Air­port MRT rail runs first public test ride

Con­struc­tion on track for of­fi­cial launch by year’s end: MOTC

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY ENRU LIN

A rapid tran­sit sys­tem link­ing Taipei with Tai­wan’s main air­port ran its first test ride open to the public yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.

The Taoyuan In­ter­na­tional Air­port MRT is near­ing com­ple­tion and is on track to be­come op­er­a­tional by year’s end, said Trans­porta­tion Min­is­ter Chen Chien- yu ( ).

Once op­er­a­tional, the trains will run ev­ery 10 min­utes dur­ing rush hour and take pas­sen­gers from Taipei Main Sta­tion to the Tai­wan Taoyuan In­ter­na­tional Air­port in 35 min­utes.

Mem­bers of the public, na­tional press, vil­lage war­dens, state of­fi­cials and law­mak­ers from the Leg­is­la­ture’s Trans­porta­tion Com­mit­tee pre­viewed the ser­vice yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.

Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials boarded the train at New Taipei Industrial Park and dis­em­barked at Air­port Ter­mi­nal 2 dur­ing a 29- minute in­spec­tion tour.

Public pas­sen­gers em­barked at the other end of the line in Greater Taoyuan for a 10- minute trip over­look­ing farm­land, a de­vel­op­ing out­let mall and the Taoyuan In­ter­na­tional Base­ball Sta­dium ( ).

’ 80 Points’

Law­mak­ers said they were sat­is­fied with the trial run. Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party Yeh Yi- jin ( ) said the train of­fered a smooth ride while trav­el­ing at 90 kilo­me­ters per hour.

Kuom­intang ( KMT) Leg­is­la­tor Yang Li- huan ( ) said the train was “some­what un­sta­ble” while headed up­hill, but that the trip was sta­ble over­all.

The sys­tem does have de­sign er­rors, such as a too- wide plat­form gap, in­suf­fi­cient wheel­chair seat­ing and a com­puter in­ter­face that has not been switched from sim­pli­fied Chi­nese to tra­di­tional char­ac­ters.

“But in gen­eral, I give it 80 points,” she said.

Sev­eral law­mak­ers said the sys­tem’s lug­gage ca­pac­ity is in­suf­fi­cient.

At full ca­pac­ity, each train can carry 855 pas­sen­gers and 5,200 kilo­grams of lug­gage, or roughly 260 large pieces, ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Trans­porta­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

95.75% Com­plete

The trans­porta­tion min­is­ter, who boarded the 29- minute test ride, said the sys­tem needs to be per­fected but is on track to begin op­er­a­tions on time in De­cem­ber.

As of March, the sys­tem is 95.75 per­cent com­plete, ac­cord­ing to the Trans­porta­tion Min­istry.

Chao Le- chun ( ) , direc­tor of Mass Rapid Tran­sit En­gi­neer­ing Of­fice at the Bureau of High Speed Rail, said the line’s sig­nal­ing sys­tem and elec­tri­cal sys­tems still need to un­dergo testing be­fore open­ing day.

Fea­tures

Once com­pleted, the Taoyuan In­ter­na­tional Air­port MRT will of­fer two types of ser­vice — ex­press and lo­cal — at the same fare.

Trains will be equipped with in­di­vid­ual read­ing lights for pas­sen­gers and dis­plays of real- time flight data.

In ad­di­tion,

a

ter­mi­nus

at Taipei Main Sta­tion will al­low pas­sen­gers to check in and pick up their board­ing passes be­fore em­bark­ing to­ward the air­port.

CNA

Trains of the Taoyuan In­ter­na­tional Air­port MRT are shown in Greater Taoyuan, yes­ter­day. The rapid tran­sit line is on track to be­come op­er­a­tional by year’s end, said Trans­porta­tion Min­is­ter Chen Chien-yu ( ).

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