Two trains were stopped either side of an area being monitored by railway personnel shortly before a slope collapsed onto the railway tracks this morning, December 4.
The location between Ruifang and Huotong Stations on the East Trunk Line was being monitored after a minor landslide on November 30 caused Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) to reduce two way traffic to one line. Two line traffic was restored yesterday, December 3.
According to reports in United Daily News at around 8:30 am, monitors warned TRA to halt traffic as mud and rocks began to fall onto the track. Two trains, numbered 410, and 4148 were stopped at the scene. Shortly after 9:00 am, a major landslip occurred, completely burying the tracks, less than 30 meters from the 4148 train.
Passengers were disembarked from the 4148 train and had to walk back to Houtong Station. More than 100 passengers had to trudge back to the station in the rain, according to reports.
Meanwhile, the 410 train bound for Hualien was stuck in a tunnel without power for almost three hours, according to a passenger who left a comment on the Taiwan English News Facebook page.
“We were stuck in a tunnel for close on 3 hours. The whole scenario was quite surreal like something out of a thriller movie. All power was out and our train (the 410) had to be towed back to Ruifang train station,” Matt Swift wrote.
Train services between Greater Taipei and Yilan County have been suspended, and TRA estimates that it will take around 4 days to clear the tracks and restore services.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications has requested bus operators to assist with moving passengers between Taipei and Yilan by road.
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