ATP Study in Taiwan - 1995

In August 1995 I spent six weeks in Taiwan supporting the German company Alcatel SEL (now Thales) in their investigation into the potential of fitting Automatic Train Protection to Taiwan's main line railways.

Taiwan's railways have a very interesting history and the web site of Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) is very informative. There is also an interesting site on the net hosted by somebody who was once resident in Taiwan and is an ex-BR railwayman but this has not been updated since 2007.

Based in the capital Taipei, I was fortunate enough to travel to various depots in and around the north of the island and to other sites further a field. I also spent a weekend on the mountainous eastern side of the island just being a tourist.


But before I went to Taiwan I had a few weeks in Stuttgart for some training and a visit to Madrid to see how ATP had been applied to the new standard gauge Spanish high speed line between Madrid and Seville. The main part of the route was fitted with the well proven Linienzugbeeinflussung (LZB©) system but Selcab© was fitted on the approaches to Madrid Atocha station.

I remember spending an evening with the RENFE signalling engineers in the Tapas bars before going out on the track outside the station to oversee the commissioning of the Selcab© system. Finished about 02.00 then the RENFE guys invited us to a bar to continue drinking - I turned it down!

The route was the first to use the Alta Velocidad Española (AVE) which was similar to Eurostar and TGV and I was lucky enough to have a ride in the cab of AVE to Ciudad Real and then a return trip on the front of an ATP-fitted class 252 Henschel electric loco - fantastic!

AVE AVE class 104 train set in Madrid Atocha station - these run on the new standard gauge line to Seville


Class 252

252-034 with a Talgo train at Castelldefels


Atocha Exterior of Madrid Atocha station


Inside new station

The modern Atocha is built outside the original - with a mixture of broad gauge and standard


Inside The former train shed as been turned into a botanical garden



Map of AVE services today



Northern Taiwan

The northern part of Taiwan showing Taipei 

North Taipei

This part of a map of Taipei shows the hotel Taipei Miramar and the railway station.

Part of the study involved assessing the then current signalling and the Automatic Train Warning /Automatic Train Stop (ATW/ATS) system already fitted to TRA. This investigation included a cab ride on one of the Class R180 General Motors locomotives - the most modern diesel class in the TRA fleet at that time.

Some information about the locos photographed is included but more details can be found on the TRA site  above.

Here is a pictorial record of the trip

 Click on the picture for a bigger image - all pictures are the author's unless otherwise credited

On depot The yard at Sung Shan depot in Taipei on 16th August 1995 with several General Electric 25kV E200 class locos - (author on the left)

Author's collection

R100 on passenger Outside the depot an express passenger train passes with a GM 1,650 HP R100 class at the head
Main station Taipei A view of the main station taken from an adjacent skyscraper. The railway is actually underground  Downtown Taipei A general view of the area of downtown Taipei near the station
E300 on coal train A GE E300 class electric locomotive No: E319 passes Sung Shan depot with a coal train consisting of type 35 hopper cars Inside depot Inside the Sung Shan depot
Depot halt A local train arrives at the depot's small platform with the staff E111 on depot This is a British-built (General Electric Company) Class E100 No: E111 from 1976 and was pictured on Chi-Tu depot, north of Taipei.
Scooters in Taipei A street scene in Taipei Street scene in Taipei A quiet area behind the hotel
E111 loco on depot My hosts climb aboard the Class E100 for a closer look in the cab E300 on depot Also from 1976 was this US-built General Electric E300 class loco No: E339 photographed on Chi-Tu Depot
E222 on local A GE-built class 200 No:E222 rolls into Chi-Tu station with a local train E400 class EMU A South African- built EMU class E400 on depot
Sung Shan depot Sung Shan depot with plenty of motive power in evidence On Chi Tu depot Line up of older diesels at Chi-Tu depot from left R20, R100 and S300 classes.
Tarako gorge The bottom of the Taroko Gorge and the cross island highway Pagoda At the top is this Tien Hsian Buddhist pagoda and temple
Old R0 class diesel Number R1 is an example of one of the early Japanese-built Hitachi Co Co 1420 HP class R0 diesels dating from 1960 but appeared to be out of use. R10 cab A closer view of sister loco No:R10 in the depot
R20 class on depot A GM 1960's built class R20 1425 HP A1A A1A locomotive No:R43 outside the shed at Chi-Tu S300 shunter This 890 HP Bo Bo S300 class shunter pictured at Chi-Tu depot was built by General Motors in 1966
R100 on east line On the non-electrified Eastern main line the author's class R180-hauled cement train sits in the loop whilst an R100 class loco passes with an express bound for Taipei.  

Altogether I spent two weeks in Stuttgart with a few days in Madrid, six weeks in Taiwan and a further two weeks in Stuttgart then returned to reality in UK and back to Aylesbury – Groundhog day!


Back to main index