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 Matthew Kirtley, 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!
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
|The yard at Sung Shan
depot in Taipei on 16th August 1995 with several General Electric 25kV E200 class locos - (author on the left)
|Outside the depot an express passenger train passes with a GM 1,650 HP R100 class at the head|
|A view of the main station taken from an adjacent skyscraper. The railway is actually underground||A general view of the area of downtown Taipei near the station|
|A GE E300 class electric locomotive No: E319 passes Sung Shan depot with a coal train consisting of type 35 hopper cars||Inside the Sung Shan depot|
|A local train arrives at the depot's small platform with the staff||This is a British-built (General Electric Company) Class E100 No: E111 from 1976 and was pictured on Chi-Tu depot, north of Taipei.|
|A street scene in Taipei||A quiet area behind the hotel|
|My hosts climb aboard the Class E100 for a closer look in the cab||Also from 1976 was this US-built General Electric E300 class loco No: E339 photographed on Chi-Tu Depot|
|A GE-built class 200 No:E222 rolls into Chi-Tu station with a local train||A South African- built EMU class E400 on depot|
|Sung Shan depot with plenty of motive power in evidence||Line up of older diesels at Chi-Tu depot from left R20, R100 and S300 classes.|
|The bottom of the Taroko Gorge and the cross island highway||At the top is this Tien Hsian Buddhist pagoda and temple|
|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.||A closer view of sister loco No:R10 in the depot|
|A GM 1960's built class R20 1425 HP A1A A1A locomotive No:R43 outside the shed at Chi-Tu||This 890 HP Bo Bo S300 class shunter pictured at Chi-Tu depot was built by General Motors in 1966|
|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