Tue, Nov 06, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Japanese firm to fix train system design flaw: TRA

Staff writer, with CNA

The Japanese manufacturer of the Puyuma Express train involved in a deadly derailment on Oct. 21 has promised to immediately fix a design flaw exposed by the crash, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said yesterday.

Following the accident, it was discovered that the train did not automatically alert the dispatch control room when the driver turned off the automatic safety system that prevents trains speeding.

There is an automatic train protection (ATP) system in every train, and remote control systems in the Shulin and Hualien depots sending messages to the dispatch control room, but the two were never connected.

The Japanese company is to create a link between the two, which the TRA hopes would improve the safety of the Puyuma Express trains, known for their tilting feature, which allows them to travel faster on existing curved tracks.

The agency said that Nippon Sharyo, a subsidiary of Central Japan Railway Co, would start testing how to make the remote monitoring system connecting the ATP and the dispatch control center work.

Based on the test results, which should be available in one to two days, the two sides would decide how much time would be required to install the feature on all 18 of the TRA’s Puyuma Express trains.

The fix would not not cost the agency additional money, it said.

However, it added that it does not yet know whether it will seek compensation from Nippon Sharyo, as the government is still reviewing the case.

“There will not be any action before the Japanese manufacturer and the Cabinet’s investigative task force fully understand the situation, but we will do whatever is needed based on the contract,” a TRA official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Speeding was to blame for the accident, in which Puyuma Express No. 6432 from New Taipei City to Taitung County derailed in Yilan County while traveling at nearly twice the permissible speed as it entered a curve, leaving 18 people dead and 215 injured.

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