The Taiwan Railways Administration’s (TRA) fastest train, which is set to provide services to Taitung later this year, arrived yesterday in the east of the county following a trial run.
The Puyuma express train was greeted at Taitung station by representatives of the Puyuma people — from which the model takes its name — led by Lin Ching-mei (林清美), a tribal shaman.
The Puyuma placed a wreath on train driver Chang Sheng-hu (張勝琥), who said the train performed well during the test run.
Once the electrified railway between Taitung and its northern neighboring county of Hualien goes into operation in June, all 17 of the TRA’s Puyuma tilting trains will go into service on the line. At present, travelers taking the train from Taipei to Taitung have to change from electric to diesel-powered trains in Hualien before heading further south.
The new system is likely to shave as much as 30 minutes off the travel time between Hualien and Taitung, the TRA said.
At present, the travel time for the current fastest train on the Hualien-Taitung line is about 123 minutes.
The new system is expected to increase the capacity of the line between Taipei and Hualien by up to 25 percent, and up to 40 percent between Taipei and Taitung.