TRA catenary severed, delaying over 10,000 passengers

By Chi-hao James Lo, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — A catenary wire on the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) east to west main line was reported severed yesterday, causing a mass delay to over 10,000 passengers who complained angrily to the TRA. According to the TRA, a local train, number 1223, from Keelung to Miaoli reported a severed wire while passing through Songshan-Taipei east line at 4:20 p.m. in the afternoon. The incident caused the southbound eastern mainline to halt, with the western mainline forced to operate as a two-way line for the sake of operations. The 400 passengers of the 1223 had reportedly been transported back to Taipei Main Station by 5:10 p.m. Though the train itself reported no malfunctions, it was towed back to the Songshan station for safety purposes. Following the incident, the Taipei Main Station observed an instant mass increase in passenger crowds waiting for their trains. Reportedly, the majority of the passengers became very upset after waiting for a long period of time. Until 6:45 p.m. yesterday, preliminary estimates revealed at least 10, 000 passengers were affected, with average delays between 30 to 40 minutes. As the accident was reported during rush hour, the number of affected passengers was greater than normal.

At least 35 trains were delayed with the some trains delayed up to 100 minutes. Reportedly, the TRA has stated that any passengers whose train was delayed for over 45 minutes will be entitled to a full refund. TRA mobilized the entirety of its power engineering staff in Taipei to repair the damage, with the repairs reportedly completed at 8:53 p.m., and two-way traffic restored to the TRA at 8:57 p.m. The TRA publically apologized for the inconvenience, and stated that they will conduct further investigations to the cause of the severed wire. The TRA has also promised that proper refunds will be made.