MRT Xinzhuang line passes final inspection despite minor flaws

Taipei, Dec. 18 (CNA) The final inspection of the Taipei mass rapid transit (MRT) Xinzhuang branch line was satisfactory, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) said Sunday. The 8.2-kilometer line, which extends from MRT Daqiaotou Station in Taipei City to Fu Jen University Station in New Taipei City, cuts travel time between the two points by least half, the MOTC said. From MRT Zhongxiao Xinsheng Station, which connects the branch line and the Luzhou Line, the total travel time to Fu Jen University Station is only 24 minutes, the ministry said. "The MRT team has done an outstanding job and deserves high praise," said Chen Yen-po, director of the MOTC's Department of Railways and Highways and chairman of the inspection committee. Chen also said the branch line had tested well in terms of stability, passing a midnight spot-check that simulated a power shutdown on the system. As soon as the Taipei City government fixes the 18 flaws pointed out by the inspection committee Sunday, the Xinzhuang branch Line will be ready to go, he said. The problems include four major issues that needed to be resolved before commercial operation of the line could begin, he said. The city government will announce the exact date for the start of operations, the MOTC said. The Xinzhuang branch line has seven newly constructed stops, including Taipei Bridge Station, Sanchong Station and Xinzhuang Station. It is expected to become part of the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport MRT line that is being built to link the capital city to the country's main airport. (By Lee Hsin-Yin)