More than 20,000 railway commuters yesterday were delayed after electric cables on two different sections of railway line broke.
The Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) said the incident occurred between Sijhih (汐止) and Nangang (南港) at 8:05am and between Jiaosi (礁溪) and Sicheng (四城) at 8:20am.
A preliminary investigation showed that the first disruption was caused by broken electricity contact strips, which led to the malfunctioning of the electric cables.
The second was caused by a rail pantograph falling from a Tzuchiang express operating at the section, which snapped the electric cables for about 2km.
Further investigations will be conducted by the railway service’s operational safety committee, the TRA said.
Thirteen trains were delayed for more than 45 minutes, long enough for passengers on the trains to be entitled to a full refund from the TRA.
The two worst cases were two Shulin (樹林)-Hualien express trains — No. 206 and No. 74, which were delayed for 93 and 82 minutes respectively.
The TRA said that two-way -operations on the Jiaosi-Sicheng section had resumed using one railway line at 9:34am. Full service on the section was scheduled to resume at 8pm yesterday.
Operation of the Sijhih--Nangang section returned to normal at 10:27am.
The TRA said the express train that caused the damage along the -Jiaosi-Sicheng section was towed to the Yilan Train Station, with 350 passengers on board, who were transferred to another train to Hualien later.
In related news, both the high speed rail stations and those operated by the TRA have been equipped with electricity sockets for passengers who need to recharge their mobile phone batteries, the railway systems said.
Media reported recently that a man was arrested on suspicion of stealing electricity from the Taipei MRT system when he tried to charge his mobile phone at the Danshui station.
However, the scenario is not likely to occur with the high-speed rail and TRA systems.
The high-speed rail has mobile phone-charging areas in each station, with both regular and USB sockets available for use. Its business-class train carriages are equipped with sockets as well, which passengers from economy-class carriages can also use with the assistance of train staff.
The TRA has mobile phone charging areas in its Banciao (板橋), Songshan, Taichung, Kaohsiung, Yilan and Taitung stations. Passengers can also ask for assistance from TRA staff when they are in other stations, or when they are aboard the trains.