Fri, Oct 24, 2008 - Page 2 News List

Fewer trains to run during personnel qualification exam

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) said yesterday that it would have to cancel several train services between Nov. 7 and Nov. 9 as a large number of cabin staff will be taking a national qualification examination for railway personnel that weekend.

The nation’s largest railway service operator said that 340 train drivers and 409 cabin crew chiefs are scheduled to take the examination, which is important for staff members applying for promotion.

Many TRA workers decided to take the exam this time around as the Examination Yuan has not held it for three years, it said.

The administration said that 465 cargo trains would be canceled during the three days. A total of 190 passenger trains would also be canceled, including 142 commuter trains and 58 express trains.

An estimated 60,000 passengers would be affected by the temporary change in schedule, the TRA said.

Passengers scheduled to take TRA trains on Nov. 8, a Saturday, would be affected the most, as 18 express trains and 90 commuter trains would be canceled on that day alone.

On Nov. 8, the administration would also expand the interval between commuter trains running between Hsinchu and Jhongli (中壢) from an average of 20 minutes to 28 minutes.

The administration said a majority of the trains to be canceled are not those operating during peak hours, and it hoped to minimize any inconvenience for passengers.

Meanwhile, the administration is also reducing some of the less-utilized long-distance train services, such as those from Chidu (七堵) and Pingtung.

The administration has also submitted the plan to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications so that the ministry has time to coordinate with other transportation departments and help transport passengers during the three days.

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