Mon, Dec 29, 2014 - Page 3 News List

TRA orders more tilting Puyuma, Taroko trains

ALL ABOARD:Japan’s plummeting currency created a NT$1.86 billion train budget windfall that the Taiwan Railways Administration used to buy express carriages

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) yesterday said it is buying two more Puyuma Express trains and two Taroko Express trains due to a budget surplus from a previous deal, adding that the new trains are scheduled to arrive by the end of next year.

The railway operator previously purchased 136 train carriages — 17 train sets’ worth — from Japan for the Puyuma Express.

With all 17 in operation, the agency found that it still had a budget surplus of about NT$1.86 billion (US$58.58 million) from the deal amid the yen’s depreciation.

It opted to use the surplus to purchase two more Puyuma Express sets and two more Taroko Express sets.

The purchase bid was finalized on Tuesday last week, the agency said.

The TRA estimated that the contractor would start delivering the newly ordered carriages at the end of next year. It added that the four new sets are to enter service in 2016.

The trains are expected to increase transport capacity by 15 percent, the agency added.

In addition to using the trains along the east coast, the agency has planned to use some of the Puyuma Express carriages on the west coast.

The Puyuma and Taroko trains have a carriage-tilting feature that counteracts centripetal forces and enables them to operate along winding eastern rail routes without having to reduce travel speed.

The agency said the trains would be used to offer express services from Taipei to Greater Kaohisung, with an estimated travel time of three hours and 40 minutes.

It takes about four hours and 30 minutes to travel the route on a Tzuchiang Express train.

The agency said that the fare for the Taipei-Greater Kaohsiung express route is set at NT$843 for now.

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