Taiwan High Speed Rail

High speed rail (HSR) services have become increasingly common in the 21st century. Globally, there are now over 200 operational HSR services, with several more planned or under construction. High speed rail connections can greatly reduce travel times between two locations and their increased popularity is largely thanks to their numerous benefits. In this blog post, we’ll be exploring the future of Taiwan’s high-speed rail service and how it could potentially benefit the country moving forward.

What is High Speed Rail?

A high-speed rail, or HSR, is a railway that uses a train or a series of trains that travel at very high speeds. In the past, trains were often used to travel long distances, with the earliest example being the Trans-Siberian Railway, which linked Moscow and Vladivostok. Trains, however, have now evolved from being simply a way of transporting people and goods from one place to another. Nowadays, trains have become a popular method of transportation for their convenience, speed, and comfort.

Why is Taiwan Investing in High Speed Rail?

The Taiwan government has invested massively in constructing and upgrading the country’s railway system over the last few years. The primary reason for this investment is to improve Taiwan’s connection with other countries. While Taiwan has a high-speed rail connection with China, there is still a need to improve the transportation network within Taiwan. Another reason behind the investment is to reduce the country’s carbon emissions by decreasing the use of cars thanks to the introduction of the high-speed rail system. The investment has been largely successful and has attracted many tourists to Taiwan. The Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation (THSRC), the operator of Taiwan’s high-speed rail service, has seen a significant increase in revenue since the start of operations in 2007. While over 50% of the current passengers are tourists to Taiwan, a significant number of Taiwanese citizens have since begun using the service, thus reducing the use of cars and improving the country’s overall transportation network.

bullet train speed

One of the primary benefits of high-speed railway services is that they are much faster than standard trains. While the average speed of standard trains is around 80km/h, high-speed trains can travel at an average speed of over 300km/h. THSR, is one of the fastest high-speed rail services, travelling at an average speed of 350km/h. The service runs between Taipei and Kaohsiung, two of Taiwan’s largest cities, and has been operational since 2007.

Cons of THSR

Although high-speed rail services have become increasingly popular in the 21st century, there are many downsides to this mode of transportation. For starters, high-speed trains are extremely expensive to build and maintain. A single kilometre-long stretch of high-speed rail can cost up to $100 million to build. In addition, high-speed rail services have a very negative effect on the environment. One of the reasons behind this is that high-speed trains are usually powered by diesel fuel, which is a very harmful emission that can negatively affect air quality. Moreover, high-speed trains are notoriously unsafe, especially during times of natural disaster. When severe weather conditions, such as a hurricane, flood, or earthquake occur, high-speed trains are often unable to stop.


The primary benefit of high speed train is speed, which is much faster than standard trains. However, a high speed train is  very expensive to build and maintain, and have a very negative effect on the environment.