Project Management Institute

Train delay

Using a best-of-breed approach to develop a high-speed, cross-country rail system can produce the best-possible system from a team of the most talented designers. But what happens when the best-of-breed team is replaced midway through the project with a single-firm team? That is exactly what this case study examines. This articles turns its eye on the possibly impending failure of the in-construction InterCityExpress project, an US&13.6 billion effort by the Taiwan High Speed Rail Consortium (THSRC) to realize a transit system that links the cities of Taipei and Kaohsiung--cities sitting more than 200 miles apart--by train in less than 90 minutes. This article examines THSRC's decision to change its contractor midway through the project, a move from a best-of-breed team comprised of Siemens and GEC Alstom to a single firm, the Japanese engineering firm JR Shinkansen. And in doing so, this article lays out the challenges the new team will need to tackle, specifically the difficult task of linking superior comp
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