Fri, Nov 08, 2019 - Page 3 News List

TRA to introduce new commuter trains on Dec. 13

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) yesterday said it would introduce its new commuter trains on Dec. 13.

The agency has 2,354 train carriages, 589 of which have been in use for more than 30 years, it said.

To replace the old trains, it has spent nearly NT$100 billion (US$3.3 billion) over the past few years to acquire 1,282 new carriages, 520 of which would be the electric multiple unit (EMU) 900 model.

The TRA has also acquired 600 new carriages for intercity trains, 102 electricity and diesel-powered carriages and 60 eco-friendly carriages for branch lines over the past two years, it said.

For the EMU900 commuter trains, the first batch of 20 carriages is scheduled to arrive in September next year, it said.

However, the manufacturer said that it is working ahead of schedule and would be able to deliver the first batch on June 26 next year.

The second and the third batches are to be delivered in August 2021 and June 2023 respectively, the agency said.

The exterior of the train would be designed by the team responsible for French high-speed rail service TGV, inspired by the concept of a robot and with the train’s body painted in blue, it said.

The new trains are to be unveiled on Dec. 13, it said.

The first batch of 24 intercity train carriages is to be delivered in January 2021, followed by the second and third batches in November 2021 and April 2023 respectively.

The fourth and last batches are to be shipped in December 2023 and August 2024 respectively, the agency said.

The exterior designs of these newly purchased trains would be completed in the middle of next year, TRA Deputy Director-General Feng Hui-sheng (馮輝昇) said, adding that all new trains would be in operation by 2024.

As the agency’s fleet would still have a high percentage of old carriages, Feng said that it would ensure that the new ones are used efficiently.

The TRA said it has entrusted a consulting firm with the task of drawing up a plan to gradually replace the old trains with new ones, including 518 old carriages used for Tzukuang Express, Fuhsing service, Tzuchiang Express and diesel-powered trains.

The plan is to be made public before June next year, the agency said.

TRA will start replacing old train carriages in 2021, when manufacturers begin delivering the new ones.

It is planning to recategorize the fleet into three: commuter trains, intercity trains and tourism trains.

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