October 4, 2007

Taiwan High Speed Rail

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I finally got a chance to take the Taiwan High Speed Rail last week during a business trip. The trip from Taipei to Taichung station took 50 minutes. The ride was pretty smooth, and we had seats in business class which was pretty spacious. I have no doubt that this will replace most of the domestic airline traffic as more people get accustomed to it.

The one major drawback of taking the train was the communication aspect. You simply can't get any network connection on your cell phone! During the entire 50-minute trip, I wasn't able to lock on to a single network for more than 2-3 minutes at a time! There were endless tunnels throughout the trip it was incredible. Some of these tunnels only take 5-10 seconds to pass through, but that was enough to disrupt the signal.

I heard from other people at work that the situation isn't any better in the south of Taiwan. I tried calling them a couple days ago as I waited for them to arrive in Kaoshiung, and basically couldn't get through until they reached the station. For business travelers like us, it would be wonderful of THSR spent some money to fix this problem. Of course, I understand that they'd have to make some $$ first...

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