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: