Wed, Aug 08, 2007 - Page 2 News List

New commuter trains unveiled

RAPID TRANSIT Touted for its energy-saving design, the new EMU700-model trains can reach an operational speed of 110kph and hold up to 300 passengers

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

A conductor walks along one of the Taiwan Railway Administration's new Electric Multiple Unit 700-model trains during a demonstration for the media yesterday.

PHOTO: CNA

The Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) yesterday unveiled its new Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) 700-model trains, which will be used to carry commuters and short-distance travelers.

The purchase was part of the TRA's efforts to reinforce its advantage as a short-distance train operator to cope with the impact of the Taiwan High Speed Rail.

The body of the EMU700-model train is decorated using three different colors: blue, white and orange. It has an interior design similar to the one used by the Taipei MRT System. The passenger seats, however, are covered with velvet.

Each train car can hold 300 passengers and has six passenger exits. Above each exit an LED panel will display the stops on the route and other relevant passenger information in both Chinese and English.

The train can reach an operational speed of 110kph, coming to full stop from maximum speed within 580m.

The train is also being touted for its energy-saving design. When the train switches from high speed to low speed, the motor will then become a power generator and transmit excess electricity back to the wires.

If the train's air-conditioning system breaks down, an emergency ventilation system to maintain air circulation inside the train will be activated.

TRA secretary general Chang Ying-huei (張應輝) said yesterday that the administration has ordered a total of 160 EMU700-model train cars. Twelve were made by Nippon Sharyo Co, which is also the original designer of the EMU series. The other 148 cars were produced by the Taiwan Rolling Stock Co (TRSC), a local contractor who formed a technical partnership with Nippon Sharyo.

The contract states that TRSC must provide another 112 cars by the end of the year.

Chang said so far, only eight cars have passed the testing requirements. These cars will form the first train set that will begin operation this month.

Chang added that the administration hopes the operation of EMU trains will replace Chukuang Express (莒光號) and Fuhsing Express (復興號) trains and become the only commuter train available. It also hopes that more commuter trains will arrive on schedule with the use of new EMU trains.

TRSC vice president C.M. Chiou (邱江明) said yesterday that 50 percent of the train's parts were manufactured in Taiwan.

The train's motors, for example, were partially made by Tatung Co. A large percentage of the bogies, on the other hand, were manufactured by the China Steel Corp, he said.

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