TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) launched its new EMU3000 intercity express train service on Sunday (Dec. 26) with a trip from Taitung Station to New Taipei's Shulin Station.
Before the trip, a ceremony was held at Taitung Station with Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), Transportation Minister Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材), Legislator Liu Chao-hao (劉櫂豪), Taitung County Magistrate Yao Ching-ling (饒慶鈴), and Deputy Representative of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association Hoshino Mitsuaki all in attendance, according to CNA. The new trains are part of the government's push to improve transportation links in the eastern part of the country, Su said at the ceremony.
The EMU3000 train was built by Japanese conglomerate Hitachi, with each able to seat 538 passengers in 12 cars, including one car that has 30 business-class seats, the TRA said. The new trains have 40% more seats than Taroko and Puyuma express trains, Liu pointed out at the event.
The new train will run three daily return services between Shulin and Taitung beginning Wednesday (Dec. 29), according to the TRA. The train that ran on Sunday was delivered on July 30 and cleared for operations Dec. 21.
The railway operator added that it expects to have received seven of the 50 trains ordered from Hitachi by the end of the year.
Regular tickets for the new train went on sale on Dec. 1 on the TRA website, while business-class tickets started on Dec. 15. A regular ticket from Taipei to Taitung costs NT$783 (US$26.67), while business-class seats run NT$1,145.
In terms of food service, the new train will offer bento boxes, crackers, ice cream, and cakes. Those in business class will be offered a complimentary drink and food item.