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Taiwan Railway train vandalized

Vandalizers face up to 7 years in prison, NT$10 million fine

Vandalized Taiwan Railway train.

Vandalized Taiwan Railway train. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Graffiti was found on the exterior of a Taiwan Railway train in New Taipei on Sunday (Aug. 13), the first such vandalism incident reported in the country.

The perpetrators were believed to have trespassed on a rail yard in the city’s Shulin District on Saturday night (Aug. 12) and vandalized an EMU3000 train with paint. The spray paint is being removed, said the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA), which had reported the incident to the police.

The state-owned railway operator has sought expertise from the Japanese company Hitachi Rail, which built the EMU3000 series, for tips to remove the paint without further damaging the cars’ exterior. It may take three days for the clean-up, CNA cited a TRA official as saying.

The company said it will seek compensation, but the exact damages incurred by the defacement are not yet known. The perpetrators will face a maximum fine of NT$10 million (US$313,144) and imprisonment of up to seven years in accordance with the Railway Act (鐵路法), wrote PTS, citing a railway police official.

The incident has raised concerns about Taiwan Railway's safety. A Facebook comment questioned the access control of the yard and said intruders could have messed with the train systems and put riders at risk.