Puyuma train derailed in Yilan (21 October 2018)



Not at all. It seems pretty inexplicable


While thing reminds me of the Malbone Street Disaster. That was caused by an incompetent driver, not sure what kind of experience this guy had


Exactly, anyone who has driven a car knows you can tell the difference between 80kph and 140kph, it is not necessary to see a speedometer for such a vast difference in speed, we are not talking a difference of 10kph but a huge difference here. If there was doubt about the reported speed then the first reaction should have been to slow down.

There must be some information that is not being told or not being released. There may have been a malfunction of sorts, but none so far is pointing to a malfunction that would cause the driver to be unable to slow the train down.


While Puyuma and Taroko trains are quieter than the Tze Chiang trains, there is still that rhythmic sound as the wheels go over the tracks. Sounds, visual cues as you pass electricity poles, and general feel. Hmmmm.


Even if welded tracks?


There are plenty of poles that hold up the electrical wires. I seem to remember a video about train drivers in Tokyo using visual ques like that to judge speed.


I go to Hualien and back once a month. There is definitely a sound. Is it the looseness between the cars? Is it movement of the tracks themselves? I don’t know. But there are sounds that are rhythmic on the trains here in Taiwan. And super loud on the Tze Chiang trains. I often buy standing tickets and am in the area between cars. Loud.

BTW, how many people were on that train? They allow standing tickets on the weekends and on holidays for the Puyuma and Taroko trains now. Look for that rule to be repealed.



Well, he is being crucified and the whole thing is blamed on him. That is the official story and that is how it always plays.

But the business culture and cost cutting and the underlying mechanical causes of the crash will live on… and strike again.


And the phone thing will keep getting worse too. I used to just see people on scooters playing with their phones at red lights. Now I see them doing it while riding. :astonished:


If there is a regular culture of turning off emergency systems to meet deadlines, then I feel a bit sorry for this guy since it does seem like he is being made the fall guy when it could have been any conductor. But if there is some real negligence involved, then I feel he has much of this coming. It’s the nature of these types of jobs, isn’t it? Just two weeks ago I was at the pool and the lifeguard was in the perch chair (or whatever you call it) and she was studying. I couldn’t believe my eyes. If I was a lifeguard, I would never ever do that. Imagine if an child or senior citizen drowned? I hope she did well on her test. Just crazy.

A pilot I met at a bar was sipping on soda. He told me he had a flight the next day and he makes it a rule to avoid alcohol starting from the day before any flight. Now hats off to people like him.


That’s my theory.


Told you about the foreigner guy doing that while riding a bike. It´s contagious!


Now this is a lot better, Mr. K:

Earlier this year, China Times reported that the number of Taiwanese railway workers had dropped by nearly 30 percent over the past 10 years. It said that the electrical technicians were overworked and at the time, the report warned that if the situation was not improved, the railroad could enter a “big failure” era.

Each maintenance team is now responsible for covering the an area encompassing three stations, including checking for problems such as subsidence of track, buckling, as well as regularly replacing track and adjusting rails. Ensuring the safety of the trains requires a heavy workload and the risk of turning to contractors for the work is high.

Not only is the number of workers insufficient, but the workload and pressure is high. The starting salary of only NT$30,000 is not sufficient to attract and retain talented workers, which can lower the overall experience level of employees.

The interviewee gives a solution, which may not be really workable or palatable. I am not fond of privatization. Chunghwa managed to upgrade its service a lot without privatization. Moreover, given the clique old school boys nature and corruption rampant in TRA, giving them free reign as a private enterprise would really be counterproductive. And they have enough subcontracted employees, as most government offices are.

Ma Shiyuan believes that the railway administrator has been long been constrained by a government cap on the number of employees, and he believes the railway should be moved towards privatization to better meet manpower needs.

Ironically, the cap was suppossed to incease efficiency. However, the overworking in some areas while the same slacking is seen in entitled old hands is killing any trace of efficiency. And anyone else.


I don’t think he says that’s a solution, but the contrary, that to use contractors is risky.


Yep, but he does state that “he believes the railway should be moved towards privatization to better meet manpower needs”. The problem is having enough skilled workers, and in a private enterprise, they have to deal with lesser funds and pressure for profit. hence, the more risk for subcontractors and less stable workforce.


OK, I wasn’t aware of that part since I didn’t really read the article, just the excerpt you quoted.


The real bullet train/ speedy rail /aka高鐵假 is private and works really well! Professional staffing make sure trains run on time (to the minute or seems to the second). 高鐵假 Train carriages are 10 years old, looks way better than normal Taiwan rail cars (cleaned after each run). I use the bullet train at least once a week when I am in Taiwan, and find to works as well if not better than the Japanese or EU trains at much lower cost. Visited the rail yard before in Kaoshiung, it’s very high and professional standards so being private is not so bad maybe.

in related news, overseas news reporting mixed up the train’s name, so my mom called and said Bullet train crashed so she call make sure I was ok.

News about Taiwan Bullet Train

Taiwan train derails, killing 18 and injuring 171
The trains travel up to 93 miles per hour, faster than any other in Taiwan except for high-speed rail. The train that derailed is 6 years old and its most recent inspection and major maintenance took …
Newsday · 17h


I don’t think I’ve ever seen a lifeguard sitting up in the single perch chair they have at the local Sports Center pool…usually they just have a few guys sitting on the benches near the pool and half the time they’re playing on their phone.


this makes me love the K-Man.
I’m sure your reading this.

unironically, nice work Keoni. This truly is your finest hour. I’m hoping we see more articles/stories in a similar investigative and informative style from you.