Lin offered his verbal resignation in a phone call Sunday with Taiwan’s premier Su Tseng-chang, CNA reported, saying he wished to step down and take responsibility for the accident.
Cabinet spokesperson Lo Ping-cheng told reporters that the Taiwanese premier commended Lin for showing accountability but declined to discuss the resignation.
The busy passenger train was carrying 490 people to the country’s Taitung region on Friday morning, when it derailed in a tunnel in eastern Taiwan.
The train came off the rails in a tunnel just north of Hualien, causing several carriages to hit the tunnel wall. At least 200 people were injured in the crash.
The train driver is among the dead, according to Taiwan’s fire department.
The accident occurred just as a long weekend began for the nation’s Tomb Sweeping Day public holiday.
One couple on the train told CNA they were on their way to Taitung to sweep tombs and pay their respects to deceased family members, as is traditional for the event.
The train was so full that many people were standing, they said.
Taiwan’s mountainous east coast is a popular tourist destination and the crash occurred just east of the picturesque Taroko National Park.
Taiwan’s President, Tsai Ing-wen said Friday her government will “continue to do everything we can to ensure [passenger] safety in the wake of this heartbreaking incident.”
Leaders of nearby countries have extended their sympathies to the victims and offered assistance to the Taiwanese authorities.