Taipei MRT awards contract to French company Alstom for Line 7 trains

The French train manufacturer will construct 19 trains and provide its patented driverless signaling system for the Wanda-Shulin MRT Line 

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A metro train built by Alstom in São Paulo Brazil. Photo: May, 2017

A metro train built by Alstom in São Paulo Brazil. Photo: May, 2017 (By Wikimedia Commons)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Taipei Metro company has awarded a joint contract to a French company and a local Taiwanese company to construct the future Metro Line 7, reports Smart Rail World.

The joint contract valued at US$437.6 million has been given to the French train manufacturer Alstom and the Taiwanese engineering firm CTCI (中鼎集團). The French company has reportedly taken responsibility to build 19 commuter trains that will travel on the new MRT line.

MRT Line 7, also known as the Wanda-Shulin Line, will reportedly stretch a length of 9.5 kilometers, and will include 9 underground stations extending south from the CKS Memorial Station through Yonghe and Zhonghe districts, and then West to join the Bannan Line at Tucheng MRT Station.

The French company will receive around two thirds of the funding provided by the contract, and in addition to manufacturing the train cars will also provide its Urbalis CBTC driverless signaling system, suggesting the new line may be a completely automatic rail system similar to the MRT’s Brown Line.

Alstom has been operating in Taiwan for 37 years, and has been a partner with Taipei MRT providing signaling systems on all but one of the currently existing lines. Alstom is also a partner in the construction of the Taichung MRT, which is currently in testing before being opened to for public use.

Alstom’s VP of the company’s offices in Taiwan, Ling Fang, was quoted as saying “Alstom is very pleased to win this contract, supporting Taipei to extend its efficient, reliable and sustainable transport system.”

Smart Rail World reports that the Taiwanese Company CTCI will be responsible for the track work, outfitting the depot, as well as developing the necessary telecom and ticketing systems for the new line.

A ground breaking ceremony was held in November 2014 for the Wanda-Shuline Line in New Taipei City. Planners originally estimated eight years of construction before the line would be open for use, but the timeline for construction has since been extended.