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Remember always that airline, trucking and highway special interests have been hindering the development of a sensible and efficient transport system in the United States. It is always a pleasure to open the window on a world enjoying excellent rail service.

The New Zeland Herald files a great travel report.

Taiwan: Bolt from the East

Page 1 of 2 View as a single page 5:13PM Monday August 27, 2007
By Heather Ramsay

Taiwan's new rail service offers visitors a speedy alternative to domestic air travel. Photo / Reuters

Taiwan’s new rail service offers visitors a speedy alternative to domestic air travel. Photo / Reuters

A few decades ago Taiwan was synonymous with cheap goods of questionable quality, but since the 80s the island nation has steadily moved into high-value technology and capital-intensive industries. The country’s infrastructure has developed accordingly, with the transport network in particular undergoing constant modernisation.

One strategic development is the Taiwan High Speed Rail (HSR) between the capital Taipei in the north, and the important harbour city of Kaohsiung in the south. This US$18 billion (NZ$26 billion) private sector venture marks the first time that Japanese Shinkansen (Bullet Train) technology has been used outside Japan. The result is Taiwan’s sleek 700T train, which can travel at up to 300kp/h and cover the 345km journey in 90 minutes. Around 40 departures per day in both directions means that it’s feasible to live at one end of the country and work in the other – or comfortably make a day-trip for business.

 

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Filed under: International High Speed Rail

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