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High speed train runs on wrong track, first time ever

2017/05/13 21:56:19

CNA file photo

Taipei, May 13 (CNA) Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp. said Saturday human negligence was responsible for an incident that led to a high speed train running on the wrong track in the wrong direction, according to an initial investigation.

The incident which occurred on Wednesday was the first of its kind since the inauguration of the bullet train in 2007.

Media reports said that at 3 p.m. May 10, a train that was not carrying passengers returned to Zuoying station after tests and the driver was supposed to go to Yanchao Main Workshop in Kaohsiung, but the track controller in Tainan Station failed to complete a setup, sending the train in the wrong direction.

As a result, the train headed north to Tainan and only stopped one kilometer after passing the switch point. After about one minute it was rerouted to Tainan and then returned to Yanchao Main Workshop.

The company said there were no passengers on board the train and the incident did not impact operational safety.

All high speed rail trains are protected by an automatic train control (ATC) system ensuring they brake automatically at a set distance from any train in front of them, eliminating the possibility of a collision.

The company denied it had sought to hide the incident, noting that it was recorded in the log.

However, as the incident was caused by human negligence an improvement plan will be submitted based on an internal investigation to ensure there is no repetition, the company said.

(By Chen Wei-ting and Lilian Wu)