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June 24, 2017

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Puyuma trains good to go after safety approval

TAIPEI--The Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) said yesterday that its new tilting trains to be used on its East Coast Line have passed safety certification and will be launched the following day.

The administration said that to ensure that the trains meet safety regulations in terms of design, manufacturing, test and warranty, it asked an independent verification and validation facility — UK-based Lloyd's — to provide the operation certification.

The new trains, added to the line to ease congestion, will pass through New Taipei, Taipei, Songshan, Yilan and Lotong stations en route to Hualien, the final destination.

The TRA purchased 136 of the tilting trains at a price of NT$10.6 billion (US$35.9 million) from Japan and dubbed them "Puyuma" after a naming contest that was open to the public.

The TRA took delivery of the first batch of 16 trains late last year.

The remaining 120 are scheduled to be delivered by the end of next year.

The TRA said that during the Lunar New Year holiday season — the peak travel period of the year — there will be 56 Puyuma trains running Feb. 6-18. The new trains can provide 2,000 seats per day, all of which are already booked for the holiday period.

The Puyuma Express can travel at 150 kilometers per hour, which makes it faster than the Taroko Express, the TRA's existing tilting-train service.

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