Japanese firm to fix system defect on TRA trains

DERAILMENT::Nippon Sharyo reportedly said that the fatal Oct. 21 accident in Yilan County was caused by a defective system on the Puyuma Express trains

Staff writer, with CNA

Fri, Nov 09, 2018 - Page 3

The Japanese maker of an express train hat derailed in Yilan County last month has promised to fix what it said was a system defect in the trains supplied to Taiwan, the Asahi Shimbun reported yesterday.

The statement from Nippon Sharyo came after the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) on Friday last week requested that the manufacturer examine its Puyuma Express trains for defects, the Japanese newspaper said.

On Oct. 21, one of the Puyuma trains derailed on a curve in Yilan, killing 18 people and injuring nearly 200, in Taiwan’s worst train accident in nearly three decades.

Media reports quoted Nippon Sharyo on Thursday last week as saying that the accident had occurred because of a defective system on the train.

The train’s central control system is supposed to activate if the speed limit is exceeded and it should alert the driver and connect to the automatic train protection (ATP) system at the control center if the driver shuts down the ATP on the train, the TRA said.

However, that entire system failed on the Puyuma train that crashed last month, the TRA said.

Taiwanese investigators found that the driver of the Puyuma train had shut off the ATP system due to a power problem and that the train was traveling at 140kph as it entered a curve where it crashed with 336 passengers on board, nearly double the 75kph limit for that section.