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Stalled TRA train affected over 9,000 passengers at rush hour

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A train that was scheduled to travel from Shulin to Chihpen in Taitung County was stalled for 80 minutes, resulting in 34 trains being delayed, affecting about 9,300 passengers, the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) said yesterday.

According to the TRA, the train was stalled at the Shuangxi area at 7:25 a.m., blocking the railway until 11:28 a.m.

The TRA said that the reason for the delay was a tree that fell, downing a 40-meter-long power line.

According to the TRA, passengers whose scheduled trains were delayed for over 45 minutes can receive refunds at all TRA stations within a year.

Transportation and Communications Deputy Minister Fan Chih-ku (范植谷) said that one of the main reasons why the TRA has been having problems was that some employees do not have enough knowledge to handle operations.

Fan said that the TRA should enforce on-the-job training for its employees.

This is the second day in a row that the TRA experienced accidents that delayed scheduled trains. According to the TRA, two trains carrying about 300 passengers nearly ran into each other because one of the trains' operators entered a railway without double checking traffic signals on Monday.

According to the TRA, the driver was removed from his current position as punishment for his negligence and the TRA will schedule a training program for train drivers.

Li Ker-tsung (李克聰), associate professor of the Department of Traffic and Transportation Engineering and Management at Feng Chia University, said that TRA employees not only require on-the-job training but also a standard operating procedure that all employees can follow.

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