The Taiwan Railways Administration’s (TRA) two new EMU900 regional trains are to begin operations on Sunday to transport travelers during the Tomb Sweeping Day long weekend.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) were among the government officials yesterday afternoon presiding over the train’s inauguration ceremony at Keelung Railway Station, the starting point of the nation’s trunk line.
The two regional trains are part of the operator’s acquisition plan from 2015 to 2024, the TRA said, adding that the plan also includes the purchase of EMU3000 intercity trains.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
The addition of the regional and intercity trains to its fleet would greatly increase the agency’s capacity, and enhance the service quality for commuters and long-distance travelers, Tsai said.
“We hope that the TRA will offer quality and safe service, and demonstrate professionalism in the operation, maintenance and deployment of the trains, as well as in customer service,” she said.
New railway systems bring new development opportunities and create new communities, Su said.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
The Forward-Looking Infrastructure Development Program has earmarked NT$190 billion (US$6.66 billion) for railway projects, as they are key infrastructure for the country’s development in the next three decades, he said.
Lin said that the new trains are only the beginning, and that the TRA must ensure thorough maintenance of trains and regular trainings for its staff.
The TRA should also enhance reliability and safety, as this would constitute quality service, he said.
The EMU900’s passenger seats are light blue and priority seats are light pink.
The first and 10th cars are equipped with 12 bicycle racks.
The sixth car features priority spaces for wheelchairs that can also be used for baby strollers.
Pregnant women can request a remote control from train staff, which would allow them operate light and sound signals next to priority seats to remind other passengers to yield the seats.
Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Chi Wen-chung (祁文中), who also serves as acting TRA director, said that the nation’s regional trains are mostly operated with eight railcars.
However, an EMU900 would have 10 cars, increasing the capacity by 40 percent, he said.
EMU900s are manufactured by South Korea-based Hyundai Rotem.
The remaining 500 EMU900s ordered by the operator are to be delivered in three batches: 100 this year, 120 next year and 280 in 2023, the agency said.
The orders totaled NT$25.3 billion, it said.
The operator has also purchased 600 new railcars for intercity trains from Japan’s Toshiba.
“We will retire old regional trains and intercity trains based on the delivery schedules for new trains,” Chi said.
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