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Second train delay in 3 days hits 10,000 during rush hour

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A Tze-Chiang Limited Express experienced a malfunction which caused a 649-minute delay and affected 20 scheduled trains running between Taipei and Wanhua as well as over 10,000 passengers' commutes, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said yesterday.

This was the second TRA train delay within three days assigned to technical difficulties. Last Saturday, damage to an overhead contact system on a section of track between the Qidu and Wudu train stations also caused delays and affected the commutes of 14,000 passengers.

According to the TRA, 20 trains were affected by the malfunction and one local train was delayed for over 50 minutes.

The TRA said that passengers can receive full refunds with tickets to assigned seating trains that are delayed for over 45 minutes, and there are no refunds for any local trains. Therefore, the TRA said, none of the delayed trains met the threshold for applying for refunds.

According to the TRA, the Tze-Chiang Limited Express was on its way to undergo maintenance when a brake hose located in the fifth and sixth compartments malfunctioned, activating the safety protection system.

The TRA said that the incident took place at 8:17 a.m. and it was repaired at 9:31 a.m.

Chen Cheng-pao of the TRA apologized to the passengers affected by the delay yesterday, saying that the Tze-Chiang Limited Express has been in service for 25 years, and the maximum service years for a train is 30 years.

“The train that had a technical issue is close to the threshold for being removed from service, so many spare parts of the train are aged and will lead to more issues,” said Chen.

“The main issue that caused the delay was the damaged break hose,” said Chen. “The TRA still has to conduct further investigations to find out if the damage to the break hose was caused by outer forces or just simple aging of the part.”

According to Chen, there are 24 trains that are the same type as the Tze-Chiang Limited Express that experienced malfunction yesterday, and the TRA will conduct a complete inspection on all 24 trains to make sure they can function properly.

The TRA said that the newly purchased Puyuma trains will arrive by the end of this year and the end of 2015, and will replace many trains that have been in service for years.

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