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Ma visits Hualien-Taitung railway line

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- President Ma Ying-jeou visited Taitung County on April 18 to inspect the progress of the railway electrification that is underway on the Hualien–Taitung Railway Line.

Besides visiting the Luye Station, Ma also visited the Lin Wang Tea Factory (林旺製茶廠) accompanied by Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Bao-ji (陳保基) to observe the development of the local tea manufacturing industry.

Taitung County Magistrate Justin Huang (黃健庭) thanked Ma, the Ministry of Transportation and the Council of Agriculture for their support of Taitung, and he recommended that the Puyuma Express (普悠瑪列車) increase its number of direct trips from Taipei to Taitung to three per day. Huang also recommended an increase in the number of seats allocated to Taitung in order to resolve some outstanding ticketing problems faced by local people.

Transportation Minister Yeh Kuang-shih (葉匡時), who was also part of the president's delegation, promised that the Puyuma Express will be operational in June. A representative from the Railway Reconstruction Bureau also stated that aside from the speed increase from the electrification process — expected to accelerate the direct travel time between Taipei and Taitung to three and a half hours — the software and hardware installed in the 28 stations along the path of the railway will also be upgraded. The refurbishing of stations will draw inspiration from local cultures to fully display the beauty of Hualien and Taitung.

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