Line speeds on the route have been raised from 110km/h to 130km/h and Puyuma Express tilting EMUs have been introduced on Taipei – Taitung services which, together with the elimination of the change to diesel traction at Hualien has reduced the fastest journey time by around an hour to 3h 30min.

Taiwan Railway Reconstruction Bureau began work in 2008 on the $NT 25.4bn ($US 847m) project, which involved track-doubling on four sections of the route as well as electrification at 25kV 60Hz ac.

An interview with TRA director general Dr Joe Chou will appear in the August 2014 issue of IRJ.