TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Puyuma Express train departing from Fangliao Station in Taiwan’s southern county of Pingtung on Saturday night (Oct. 31) became the first electric train in the country to have traveled through the country’s Central Mountain Range.
At 10:17 p.m., the electric Puyuma Express train slowly pulled into Zhiben Station in southeastern Taiwan. More than 10 Taiwan Railways Administration’s (TRA) engineers stepped down from the train and congratulated each other before taking photos, according to a CNA report.
The Puyuma Express train left Fangliao Station at 9:25 p.m. on Saturday and arrived at Zhiben Station at 10:17 p.m., five minutes earlier than the scheduled time. The historic run is a testimony to the last stage of railroad electrification in Taiwan.
From late Saturday night to dawn on Sunday, a total of six Puyuma Express trains and four electric local trains successfully completed trial runs through the Central Mountain Range on the South Link Line.
Hsu Hsin-ding (徐信鼎), a TRA electric power official, said on Sunday that the entire trial run of the South Link Line’s railroad electrification went smoothly, with the eight-car Puyuma Express train getting up to speeds of 120 kilometers per hour. He added that further trial runs will be conducted over the next six nights.
The electrification of the South Link Line is scheduled to be officially up and running by Dec. 23, when the entire around-the-island railroad electrification will be completed. The project is estimated to enhance TRA’s weekend transportation capability by 13 percent and save up to 27 minutes of travel time between Kaohsiung and Taitung.