10,000 passengers delayed by THSR incident
By Joy Lee, The China Post
April 30, 2014, 12:01 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- About 10,000 passengers' schedules were affected by the delay of 24 trains yesterday. Delays occurred due to a switch lever malfunction at Taipei Station, the Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) announced yesterday.
The THSR apologized for the incident which delayed over 10,000 passengers, stating that the compensation for passengers affected will be handled with leniency.
According to the THSR, the initial investigation showed that the malfunction was a result of a faulty diode.
The THSR said that a total of 24 trains were delayed for over five minutes and of those trains 13 were delayed by more than 30 minutes, comprising seven southbound trains and six northbound trains.
Passengers whose destination was Taipei Station but who were forced to get off at Banqiao Station will have their delay determined according to the time it takes to travel from their departure cities to Banqiao Station plus 30 minutes.
Based on the THSR's refund policy for delayed trains, passengers whose trains were delayed between 30 to 60 minutes can choose to be refunded for 50 percent of their ticket's price or receive a voucher that will allow them to purchase another train ticket for half of the regular price regardless of destination.
The THSR said that passengers who were delayed for over 60 minutes can opt to receive a full refund or a voucher for them to take a train to a destination of their choosing free of charge.
Passengers whose trains were canceled due to this incident may also request a full refund. And passengers who were forced to get off the trains prior to their destinations will be refunded for the part of the trip that they did not take by train.
THSR stated that all passengers can request refunds at its service counters at all train stations.
60th Switch Lever Malfunction in 6 Years
The THSR said that switch lever malfunctions that caused delays longer than five minutes had occurred 60 times since the high-speed rail was launched over six years ago.
According to the THSR, the device that is equipped on railway turnouts to monitor switch levers has broken down five times already this year.
Based on the initial investigation, the THSR said, the microswitch showed signs of instability, which resulted in the diode breaking down.
The THSR said that it is the first time that a diode malfunction caused trains to be delayed since they started service.
Railway technicians did discover an abnormal situation with the switch lever, and they checked the microswitch immediately.
After they investigated the situation, they discovered that the diode had broken down.
The THSR said that the high-speed rails in other countries all use the same switch levers and equipment produced by Siemens, but they have not experienced the same problems like Taiwan has. Therefore, the THSR said that it will ask Siemens to assist it in discovering the cause behind the failing switches.