Fri, Jun 12, 2009 - Page 2 News List

High speed rail service delays affect thousands

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

About 20,000 high speed rail passengers were affected by delays caused by a mechanical problem on the section between Taipei and Banciao yesterday.

Ted Chia (賈先德), spokesperson for the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp, said that at 10:33am engineers found that an end position detector (EPD) installed next to the railroad switch had malfunctioned.

A railroad switch is used to help trains switch from one track to another, while the end position detector sends signals to inform the control center of the status of the railroad switch.

Chia said the control center was not receiving any signal from the EPD, so the company decided to suspend operations between Taipei and Banciao at 11:14am to fix it. Trains resumed operation at around 4pm.

Overall, Chia said the incident affected the operation of 27 trains, seven of which were delayed by more than 30 minutes.

With services suspended by about five hours, the company provided Taipei-bound commuters with MRT and Taiwan Railway Administration tickets so they could take either of the two to Taipei Railway Station.

All southbound passengers leaving from Taipei also had to board at Banciao instead.

“Passengers boarding the trains that were delayed for more than 30 minutes are entitled for a refund of half the ticket price,” Chia said.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wang Sin-nan (王幸男) and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) were two of the passengers affected by the delays.

“I am on the legislature's Transportation Committee,” Wang said.

“This problem has happened too many times. I am going to demand that they improve their service,” he said.

EPD malfunctions had disrupted train services in the past, with the first occuring in January 2007.

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