Wed, Aug 26, 2015 - Page 4 News List

TRA to purchase 48 new carriages for EMU800 trains

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) yesterday said that it is to purchase 48 new carriages for its EMU800 commuter trains due to an excess in funding caused by the devaluation of the Japanese yen.

The TRA said the excess of approximately NT$2 billion (US$6.83 million) was left over from its previous 10-year carriage acquisition plan, in which the administration purchased carriages for Taroko Express and Puyuma Express trains as well as EMU700 and EMU800 trains.

The orders all arrived by May this year, it said.

The budget for the earlier acquisitions was NT$35.9 billion, the TRA said. Because of the devaluation of the yen, it still had NT$2 billion left and used it to order 48 more carriages from the Taiwan Rolling Stock Co, a joint venture of Taiwanese and Japanese companies.

The TRA said the order is to be delivered by September next year, helping it replace some older carriages.

The TRA plans to replace 30 percent of its older carriages in the next 10 years, it said, adding that with a budget of NT$99.7 billion, the plan will enable the administration to buy 600 carriages for intercity trains, 520 for commuter trains, as well as 127 locomotives and 60 eco-friendly carriages for branch lines.

The intercity trains, also known as Tze-chiang Express trains, are to be used mainly to increase the transport capacity for trains heading to the east coast, the TRA said.

Based on the TRA’s plan, each intercity train will be made up of 12 carriages, up from eight, it said.

The TRA plans to designate one of the 12 carriages as a business-class coach, which will have fewer seats, which will all be larger than those in regular coaches.

The TRA said the new trains will arrive after 2018, when upgrades to the Suhua Highway are to become operational, reducing demand for railway services.

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