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Lunar New Year train ticket sales to open next week

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Ticket sales for trains running on the East Coast during peak travel times on the Chinese New Year holiday are scheduled to launch on Jan. 7, the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) said yesterday.

The TRA said that train tickets for the West Coast line will be sold starting on Jan. 8.

According to the TRA, in order to help passengers return home during the Chinese New Year holidays, sales for tickets on trains running between Jan. 28 and Feb. 5 will kick off on Jan. 7 and 8.

The TRA said that starting from 12 a.m. on Jan. 7, tickets for trains on the East Coast line can be bought online, on the phone, or at convenience stores.

According to the TRA, there will be more trains added to schedules in order to benefit more passengers. Between Jan. 28 and Feb. 5, 349 additional trains will be scheduled on the East Coast line, while 146 additional trains will be scheduled on the West Coast line.

The TRA said that more compartments will be added to trains, with a total of 890 additional compartments prepared to help bring more passengers home for the holidays.

There will also be discounts on red-eye trains scheduled during the Chinese New Year holidays, the TRA said. On Jan. 29 and Feb. 4, four red-eye trains will run from Shulin to Hualien and from Kaohsiung to Taitung, and passengers can enjoy 30-percent discounts on tickets for those trains.

According to TRA, there will also be direct trains available with discount ticket prices. From Jan. 28 to Feb. 5, a total of 36 direct trains will be added to serve the corridor between Hsinchu and Hualien, with the price of a one-way ticket at NT$200.

Due to the fact that tickets for trains on the East Coast line running during the Chinese New Year holidays tend to sell out quickly, the TRA said that it is working with Capital and Kamalan Bus Inc. to provide discount prices to passengers traveling between Taipei and Hualien, with a cut-rate ticket standing at half the price of a train ticket on the Tze-Chiang Limited Express running between Taipei and Hualien.

According to the TRA, around 190,000 reservations were made and over 410,000 tickets were sold during the first hour of reservation availability last year, causing network congestion on the TRA's website during the first 20 minutes after the launch of ticket reservations.

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