Sat, Jan 01, 2011 - Page 2 News List

TRA awards tilting train contract to Japan’s Sumitomo

TAROKO EXPRESS:The company will provide 136 of the train cars that are designed to take curves without having to reduce speed, beginning in October

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff Reporter

The nation’s largest railway service yesterday awarded a tilting train contract to Japan’s Sumitomo Corp, which won the deal by placing a bid of NT$10.6 billion (US$353 million).

The tilting trains for the “Taroko Express” (太魯閣號) are used mainly to transport passengers along the east coast. They enable trains to travel along curves without having to reduce speed because the body of the train tilts to counteract the centrifugal force.

The Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) previously purchased 48 tilting train cars from Marubeni Corp, which uses systems manufactured by Hitachi Corp. However, when the railway planned in 2009 to purchase another 48 tilting train cars from Marubeni, the latter wanted to raise the price because of the revaluation of the Japanese yen. The railway then amended the terms of the contract to attract new contractors. It hosted a total of three bidding sessions.

While the first two sessions drew some interested contractors, the railway did not award the contract to any of them because either they failed to meet the TRA’s price and or they could not deliver the trains by the designated date.

According to the railway, the tilting trains from Sumitomo are a bit different from those from Marubeni, but both allow drivers to take curves at full speed.

The railway has purchased 136 train cars from Sumitomo, which is to begin delivering them by October. All the train cars will be operational by 2013.

The new tilting trains are able to operate at a speed of 150kph.

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