Landslide knocks north Taiwan railway line out for 4 days

Landslide Danger Alert

Rocks fallen on the railway line between Taipei City and the east coast might take four days to be removed, Transportation Minister Lin Chia-long (林佳龍) said Friday (Dec. 4).

Days of heavy rain are believed to have caused the landslide, which came one day after the fallout from a previous landslip was cleared. The latest rockslide occurred between Ruifang and Houtong in New Taipei City, CNA reported.

The area houses several popular tourist attractions, including a goldmine museum, the cat-friendly village of Houtong, the mountain town of Jiufen, rivers and hiking trails. The railway line also connects Taipei City with the northeastern coastal county of Yilan and the east coast beyond.

Nobody was injured during the landslide, but as damage occurred over an area of 3,800 square meters, it will take three days to remove all the rocks and mud, with one additional day necessary to repair tracks and cables, the minister wrote on his Facebook page.

The disaster caused travel problems for an estimated 20,000 passengers on Friday alone, CNA reported. Trains heading to the area from the west coast and from Taipei had to turn back at Ruifang.

Meanwhile, those coming up the East Coast from Taitung, Hualien and Yilan did not ride further than Houtong, Lin said. The interruption in services caused long lines at Hualien station for travelers wanting to cancel their train trips and buy bus tickets instead.

With the weekend ahead, the minister added he was asking bus companies to rearrange their routes and schedules to try and make up for the temporary loss of the railway line. At least one domestic airline said it would increase the frequency of its flights between Taipei and Taitung.

Courtesy of

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