Oct. 25. 2004
Marubeni has won an order worth about JPY 9 billion for 48 cars (eight cars per train) for the tilting express Electric Multiple Units (EMUs) that Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) plans to introduce to its East Line (196km from Taipei to Hua Lian), and signed the contract on October 14. This project will be financed entirely by the customer, and delivery will be made in two stages, with 24 cars delivered in December 2006 and 24 in October 2007.
Under this contract, the design and production of the rolling stock will be carried out by Hitachi, Ltd., while, as main party to the contract, Marubeni will take charge of the commercial side of things, i.e. liaison and the collection of funds. Besides having experience of introducing diesel engines and express Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs) for TRA, Hitachi has also supplied Japan's largest tilting express EMUs, and, backed by Hitachi's high level of technical expertise, Marubeni earned the customer's esteem to win the latest order.
The TRA East Line runs on the eastern side of Taiwan from Taipei into the curvy coastal region of northern Taiwan. It links Taiwan's most famous tourist spot Hualien and, because every year many tourists use the line, the TRA is putting effort into improving its service.
In this context, the ordered rolling stock has a computer-controlled automatic tilting device, and because, at curves, it automatically tilts the body according to the degree of the curve, it allows a significant increase in speed, while at the same time maintaining travelling comfort. As a result of the introduction of this rolling stock, journey time from Taipei to Hualien is expected to be 30 minutes shorter than with existing rolling stock at two hours.
The TRA intends to purchase an additional 48 cars and to improve its service timetable from Taipei to Hualien across-the-board, and Marubeni plans to continue working to win orders for TRA.