Taiwan is to receive the first of 50 intercity express trains from Japanese manufacturer Hitachi Rail about one month later than scheduled on July 30, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said.
The first train delivery had been delayed by about a month because Japanese technicians were unable to visit Taiwan last month due to strict border controls following a COVID-19 outbreak that started in May, the TRA said in a statement on Wednesday.
Taiwan has imposed an entry ban on foreign nationals, and only those with a residence permit or who have obtained special permission from authorities are allowed to enter the nation.
Photo courtesy of the Taiwan Railways Administration
Subsequent deliveries, including six trains of the same model that the TRA had expected to receive by the end of the year, could also be delayed, it said, adding that its plan to have all 50 trains by 2024 remains unchanged.
After the new train, an EMU3000 model consisting of 12 cars, arrives at the Port of Hualien, it would be tested for quality and safety for about three months before entering service, the TRA said.
The TRA, Hitachi and TUV Rheinland Taiwan would oversee the testing, with TUV Rheinland performing independent verification and validation, the agency said.
Nine Hitachi engineers arrived on Monday and are in quarantine, while another 26 engineers and supervisors are expected to arrive soon, and complete 14-day quarantines and other health-related requirements before the end of the month, TRA said.
The TRA ordered 50 EMU3000 trains to retire trains that are more than 30 years old and provide additional seating capacity on Taiwan’s east coast line, tickets for which can be difficult to obtain.
The TRA has said that the new trains would “effectively solve the difficulties passengers have in obtaining tickets to travel to Hualien or Taitung.”
The most commonly used trains for those destinations are the Taroko and Puyuma express trains, which only have eight cars.
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