Mon, Jul 09, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Glitch with switch sends high speed rail back and forth


A high speed rail service from Taipei to Kaohsiung was delayed by more than half an hour on Saturday because of a switch malfunction near Tainan station.

Passengers said the train had to reverse from Hsinshih (新市) in Tainan County to Liuchiao (六腳) in Chiayi County before moving forward again.

The reversal caused alarm among passengers and meant the train was 36 minutes behind schedule when it arrived at Tainan and its final stop at Hsintsoying (新左營) in Kaohsiung City. Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp said that it had refunded half of the ticket price to passengers.

The company said the train left Chiayi on time at 12:56pm but was ordered to stop at Hsinshih, a city several kilometers north of Tainan station, then to return to Chiayi because a switch near Tainan was defective.

A switch allows a train to cross from one track to another.

After the train returned to Liuchiao, the control center reported the problem switch had moved into its proper position and instructed the driver to head south on the designated track.

The malfunction added 36 minutes to the service's normal 17-minute trip.

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