Taipei MRT Circular Line officially opens on Jan. 31

Taipei MRT Yellow Line features first driverless trains in Taiwan

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(CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The first section of Taipei's much-anticipated new Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Circular Line, or Yellow Line (code Y), is going to begin official operations on Jan. 31.

The Taipei Rapid Transit Corp. (TRTC) on Tuesday (Jan. 21) announced that the first section of the Circular Line has been approved by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications to commence standard operations. An official opening ceremony will be presided over by New Taipei City Mayor Hou Yu-yi (侯友宜) and Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) at Shisizhang Station at 10 a.m. on Jan. 31, and the line will officially open to passengers at 2 p.m. that day, reported CNA.

The first section of the Yellow Line, also known as the Zhong Huan section (central circle), commenced free trial operations on Sunday (Jan. 19). During this phase, trains are running from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with gaps of 8 minutes between trains.


(Taipei Rapid Transit Corp. photo)

The electronic tickets for passengers taking the new line during the trial period will not be charged when entering and exiting its stations. However, those who transfer from and to other metro lines will be charged the regular amount, as there is no way to determine whether they only took the yellow line.

According to the TRTC, the Circular Line is the first fully automatic driverless rapid transit system on steel rails in Taiwan. A total of 17 four-carriage medium-capacity trains were purchased from Hitachi Rail Italy for the new line, and their color scheme was designed by French architect Emmanuelle Moureaux.

Each four-carriage train has a spacious interior that can carry up to 650 passengers. In order to facilitate transit to and from the Taipei MRT line, each carriage is equipped with a luggage storage area.


(Taipei Rapid Transit Corp. photo)

The first part of the line includes 14 stations and one depot between Dapinglin Station in the south and New Taipei Industrial Park Station in the west, with trains passing through the New Taipei City districts of Xindian, Zhonghe, Banqiao, and Xinzhuang. The new line will see interchanges with several other lines already completed, such as the Airport MRT Line, or still under construction.

The purpose of the Circular Line is to enable commuters traveling from one area of outer Taipei or New Taipei City to another to avoid having to first connect in downtown Taipei. The first section of the yellow line connects the Green, Orange, and Blue lines.

The first 15.4-kilometer segment of the line was originally due to be up and running in June of 2018, but the opening was later postponed until this month. The cost of the first stage was NT$69.97 billion (US$2.32 billion), CNA reported.


Spacious interior of carriages. (CNA photo)

A map of the new line appeared on the TRTC website on Monday (Jan. 20) and depicts the completed first section of the Yellow Line. The map shows that the new line starts at Dapinglin MRT station in New Taipei City's Xindian District on the Green Line and crosses the Orange Line, Blue Line, and Orange Line again, before ending at New Taipei Industrial Park Station of the Taoyuan Airport MRT in Taoyuan's Xinzhuang District.

Click on the map below to see a larger version:


TRTC map of MRT system.