Taiwanese, Japanese railways launch train decoration exchange program

Taipei, A train in Taiwan has been painted and decorated to look like a Japanese model, as part of an exchange agreement between the railway operators in the two countries, Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said Sunday.

In a statement, the TRA said one of its EMU500 trains now bears the same distinctive red and white striped colors of a model operated by Japan's Shinano Railway Co., Ltd. and will be put into service Tuesday along Taiwan's west coast.

The arrangement is part of an exchange agreement signed by the two railways in March 2018 to help promote exchanges between Taiwan and central Japan and establish sister railway stations.

Under the agreement, one of the trains in Shinano Railway's 115 series was painted to look like the TRA's EMU100 Tze-Chiang Express train and started operation on Nov. 15, 2018 between Karuizawa and Myoko-Kogen stations.

In addition, the two railways in May 2018 launched a ticket exchange program that allows passengers to exchange certain TRA tickets for a two-day Banzai pass on the Shinano Railway until March 31.

Taiwanese visitors holding a used Jiji line one-day pass can exchange it for a Shinano Railway Banzai two-day pass, under the agreement.

Travelers holding a TRA ticket showing departure from or arrival at Hualien Station or with a Hualien Station stamp can also exchange it for a free Shinano Railway Banzai two-day pass.

Any Shinano Railway ticket holder with a Banzai two-day pass or Karuizawa-Nakano one-day pass can exchange the ticket for a complementary one-day pass for train services on any of the TRA's most popular branch lines -- the Pingxi-Shenao line, Neiwan line, and Jiji line.

The ticket exchange, however, must be done at Taipei Main Station, Hsinchu Station or Erhshui Station.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel