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June 28, 2017

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High-speed rail glitch affects 27,000 travelers

TAIPEI -- More than 27,000 passengers on Taiwan's bullet trains had their trips disrupted Monday due to a signal abnormality at the Taichung Station in central Taiwan, the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp. (THSRC) said that day.

A total of 17 trains were cancelled and 49 were delayed by the glitch that occurred at 6:38 a.m. as a result of a lightning strike, the company said.

Although the incident was a result of weather, which means THSRC is not required to compensate inconvenienced travelers, the company said it will nevertheless pay for any passenger losses according to the company's regular refund policy.

About 15,000 passengers are eligible for a refund, including either a full or half-cost return on the price of their tickets, THSRC said.

The high speed rail has experienced damage from seven lightning strikes during its seven years of operation, according to the company.

The railway, which connects Taipei in the north with Kaohsiung in the south, is equipped with 17 lightning protection facilities along the line in lightning-prone areas of southwestern Taiwan, the company said, adding that 34 more will be installed by the end of 2015.

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