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TRA announces sister deal with Japan railway

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) yesterday announced a sister agreement between Taiwan's Pingxi Line (平溪線) and the Chokai Sanroku Line of Japan's Yuri Kogen Railway.

The TRA said with the increasing number of Japanese and Taiwanese tourists visiting each other's country, the administration has been working with Japan's railway companies.

The administration said it cooperated with Japan's Enoshima Electric Railway Co. on a railway travel promotion plan in 2013, explaining that a one-day pass on the Pingxi Line can be exchanged for a one-day pass at Enoshima Electric Railway stations.

In light of the popularity of the cross-country railway promotion, the TRA signed a twinning agreement for the Pingxi Line with Japan's popular Chokai Sanroku Line yesterday afternoon.

The TRA said the Pingxi Line was constructed in 1921 to transport coal, noting that decades later it is now a popular line for tourists from around the world. The Pingxi Line is a single-track branch line running through New Taipei City. The Chokai Sanroku Line, which was constructed in 1985, is in Akita Prefecture in northern Japan.

The TRA said one of the reasons it signed the sister agreement is that the Pingxi Line and the Chokai Sanroku Line have a track gauge of 1,067 millimeters as well as the same signaling-block system.

Taiwan's Transportation Ministry said it hopes the cross-country railway agreement will offer an opportunity to exchange knowledge concerning railway technical skills and passenger services.

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Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) Director-General Chou Yung-hui (周永暉), right, and Yuri Kogen Railway President Keiro Haruta pose for a photograph in Taipei, yesterday. (CNA)

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