• Kyodo

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A trans-island express train painted in the same colors as a limited express run by Japan’s Tobu Railway Co. is up and running in Taiwan.

The train, a Tze-Chiang Limited Express, is painted in the same gold, black and vermilion as the Nikko Moude Spacia express train operated by Tobu Railway between Tokyo’s Asakusa Station and Nikko/Kinugawa Onsen in Tochigi Prefecture.

A launch ceremony for the new train was held Monday in Taipei.

It is scheduled for six months of service between Keelung City in northern Taiwan and the southern county of Pingtung. The Tze-Chiang Limited Express is the Taiwan Railway Administration’s highest class of deluxe express passenger train.

Yoshizumi Nezu, president of Tobu Railway, said at the ceremony at Taipei’s Nankang Station that he hopes the tie-up will encourage more Taiwanese to travel by rail to Tokyo Skytree, Nikko and the Kinugawa Onsen area.

It marks the second round of collaborative tie-ups between the two railway companies based on a cooperation deal signed in December 2015.

In June this year, Tobu Railway changed the exterior design of one of the Series 200 trains used for the Limited Express Ryomo to the striking red and white combination of the TRA’s Puyuma Express.

Lu Chieh-shen, acting director general of the TRA, said he hopes the program will help attract more Japanese visitors to Taiwan.

Statistics show that the number of visitors from Japan during August was more than 187,000, representing 30 percent growth compared with the same period last year.

The total number of Japanese visitors from January to August this year reached 1.2 million, marking a nearly 20 percent increase from the same period last year.

Lu said he hopes the number of Japanese visitors will grow from 1.6 million to 2 million per year.

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