The two 10-car trains were welcomed at an event attended by officials from the Taiwanese government and related agencies at the Port of Hualien. The order is Hyundai Rotem’s first in Taiwan since it was awarded an order for 56 cars in 1999.

The new commuter trains will be used on existing suburban lines with the first EMUs set to enter service in 2021 following testing. The full fleet is scheduled for delivery by 2023. The 130km/h trains are 10% lighter than current trains, making them more energy efficient.

TRA’s aesthetics committee worked with Hyundai Rotem to give the new trains a streamlined, futuristic appearance, with the design unveiled at the Taiwan Rail Symposium at Taipei’s Central station last year.

The trains feature Wi-Fi, headrests, five toilets, and a storage area with room for up to 12 bicycles. There is also space for eight wheelchairs and designated seats for pregnant passengers which light up pink when someone carrying a special transmitter is nearby, alerting others that the seat is needed.

TRA is extending 25 of its 160m-long platforms to accommodate the 200m-long trains. Four stations will be extended this year, with the remaining platforms completed by the end of next year.

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