The traffic dispersing work for the 2016 Lunar New Year holidays continued for 12 days. To cope with heavy traffic during the holidays, THSRC originally planned to increase 387 additional trains to a total of 2,065 trains, but actually only added 191 trains due to the Kaohsiung earthquake that suspended partial sections on Feb. 6th and 7th. During the 12-day traffic dispersing work, a total of 2,001 trains were dispatched which was a 19% increase comparing to usual train frequency.
From Feb. 9th to 14th, the peak of domestic travel, THSRC dispatched all 34 train sets during this period to achieve the highest train frequency of 8 trains per hour. A total of 111 northbound trains were dispatched from Feb. 10th to 14th and on the 11th, there were 112 trains dispatched, creating a new record. However, the Kaohsiung earthquake that happened on Feb. 6th caused severe linear and structural damage to the overhead catenary system in Chiayi to Tainan sections which led to HSR suspension from Taichung to Zuoying Station on Feb. 6th. After efficient repairing work overnight, the system was restored at 5 pm on Feb. 7th. During the suspension period, there were a few shuttles provided from Taichung to Chiayi and Yunlin. A total of 333 trains were canceled during the two days of train suspension and the schedule adjustment impacted approximately 141,000 passengers. Fortunately, those two days were not the traveling peak of the holidays. During the holidays, total dispersed passenger count reached 2,152,000 averaging 179 thousand passengers per day. The peak of passenger count happened on Feb. 10 reaching 234,000 passengers.
In the afternoon of Feb. 5th, Premier Chang from Executive Yuan visited Taipei Main Station to acknowledge HSR staff’s great efforts and encouraged the team to keep up the good work until the finish of the traffic dispersing work of the New Year holidays . Moreover, Premier Chang and Minister Chen of MOTC respectively inspected HSR Taichung Station to see the dispersing status and overhead catenary system repairing progress on Feb. 6th and Feb. 7th. Then, Minister Chen visited Banchiao and Taoyuan Station on the 10th and Chiayi and Taichung on the 11th. In addition to the inspection work, Minister Chen expressed gratitude to those who sacrificed their vacations to be on post.
During the 2016 Lunar New Year HSR traffic dispersing work, besides the impact from the earthquake on Feb. 6th and 7th, there were sufficient operative trains, well-mannered passengers, and regular operation conditions. HSR functions were brought into full play, which resulted in the great success of traffic handling throughout western Taiwan.