Tue, Sep 03, 2013 - Page 3 News List

TRA clears line blocked by mud

LINK RECONNECTED:The South Link Line reopened ahead of schedule after the railway operator cleared carriages wedged in a tunnel by a mudslide

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) yesterday made the South Link Line accessible again by 10:30am, one day ahead of its original deadline.

The railway operator had aimed to have the entire South Link Line resume normal operations yesterday following a derailment caused by a mudslide on Saturday.

However, it postponed services until today due to difficulties bringing in large machinery to remove carriages wedged inside a tunnel.

TRA Deputy Director-General Lu Chieh-shen (鹿潔身) said the administration’s engineering crew managed to tow the carriages early yesterday morning so it decided to open the line after ascertaining that the railway tracks were clear.

The administration also dispatched personnel to monitor the movement of the trackside slopes, he said.

Lu said that the TRA had installed seven surveillance systems in 12 railway sections that are at high risk of being affected by mudslides.

However, as torrential rainfall has occurred more frequently than usual this year, he said that the TRA had started working with geologists to inspect the railway lines around the nation to understand the geological factors facing each rail section.

The South Link Line, North Link Line and the railway line between Hualien and Taitung are top priority, he said.

Lu said the TRA planned to establish a rainfall alarm system that would preemptively suspend the train service whenever necessary.

In other developments, the Railway Reconstruction Bureau confirmed yesterday that it aims to start evaluating the possibility of building a branch line connecting Fangliao (枋寮) and Hengchun (恆春) next year to ease holiday traffic heading to Kenting.

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