Altran has completed an Independent Safety Assessment for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ (MHI) expansion work on the Taiwan High Speed Rail line. MHI is one of the contractors working on a 9.2 km extension line connecting Taipei Station and the city's new Nangang Station – working in particular on upgrading the electrical and mechanical (E&M) system. MHI turned to Altran for the safety assessments of their E&M upgrades.
The Taiwan High Speed Rail line connects Taipai with Zuoying along the country’s west coast. The 339 km line, which allows for a maximum speed of 300 km/h, means it takes around 96 minutes to travel from end-to-end, and connects around 90% of the region's population. The line opened for service at the start of 2007, and was constructed by a private company, the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation (THSRC) that also operates the line, for $18 billion.
One of the major additions to the line, a Northern extension to Nangong, is expected to open part way through this year. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) was one of the major contract winners, appointed by THSRC for the development and construction of the 9.2 km extension line to connect Taipei Station and the city's new Nangang Station. The company is providing trackwork and E&M (electrical and mechanical) systems for approximately 5 km of the upgrade. The upgrade includes three new stations at Miaoli, Changhua and Yunlin, as well as further updates to the signalling functionality on the overall high speed (Shinkansen) railway and the implementation of extensive changes to the Taoyuan Operational Control Centre (OCC).
MHI hired Altran to work alongside Mitsubishi Toshiba Shinkansen Corporation (MTSC) to provide Independent Safety Assessment of the rail work delivered by the company. The specialist team from Altran undertook a safety assessment and audit regarding the software and signalling data preparation activities on the Shinkansen system covering wayside, central control and on-board systems. In addition, the firm made a number of on-site assessments at the Japanese factories where signalling equipment was manufactured, Kyosan and Nippon, as well as running a safety assessment during the migration stages and on-site in Taiwan.
Andrew Furse, Altran’s Lead Safety Assessor for the project, says he is “delighted” to have contributed to the major works, adding the project was "completed ahead of time and with minimal disruption" to the operational railway. "Encompassing signalling upgrades, the entry into service of Miaoli, Changhua, Yunlin and, most recently, the introduction of the Nangang signalling extension due to enter passenger service in the summer, this is clearly a significant achievement for which the whole project team must be congratulated."
James Ngo, RAMS Manager at MTSC, says that the firm is “grateful to the Altran team” for the support and the close cooperation leading to the on-schedule completion of these projects. Ngo adds “Both projects were completed ahead of time and without any problems, a major success and something of which Altran can be proud.”