Sun, Sep 10, 2006 - Page 2 News List

South link trains due to resume service

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Trains operating on the South Link (南迴鐵路) may soon resume normal operation as the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) said it has installed 13 monitoring devices along the 50km route to check damage to the track.

The monitoring devices will be installed at seven major railway sections and will be linked to police stations nearby, allowing the police to observe any change in the tracks around the clock.

Chen Ming-hai (陳明海), the TRA's chief engineer, said the administration plans to run a stability test of the entire system by the end of this month. It will also consider gradually resuming normal operating speeds.

Following a train derailment in March, the administration has lowered the operating speed at the section where the accident occurred -- about 10km in length -- to 60kph.

"Many train drivers are still scared about driving along the route," Chen explained. "The administration has even suggested some seek mental treatment."

According to Chen, the lower operation speed has delayed many trains -- around six to 10 minutes on average -- in the past six months.

The derailment in March seriously injured the train driver Wu Chi-tai (吳奇泰), whose body was trapped in the contorted locomotive. Wu is still recuperating from the injury.

Prosecutors allege that Lee Tai-an (李泰安) and his brother intentionally sabotaged the railway track in order to disguise the murder of Chen Hong-chen (陳紅琛), Lee's sister-in-law, for an insurance payout.

The TRA announced in June that it would pursue a civil claim against the Lees for the damage.

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