ... and the company has not had any massive strikes or any other substantial difficulties that would prevent it from operating," a statement issued by the bureau said.

The statement also referred to a memorandum recorded in 1999 under which the THSRC may adjust the high-speed rail's launch date, but may not ask for its contract to be extended.

The statement noted that both also agreed in 1999 that the bullet train would be officially launched in October last year.

However, the company announced last October that it would postpone the official operation to this month.

Lawmakers serving on the legislature's Transportation Committee yesterday asked the Ministry of Transportation and Communications to terminate the contract with THSRC immediately, alleging that the company has violated the terms of its contract by postponing the launch date twice.

Meanwhile, the bureau's Director-General Wu Fu-hsiang (吳福祥) confirmed that Lloyd's Register would continue to observe the trial operations until next Tuesday.

The British institution has refused to issue an Independent Verification and Validity Facility (IV&V) report to the company on the grounds that it has not conducted sufficient test runs.

According to Wu, the company is scheduled to submit the IV&V report early next month. The report will include inspection results of the bullet trains operating from Tsoying (左營) Station to the Banciao Station.

The THSRC will soon apply to have the train inspected again by ministry representatives. The inspections this time will focus on the operation of the Banciao to Taipei, he added.

Wu said the bullet trains could operate at 120kph on the Taipei-Banciao section because it has a big curve along the route.

The bureau also said yesterday that it has not approved the ticket price plan THSRC had submitted for the initial stage of operation.

Meanwhile, THSRC held an inauguration ceremony yesterday for its train station in Wujih (烏日) in Taichung County. THSRC chairman Nita Ing (殷琪) said at the ceremony that she was confident that the train would begin service soon.

Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) and other local representatives were also invited to the ceremony.

THSRC executive director Ou Chin-der (歐晉德) said in an interview with the Chinese-language United Evening News yesterday that the company was striving for an accident-free record.

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High-speed rail should be focused on safety

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