THSRC opening ceremony now scheduled for Dec. 7


Sat, Oct 28, 2006 - Page 2

A grand opening ceremony for the Taiwan's high-speed railway will be held on Dec. 7 in Taichung, a Japanese news agency reported yesterday.

According to Kyodo News, Taiwan High-Speed Rail Corp (THSRC) has sent invitations to former Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi and many other Japanese politicians and railway industry figures to attend the inauguration of the 345km railway which uses the Japan-built Shinkansen "bullet train" system.

In Taipei, THSRC spokesman Chiang Chin-shan (江金山) yesterday confirmed that the opening had been pushed back from Tuesday to Dec. 7, mainly because of considerations connected to the itineraries of invited dignitaries as well as it being an auspicious day according to the lunar almanac.

According to the Kyodo News, the THSRC management has informed Tadashi Ikeda, the Japanese representative in Taipei, of its decision with regard to the high-speed rail's opening as well as its invitations to Koizumi and other Japanese dignitaries.

The "bullet train," which began initial test running in August, has reached a top speed of 300kph during testing, Kyodo News said.

After the Dec. 7 ceremony, Kyodo News said, the high-speed railway is scheduled to formally begin operations in mid-December.