Puyuma train derailed in Yilan (21 October 2018)



This Taiwan News article -actually, opinion piece- is actually interesting:

Yu is not actually a full-time driver at all, although he is qualified to drive a train. He usually works in the TRA Office and was only driving the train because of a lack of weekend drivers at the Qidu Marshalling Yard (七堵調車場) in Keelung (基隆). He was the only driver on the train for the duration of this journey.

Prior to the crash, Yu identified a problem with the train’s air compressor. This resulted in the train arriving in Yilan fourteen minutes behind schedule. Standard TRA practice says that when a problem is identified, a member of depot staff should join the driver on the train. This did not happen.

The air compressor was inspected, but rather than change trains at Yilan, TRA made the decision to continue to Hualien and switch locomotives there.

It is safe to assume that a desire to run the service on schedule was behind this decision because after leaving Yilan, Yu was instructed by the dispatcher to speed up and try to make up the 14 minutes delay.

A summary of this situation is that an occasional driver, who had identified a technical fault on the train and had not been provided with any assistance, was instead being told he had to try to hurry and make up for lost time.

To make the train run faster, Yu would have had no choice but to disable the ATP system. He has since said that he asked for, and was given, permission to do this by the dispatcher. As an occasional driver, he was quite possibly not familiar enough with the route to know when the Xinma Station turn was approaching.

It is perfectly understandable that Yu is wracked with guilt over the accident. But, in these circumstances, can he really be held solely responsible?

Indeed, I think the guy was on his day off and not even supposed to be there at the helm…

And regarding subcontractors, see this gem:


Am I the only one who thinks it’s creepy how they quickly assign dollar values to lives and injuries? The part that creeps me out is that money can’t fix what has happened on any scale and it seems to cheapen the value of the people.


Well, they think that may soothe/placate people from bringing out the pitchforks and torches.


Also not easy to make money for the politicians and developers concerned…


System failure …Heads should roll.


The old joke with the BBC was “Deputy heads will roll.”


You joke but I wouldn’t put it past some people.
Just got told by an older man today that the banging from the building constriction next door was harming the fengshui of the neighborhood.
I hope my eye roll wasn’t too obvious


I’ve seen this a lot.
Parents crying because a drink driver killed their kid , compensation is big enough and the crying stops, guy escapes punishment other than financial


They say 7 in 2 years but no supporting data.


Oh and now TRA is denying knowing anything about why the ATP was off. Even local press is calling b.s. on this.

I wonder if the driver has been threatened in any way to «confess», like losing his pension -he does not look like a spring chicken who can find another job/career after this- or worse, having to pay all compensation himself.


Funny I thought that sound is from running on normal rails mechanically joined and is removed when rails are welded end to end .

BART runs on welded rails and I don’t think I heard that.
May have to ride it again to see and hear.

Don’t think the HSR makes that sound nor the MRT .

Anyone can chime in on that?

Maybe the eastern line is not on welded rails.

Again who can chime in on the western lines.

Welded rails should be stronger but it’s done to remove the clackityclack as wheels run over the small gap between rails that are not welded


How are you to assess insurance claims and compensation if not in dollar value ?

I guess if the victims weren’t so fast appeal for compensation and file an claim any dollar value wouldn’t be assigned so fast either

Not saying it’s the victims fault, just saying I don’t think it’s feasible to not assign a value when someone who just lost his kid is asking for money. Are you gonna tell him to be senserive and wait a few more days?


Insurance policies have set minimum payouts when liability is accepted. That’s why they can assign dollar values. Then it’s up to the injured and families concerned whether to sue for more.


Statement from a passenger on the train making the case that the TRA are doing everything possible to blame driver error and refusing to admit the driver spent the entire trip flagging the multiple issues with the train.




I find that amazing and heartwarming. The surviving passengers are doing a campaign “one letter per person” to demand the driver be treated fairly. They are coming up with their testimonies. They do not agree with the man being cruxified to save a few upper management decision makers who gambled with their lives.

TRA is closing ranks against the man. For example, the station manager says he did not hear clearly what the driver was saying so he did not understand the gravity of the situation. That is elephant class manure.

This piece is very diplomatic about it:


I think a human ring around the Taipei Main Station could be a good idea. These dickheads need to be shamed into admitting there is a culture of neglect and mismanagement in place that is putting lives at risk.


Someone I know works for train construction as an engineer in Taiwan.
He said there is no way for the driver to shut that device down without an override, somebody had to tamper with it to disable it.

Obviously the driver should have realized he was going too fast but according to this guy the tra people would have had to disable it.


If someone told him to catch up time and they looked at the compressor but told him to drive to Hualien, that’s a big no-no.


They just approved the resignation of the big guy (TRA head)


And how about the people who actually gave the driver those instructions?