Wed, May 17, 2017 - Page 1 News List

HSR trains disrupted by balloon

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

A balloon is pictured yesterday after it became tangled in the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp’s overhead power line, causing trains to be temporarily restricted to single-track operations between Miaoli and Taichung.

Photo: CNA, courtesy of Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp

About 12,000 commuters were affected by a nearly two-hour delay after a big, red balloon disrupted the high-speed rail’s (HSR) operation yesterday morning on the west coast route.

Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (THSRC, 台灣高鐵)) said it received a report at 7:56am that a balloon became tangled in the high voltage cable lines at the 137.1km milestone of the high-speed rail route.

The incident disrupted operations between Miaoli and Taichung, causing trains to be temporarily restricted to a single track.

The system resumed normal operations at 9:38am after a maintenance crew removed the balloon.

THSRC said that nine southbound trains and 11 northbound trains were delayed, affecting about 12,000 passengers.

The firm offered affected passengers refunds or compensation.

Passengers who did not get to use their tickets to board any of 20 trains affected by the incident have one year to claim a refund, the company said, adding that there would be no processing fee.

As the incident happened because of an action by a third party, which inflicted a loss on the high-speed rail operator, passengers whose trains were delayed by more than 30 minutes have a year to claim a refund of 10 percent of the ticket price, the company said.

People who bought business-class seats, but who had to take standard seats because of the incident would be reimbursed for the price difference, it said.

This was not the first time that the high-speed rail’s operation was disrupted by a foreign object on the railway track.

Last year, a net blown by the strong winds brought by Typhoon Meranti covered and damaged a pantograph mounted on top of a high-speed rail train, disrupting operations that day.

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