Bringing Excellent Japanese Rail Cars to Taiwan
To the US, to Southeast Asia and now to Taiwan
Sumitomo Corporation has worked with Nippon Sharyo, Ltd. in numerous rail car projects in the US and Southeast Asia, and the two companies have been engaged in business in the North American market for more than 30 years. In Taiwan, 66 diesel rail cars were delivered to Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA)* in the mid-1990s, and in 2002, Taiwan Rolling Stock Company, Ltd., was established as Taiwan's first dedicated rail car manufacturer in a joint venture among Sumitomo Corporation, Nippon Sharyo, China Steel Corporation (Taiwan), and Tang Eng Iron Works Co., Ltd. (Taiwan). Taiwan Rolling Stock has already accumulated substantial achievements, receiving orders for 160 EMU700 commuter trains and 296 EMU800 next-generation commuter trains to be used throughout Taiwan. Sumitomo Corporation and Nippon Sharyo, too, in January 2011 received a large-scale project order for 136 of the state-of-the-art TEMU2000 express trains to be introduced by TRA primarily in eastern Taiwan.
* The company's official name is "Taiwan Railways Administration, Ministry of Transportation and Communications, Republic of China," also known as TRA.
Puyuma Express train being hauled into the Port of Nagoya for shipment to Taiwan
Puyuma Express attracting people's attention in Taiwan
This new-model TEMU2000 express train has been named the Puyuma Express, which comes from the name of a tribal group of Taiwanese aborigines in eastern Taiwan as well as the word "solidarity" in their language, and it commenced commercial service in February 2013. One major feature of this train is its tilting control with air springs. This technology, also employed on Japan's Shinkansen super express, gently tilts the rail car body when running through curving lines, allowing the train to operate at a faster speed while maintaining a comfortable ride. Since eastern Taiwan is a mountainous region, this cutting-edge technology from Japan has received high praise. The train is also famous for other improvements in passenger convenience, e.g., car interiors of universal design, multi-purpose toilets (a first for TRA trains), in-car sales of hot coffee and lunch-boxes, a nursing room and dedicated seats for physically challenged passengers.
Box seats, rare in Taiwanese trains, are appreciated by families heading out for weekend travel.
Multi-purpose toilet readily accessible by wheelchair
Respective roles of Nippon Sharyo and Sumitomo Corporation
Rail cars manufactured in Japan enjoy a high reputation worldwide, but it is essential that railway operators are provided with a correct understanding of their special technological features, such as the tilting-control system. This is one of the most important points for Japanese technology to achieve greater market development overseas.
One of Sumitomo Corporation's roles is to join with the railway operator TRA and the rail car manufacturer Nippon Sharyo as a team to ensure that they come to a consensus on each and every matter. Another role is to understand the respective thoughts and ideas of TRA and Nippon Sharyo through day-to-day communication and propose solutions agreeable to both. Sumitomo Corporation's long years of successful business ventures with Nippon Sharyo can be attributed to the fact that the two companies have correctly understood/shared their respective positions and roles, and thus recognized each other as reliable partners.
Puyuma Express car delivered from Japan being discharged at the Port of Keelung in Taiwan
Contributing further to Taiwan's railway infrastructure
The new Puyuma Express train has been useful not only to residents of eastern Taiwan for day-to-day travel but also to people from eastern Taiwan living in northern/western Taiwan for their seasonal homecoming. Introduction of the Puyuma Express has brought about enhanced passenger convenience, an increase in the number of tourists, and positive economic effects as a result. It also serves as proof of the utility of Japan's cutting-edge technology in improving the functionality of Taiwan's transportation infrastructure.
Sumitomo Corporation would like to maximize its experience in the TRA projects going toward the future so that we can contribute to the further development of railway infrastructure in Taiwan.
Sumitomo Corporation believes that its ultimate mission is to contribute to the travel convenience of Taiwanese people through participation in further upgrading their already safe and comfortable railway infrastructure as well as through the provision of advanced technology, and that we will grow together with Taiwan through such activities.
Travel between Taipei and Taitung heretofore has required at least 4.5 hours, but that is expected to shorten to 3.5 hours through use of the Puyuma Express in 2014.
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