Sun, Jan 07, 2007 - Page 2 News List

High speed trains running smoothly

STAFF WRITER

Things went as smoothly as possible on the second day of high speed rail operations with crowds of passengers gathering at train stations to enjoy a weekend railway trip.

The only black marks were a six-minute delay on an early train from Taichung to Banciao (板橋) in Taipei County and a 68-year-old man who hurt his head when he slipped and missed his train.

The train departing from Taichung at 7am yesterday arrived at Banciao at 8:01am, instead of the scheduled 7:55am, making it the first-ever delay experienced by the new rail system.

The Chinese-language United Evening News quoted Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (THSRC) executive director Ou Chin-der (歐晉德) as saying that the delay was caused by a train attendant who mistakenly pushed an emergency button on a wireless communications device.

The report said this sent a signal to the train to start slowing down and eventually stop at a section near Taoyuan.

Ou apologized for the delay and said the company would review the incident to avoid any repetition.

To solve overbooking problems, THSRC yesterday provided an additional seven trains to carry surplus passengers, as well as offering each passenger a free ticket as a goodwill gesture.

Meanwhile, Chen Hsin-hsiung (陳信雄) from Changhwa County hurt his head when he slipped at Taichung station while preparing to get on an escalator.

Chen claimed he missed his step because the escalator was travelling too fast but local cable TV channels quoted THSRC spokesman Arthur Chiang (江金山) as saying there was no problem with the escalator's speed. He nevertheless expressed regret for Chen's accident and agreed to offer Chen and his family a free ride in the future.

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