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Railway electrification brings Taitung closer for tourists
Central News Agency
2014-06-28 11:25 AM
Taipei, June 28 (CNA) Travel time by train between Taipei and the southeastern city of Taitung was shortened to 3.5 hours at most Saturday, making it easier for tourists to visit the scenic but remote part of the island. Depending on the number of stops, the new Puyuma Express can complete the journey in 3.5 hours or 4 hours and five minutes. That compared with the 4.5 hours needed for the fastest train service available between the two cities until now. The saving in travel time is welcomed by many residents of Taitung County, who have complained of a lack of easy access to the population center in northwestern Taiwan.

The saving is made possible by the electrification of the 152-kilometer section of railway between Hualien and Taitung, a project that took five years to complete. The project includes straightening some of the curves and the building of a new 5.3-kilometer tunnel, allowing maximum travel speed to be increased to 130 kilometers per hour. With the completion of the project, travel time between Hualien, one of the biggest cities along Taiwan's Pacific coast, and Taitung has been cut short from 123 minutes to under 90 minutes. The new and faster Puyuma Experess service was inaugurated Saturday morning in Taitung in a ceremony presided over by President Ma Ying-jeou along with Premier Jiang Yi-huah and other officials. (By Tyson Lu and Jay Chen)

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