Contingency bus services launched after quake damages railway in eastern Taiwan
Taipei, Sept. 19 (CNA) Contingency bus services have been put in place to transport passengers between Hualien and Taitung counties on Taiwan's east coast after a magnitude 6.8 earthquake damaged railway facilities on Sunday, according to the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA).
Before normal train services resume, the "quasi-train" services will be provided every hour from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily between Hualien and Taitung train stations, with stops in Ji'an, Shoufeng, Fenglin, Guangfu, Ruisui, Yuli, Fuli, Chishang, Guanshan and Luye, the TRA said.
According to the TRA, while most of the damaged railway tracks can be repaired by Tuesday, the seriously twisted tracks along a nearly 1-kilometer section won't be repaired until Sept. 25.
Meanwhile, the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board will launch an investigation into the derailment of a Tze-chiang limited express train at Dongli Station, with the six derailed carriages expected to be removed by Sept. 30.
In addition, a displaced bridge and around 40 damaged electricity poles near the Dongli station as well as the broken No. 11 cushion block under the Wanli Creek Bridge are being repaired by technicians, according to the TRA.
Affected passengers eligible to return or change their tickets can do so within a year, the TRA said.
Sunday's magnitude 6.8 earthquake, the worst to hit Taitung County in southeastern Taiwan in 49 years, occurred around an hour after a magnitude 5.9 temblor, causing destruction to roads, at least one building and other infrastructure.
On Saturday, a magnitude 6.4 earthquake had stricken Taitung at 9:41 p.m.
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