The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) announced yesterday that it is to buy 10 new train carriages this year for the Alishan Forest Railway, adding that the train carriages would be equipped with a new bogie to ensure smooth operation.
The nation’s largest railway operator said that the procurement was made to enhance the services of the former logging railway, as the zig-zag track has made it a popular tourist attraction.
Apart from the 10 train carriages to be purchased this year, the agency said that it has plans to purchase another five train carriages after this year’s deal.
The public tender for the carriage contract is scheduled for Aug. 11, and it will be open for contractors in Taiwan or from overseas.
Based on bidding document specifications, the bodies of the new train carriages are to be stainless steel.
The new carriages are to have large luggage storage racks and an LED-lighting system.
The carriages are also to be accessible to disabled passengers and have facilities for breastfeeding
The materials for the interiors must be fire-proof and meet the latest safety standards.
The new train carriages are to be equipped with bogies, which enhance safety and passenger comfort by automatically adjusting the angle of the carriage when the train turns, the TRA said.
The agency added that the new train carriages are scheduled to be turned in by the end of next year and they would be used for daily train operation after safety tests.
With the addition of the new carriages, the TRA said that it will be able to provide two round-trip services between Chiayi and Alishan from Mondays to Thursdays. Three round-trip services would be provided on Fridays, weekends and national holidays.
Currently, the forest railway system has 26 train carriages in its fleet. Four of them are made of Formosan cypress, which have been in use for 10 years. Other train carriages have been in service for more than 30 years.
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