Taipei Metro VAL 256

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Taipei Metro VAL 256
Three VAL 256 EMUs at reverse siding near Zhongshan Junior High School Station on the Wenshan Line, March 2008
Interior of a VAL 256 coach
In service March 28, 1996-present
Manufacturer Matra and GEC Alsthom
Family name VAL
Constructed c.1990-1993
Number built 102 cars
(51 2-car sets)
Formation 4 cars per trainset (originally 2 cars)
Capacity 24 seats,
90 standing per car
(456 passengers in 4-car set)
Operator Taipei Rapid Transit System
Depot(s) Muzha, Neihu
Line(s) served Taipei Metro Brown Line
(Wenshan Line and Neihu Line)
Car length 13,780 mm
Width 2,560 mm
Height 3,510 mm
Maximum speed 80 km/h
Weight 148 tonnes
Electric system(s) 1500 V Third-rail DC
Safety system(s) ATC (CBTC)
Track gauge 1,880 mm (6 ft 2 in)[1]

The Taipei Metro VAL 256 is a medium capacity rapid transit EMU operated on the Taipei Metro.

The VAL 256 was the first trainset to enter service on the Taipei Metro in 1996 (followed by the C301 trains the following year). VAL 256 cars are capable of driverless operation, as of all other trainsets. It is part of the VAL family of automated rubber-tired trainsets, also incorporating MAGGALY technology used on Lyon Metro Line D, but is larger than most other VAL trainsets (the Chicago O'Hare's Airport Transit System also uses the VAL 256).

The 102 cars were built by the Matra conglomerate (with GEC Alsthom) from circa 1990 to 1993, and entered service three years later. Within a year of revenue operations, Matra terminated the service contract, removing all maintenance crew. They filed and won a complaint against the Taipei City Government over contract delay compensations. All the while, the VAL256 trains continued service for twelve years, serviced by TRTC engineers and Academia Sinica researchers.[2] They featured fixed-block ATC/ATO systems for driverless and manual operation,[3] which was replaced by Communication-based train control (CBTC) in 2006-2009.[2]

In June 2003, Bombardier Transportation was contracted to extend the Muzha/Wenshan line into Neihu. This involved building 202 new cars, a new track signaling system (CITYFLO 650), and overhauling the Matra cars to function under the new system.[4]

The Bombardier Innovia APM 256 trains were built from 2006 to July 4, 2009.[2] Integration of the Bombardier-built cars with the Matra-built cars was a daunting task, the consequences of which were multiple system malfunctions and failures along the Wenshan and Neihu Lines.[5]

Each four-car train is formed by two coupled two-car trainsets. Any two sets can be coupled, and their numbers do not need to be consecutive (unlike the heavy-capacity trains).

The VAL 256 train sets have served the Muzha Line since 1996. The trains were taken offline for 17 months for control system upgrades, and resumed service in December 2010.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 內湖線則採用膠輪/鋼軌系統,中心線間距為1,880mm。此外,文山線因採膠輪/水泥軌道系統,一般來說並無軌距之分,但其凸出於路面的兩條行車水泥軌枕,中心線間距為1,880mm。
  2. ^ a b c Taipei Metro – Approaches and strategies in managing an extensive and diverse rail framework, Richard C.L. Chen, TRTS, retrieved 26 April 2008
  3. ^ Retrieved 2009-10-01. Notice, however, that the link says the VAL 256 trains are still controlled by off-board computers, which is no longer the case.
  4. ^ "CITYFLO 650 - Neihu LINE, Taiwan". Bombardier Transportation. 
  5. ^ "Neihu, Muzha MRT lines closed down for 4 hours". Taiwan News Online. 2009-08-06. Retrieved 2009-08-12.