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Kaohsiung begins wire-free testing

Image courtesy of June-Rong Chen/KMRT

Testing of the first phase of Taiwan’s Kaohsiung light rail project began over the weekend of 8-9 November, readying the service to commence passenger operation in the first part of 2015.

The country’s new light rail system is among the first to offer 100% wire-free operation, utilising CAF Urbos trams and the manufacturer’s ACR rapid-charge accumulator technology.

Infrastructure construction began in 2013; the first phase is 8.7km (5.4 miles), mostly using the former alignment of the disused Taiwan Railway Administration’s Harbor Railway, mainly used to carry freight. Phase two adds a further 13.4km (8.3 miles) and 22 stops, and is planned to open in December 2019.

CAF claims the 100% low-floor trams can recharge in under 30 seconds. Nine bi-directional, five-section trams will provide the initial service in early 2015.

For a more detailed description of the Kaohsiung light rail project, see the December 2014 issue of Tramways & Urban Transit.