Signal failures snarl morning rail commutes in Taipei, Keelung

CNA file photo, for illustrative purpose only
CNA file photo, for illustrative purpose only

TAIPEI (CNA) — Signal failures caused 20-30 minute rail delays running between Taipei and Keelung Wednesday morning, snarling morning commutes and affecting more than 20,000 passengers.

The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said the signal malfunctions, which lasted from 4:35 a.m. to 8:34 a.m., affected trains traveling in both directions between the Nangang and Qidu stations between northern Taipei and Keelung.

A total of 56 trains and 23,850 passengers were affected, according to TRA statistics.

Among those affected were students at National Keelung Senior High School, where first and second-year students were scheduled to begin taking final exams at 8:20 a.m.

In an interview with CNA, school administrator Kao Pei-hsuan (高佩瑄) said more than 30 of the 380 students taking the tests arrived late, causing school officials to reschedule the official start time for 9 a.m.

In her 17 years working at the high school, Kao said, this was the first time that final exams have ever been delayed.

Despite their relatively large impact, the delays Wednesday appeared to fall short of TRA’s standard for fully refunding passenger fares. The TRA only has to provide refunds for delays of more than 45 minutes.

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