Sun, Aug 26, 2007 - Page 4 News List

Rail operators announce plans for holidaymakers

TRANSPORTATION With the Mid-Autumn Festival expected to be a four-day break for many, the nation's railway operators are hoping to make things easier for travelers

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

While the Ministry of Transportation and Communications has yet to announce its plans for facilitating the transportation of passengers during the Mid-Autumn Festival holidays, railway operators have already announced when they will start accepting ticket bookings.

This year's Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the 25th of next month, which is a Tuesday.

For many, the festival will become a four-day break when combined with the weekend prior to the official holiday.

The Taiwan Railway Administration said this week that passengers could start booking tickets for the Mid-Autumn holidays online or by phone on Sept. 7.

The administration said that it would add 183 trains to its regular schedules to accommodate the expected increase in passengers.

The administration also announced yesterday that one of its newly-purchased EMU700 commuter trains had passed inspections and would begin operations on Wednesday.

The train will initially serve people who travel daily between Hsinchu and Hualien.

Meanwhile, the administration has also arranged for two Chukuang Express trains operating on the South Link (南迴鐵路) to go from Taitung to Taichung, which will save passengers the hassle of having to change trains in Kaohsiung.

The service will become available to customers on Sept. 6.

HIGH SPEED RAIL

The Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (THSRC) yesterday opened ticket sales to groups scheduled to travel before Sept. 26.

The company said it would begin selling individual tickets on Sept. 8.

Passengers will be able to order tickets for any train operating between Sept. 8 and Sept. 26 and to purchase round-trip tickets in advance.

The THSRC had planned to increase its number of one-way trains to 69 per day by next month, but shelved the plan owing to a shortage of qualified drivers.

However, the company said it was planning to increase two-way trains from 74 to 91 daily some time before the Mid-Autumn Festival holidays.

The high-speed rail operator said it planned to offer online ticketing services about two weeks from now.

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