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Taiwan high speed rail link


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Tunnel and bridge works under construction

50km of tunnels on high speed railway

The US$13 billion Taiwan high speed rail link is one of the world’s largest construction projects and biggest privately funded transport schemes. At 345km long, the system will be capable of taking trains running at a maximum of 300km/h. Around 50km of the line are being built in tunnel, along with 35km on embankments and 240km on bridges and viaducts on account of the densely populated corridor through which the system passes. Ten new stations are also being constructed, including terminals at Taipei and Kaohsiung and a major interchange at Taichung.

Inter-city connection

Plans for a high speed rail line between Taipei and Kaohsiung, Taiwan's two largest cities, were first drawn up in the early 1990s due to continuing growth in inter-city traffic. A detailed proposal for the project was prepared by Taiwan’s government and bids were invited on the basis of building a new 345km high speed connection providing train services at up to 300km/h. Under these criteria, a 90 minute journey time could be achieved between Taipei and Kaohsiung. The project is being funded by the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation under a 35-year concession agreement, signed in July 1998. Physical work on the project began in early 2000.

Mott MacDonald’s role involves leading the International Railway Engineering Group (IREG) appointed as independent checking and site engineer. This entails auditing and spot-checking all design and construction management activity related to the whole high speed railway system including the tunnels and viaducts, permanent way, signalling, power supply and rolling stock plus all stations and depots. The other members of IREG are Electrowatt Engineering of Switzerland, DEConsult of Germany and French consultant SYSTRA.

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