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Taiwan rail firm to get JR Tokai tech

Deal covers bullet train line maintenance, disaster plans

Kyodo

Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) will offer Taiwan’s High Speed Rail Corp. its technologies for the maintenance of shinkansen trains and disaster response efforts, sources said Saturday.

JR Tokai and High Speed Rail, which operates bullet trains in Taiwan, will sign a contract within several months, the sources said, adding it will be the first time a Japanese company has struck such a deal with a foreign railway business.

JR Tokai hopes to boost overseas sales of shinkansen equipment by promoting their safe and reliable track record in Taiwan, they said.

Taiwan has been using bullet trains based on Japan’s model and has opened up part of its rail system for high-speed commercial operations since 2007, marking Japan’s first successful export of its shinkansen rail technologies.

The two companies will decide on the details of the contract at a later date, but JR Tokai is considering supplying High Speed Rail with its expertise on maintenance and inspection of train cars, tracks and signals, as well as disaster control. It will also provide consultations on how to improve the Taiwanese firm’s traffic control system.

West Japan Railway Co. and Kyushu Railway Co. will cooperate with JR Tokai in providing roadbed technology to High Speed Rail.

The three domestic railways and the Taiwanese company have been working together in promoting shinkansen, magnetically levitated bullet trains and other high-speed rail systems in overseas markets following the successful export to Taiwan.

Rail cards unified

Kyodo

Ten regional electronic fare cards operated by Japan’s 11 major transport authorities became valid Saturday in all of their operating areas nationwide, enabling holders to travel through the country’s key cities with a single card.

The operators said the combined 81.98 million cards they have issued now cover 52 railway and 96 bus services across the nation and can be used at 4,275, or 48 percent, of Japan’s roughly 9,000 train stations.

As well as the Suica and Pasmo cards used in the greater Tokyo area and the Kansai region’s Icoca card, the deal includes Hokkaido’s Kitaca card, the manaca and Toica cards used in Nagoya and surrounding regions, Kansai’s Pitapa card, Fukuoka’s Hayakaken card and Kyushu’s nimoca and Sugoca cards.