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Ricardo providing Verification and Validation services for introduction of Taiwan's new high-speed fleet

04 Mar 2024


Ricardo has been appointed by the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation (THSRC) to perform Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) services for the introduction of a new fleet of vehicles for its 350km high-speed route between Taipei and Kaohsiung. 

"We are immensely proud to have been chosen by THSRC as the IV&V of the groundbreaking 'New Generation' trainsets", said Michael Newman, Ricardo's Global Rail Operations Director. "Our team, building on a rich history with Taiwan's rail sector, will ensure the highest standards of safety, functionality and quality, providing valuable oversight throughout the production process. This project exemplifies both organisations’ commitment to safety and dedication to delivering cutting-edge solutions for high-speed rail".  


Ensuring quality and full compliance 

In May 2023, Hitachi Toshiba Supreme Consortium was chosen to provide 12 'New Generation' trainsets that will be based on the N700S Shinkansen stock, recently introduced to Japan's high-speed network. 

The lighter-weight vehicles offer more energy efficiency than THSRC’s existing fleet as well as enhancements to the passenger environment, such as extra luggage space, charging sockets at every seat, and upgraded onboard information screens. 

Ricardo was initially appointed as the IV&V body on the Taiwan High Speed Rail project in 2001 to support the line into initial public operation. It was also the IV&V body for the Nanyang extension which went into public operation in 2016. THSRC appointed Ricardo for this fleet expansion project to lean on Ricardo’s detailed knowledge of THSRC and high-speed lines.  

Ricardo will provide expert oversight throughout the production of the vehicles, verifying that the overall build quality complies with the original specifications, and that the client’s requirements around safety, functionality, maintainability and quality – all stipulated in the procurement process – have either been met or exceeded.  

The presence of Ricardo’s rolling stock specialists will provide valuable continuity at key decision points, particularly around design adjustments, quality assessments and test reviews. Meanwhile, the structured process of audits and assessments that we introduce will also help reduce risks and provide assurance to THSRC that the new fleet will be delivered in full compliance with widely recognised standards. 

The first New Generation vehicles are expected to be entered into passenger operation in 2027. 


Global IVV expertise 

The appointment builds on Ricardo’s portfolio of projects supporting the procurement and introduction of new vehicles into passenger service. 

Recent and current assignments include the introduction of the Sprinter New Generation to the Dutch network (2018-2023), and the Queensland Train Manufacturing Program (QTMP), where our experts are currently the Independent Safety Assessors for the delivery of a new fleet of trains for the region's rail network. 

THSRC will also benefit from Ricardo’s long and successful history of undertaking IVV roles for Taiwan’s burgeoning rail sector. The team have previously performed the role on the Taipei - Taoyuan Airport rail link, which opened in 2017, and is currently providing IVV for the construction of the 27km Taoyuan City Green Line, and Phase Two of the Wanda–Shulin driverless metro line in Taipei. 

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