Japanese manufacturer to repair faulty Puyuma trains

Tokyo, Nov. 9 (CNA)-The Japanese maker of an express train that fatally derailed in Taiwan last month has promised to fix what it said was a system defect in its Puyuma trains supplied to Taiwan, the Asahi Shimbun reported Thursday.

The statement from Nippon Sharyo, Ltd. came after the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) on Nov. 2 requested that the manufacturer examine its Puyuma trains for defects, according to the Japanese newspaper.

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

Following the deadly derailment, Nippon Sharyo said on Nov. 1 that the accident had occurred because of a defective system on the train, according to media reports.

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, according to the TRA.

However, that entire system failed on the Puyuma train that crashed in Taiwan, the TRA said.

Taiwan 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 a speed of 140 kilometers per hour as it entered a curve where it crashed with 336 passengers on board, nearly double the 75 kph limit for that section.