The government agency in charge of monitoring high speed rail services demanded yesterday that staff of the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (THSRC) be punished for an operational mistake that caused services to be suspended at the Taipei end of the line.
The Ministry of Transportation and Communications’ Bureau of Taiwan High Speed Rail called on the THSRC to conduct a thorough investigation into the problem that caused the high-speed rail service’s Taipei terminus to be shut down all day on Thursday.
High speed trains were only allowed to operate between Banciao (板橋) and Tsoying (左營) on Thursday, with service from Banciao north to Taipei suspended.
Bureau officials said those found responsible for the mistake — which they called a “detract switch incident” — should be penalized for their negligence.
The incident, which affected 128 train services, occurred early on Thursday morning when a maintenance train car was about to return to Taipei Station, THSRC spokesman Ted Chia (賈先德) said. Maintenance personnel were supposed to obtain authorization from the control center before they drove through the railway switch, Chia said, adding that the train moved on without securing the authorization, leading to the incident.
“It was an accident involving human error as the maintenance personnel did not follow standard operating procedures,” Chia said.
The THSRC resumed normal service yesterday.
In related news, Chia said the THSRC’s northern Taiwan maintenance hub would not be ready until 2011.
Before then, any repair tools, maintenance parts, components and maintenance personnel would have to be brought from central Taiwan when any mechanical mishap occurred.