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Old June 30th, 2014, 08:24 AM   #3561
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The "Swap" scheme greatly increases the number of stations reached by Tung Chung Line and Tseung Kwan O Line on the Hong Kong Island, but east-west directional traffic along the existing Island Line will be interrupted and require an interchange. Also, the maximum train frequency between Fortress Hill and Chai Wan Stations, which are taken up by Tung Chung Line, will have to reduce by 8 trains per hour.

The "Interchange" scheme preserves the existing Island Line and does not change the current communication pattern between Central and Western District and Eastern District. However, as Tung Chung and Tseung Kwan O Lines will not be connected to Island Line, some passengers would still need to make an interchange like they currently do. Also, this arrangement will do less than the "Swap" scheme to relieve congestion, since although the number of stations and the area served has increased, the link with the current Island Line is still the same, unlike the "Swap" scheme.
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Old June 30th, 2014, 02:59 PM   #3562
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Still a long way to go before the shovels hit the ground. Think it is still too early to guess any re-alignments.
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Old July 1st, 2014, 09:11 AM   #3563
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Still a long way to go before the shovels hit the ground. Think it is still too early to guess any re-alignments.
The final decision of RDS2-U was originally planned to reveal sometime in April/May this year. However, the increase in rail service disruptions and the construction delay scandals has pushed the release to late this summer.
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Old July 1st, 2014, 10:24 AM   #3564
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dimlys1994 View Post
Taken on 29th May, MTR oficials represents first look at Kennedy Town station, taken from here:



And another one:

I can see that MTR is using LCD or Plasma Monitors for advertisements and train arrival announcements for the Island Line West Extension. Are they starting to replace all dot-matrix display monitors with LCD or Plasma monitors for advertisements and train arrival announcements in all station platforms?
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Old July 1st, 2014, 05:19 PM   #3565
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I love dot matrix displays used in transit. LCDs is like the lazy mans approach to transport information display.
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Old July 1st, 2014, 06:28 PM   #3566
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymous_filipino View Post
I can see that MTR is using LCD or Plasma Monitors for advertisements and train arrival announcements for the Island Line West Extension. Are they starting to replace all dot-matrix display monitors with LCD or Plasma monitors for advertisements and train arrival announcements in all station platforms?
Yes - at least I notice that on the Tung Chung Line as well.
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Old July 2nd, 2014, 12:25 PM   #3567
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Speaking of the Island line, Causeway Bay and Tin Hau stations were a mess yesterday with the amount of protesters cramming through
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Old July 3rd, 2014, 06:38 PM   #3568
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Tsuen Wan line is so noisy when you are on the train. Didn't expect it from Hong Kong. Almost like in Moscow.
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Old July 3rd, 2014, 06:39 PM   #3569
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sopomon View Post
Speaking of the Island line, Causeway Bay and Tin Hau stations were a mess yesterday with the amount of protesters cramming through
At Wan chai it was like an inferno, too.
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Old July 4th, 2014, 06:47 PM   #3570
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MTR signals $850m move on East Rail
The Standard
Friday, July 04, 2014

MTR Corp will renew the signaling system of its East Rail Line by 2017 to tie in with the operation of the new Sha Tin-Central rail link.

The HK$850 million cost will be shared with the government.

In addition, 1,600 automatic platform gates will be installed at 13 stations.

But the cost of these gates has to be confirmed since the contract has not yet been awarded.

Preliminary work to strengthen the platforms is ongoing and the HK$6 million needed is being covered by the MTR.

Meanwhile, the latest document from the Legislative Council's transport panel indicates there will be an 11-month delay to the Sha Tin-Central link, with six of the months being blamed on the new evaluation that is required.

MTR operations director Jacob Kam Chak-pui said: "We encountered unfavorable ground conditions during the excavation of the Hin Keng to Ma Chai Hang tunnel in the Tai Wai to Hung Hom section."

Kam said the exact budget overruns for the Sha Tin-Central link have yet to be calculated, and the MTR will be making an estimate once the archaeological work is completed by the third quarter of the year.

It was revealed that the MTR has already purchased 37 new nine-car trains, which were designed and manufactured in South Korea, at a cots of HK$4 billion.

On its overall service performance for the first six months of the year, the MTR said that 78 out of 912,590 train trips experienced delays of longer than eight minutes.

There were 10 delays longer than 31 minutes.

"The MTR performance for the first half was really bad," Kam said.

MTR chief executive Jay Walder said the railway will focus on keeping passengers informed.

The rail company will also accelerate its recovery and restoration of service.
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Old July 7th, 2014, 05:58 PM   #3571
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Pottery found at To Kwa Wan shows city was trading hub back in Song dynasty
South China Morning Post
6 July 2014

Ancient pottery from the site of the planned To Kwa Wan railway station gives a rare glimpse into everyday life during the Southern Song (1127-1279) and Yuan (1279-1368) dynasties, according to an expert.

While most attention on the Kowloon City site of the Sha Tin-Central MTR link has focused on built structures, Professor Peter Lam Yip-keung, a retired director of Chinese University's Art Museum, yesterday gave a public lecture on the ceramics that have been uncovered.

Thousands of items have been unearthed at the 23,000 square metre site. Lam inspected the relics at the invitation of the Antiquities and Monuments Office.

After comparing the Kowloon City finds with pottery previously unearthed in other parts of China and Asia, he concluded that they were makes from Guangdong, Fujian, Zhejiang and Jiangxi.

The discoveries provided evidence of Hong Kong's trade with these four areas, he said.

Products for everyday use - including bowls and jars - and for burial, religious ceremonies and trade were identified in the find.

"It has been documented that Hong Kong had become a transport hub since the Tang dynasty [618-907]," Lam said. "Tuen Mun was an outport of Guangzhou, and Fat Tong Mun [in Sai Kung] was a transit point for Fujian and Zhejiang ships entering Guangdong. The finds at the [former] Sacred Hill site are mostly related to trade," he said.

A pair of intact incense burners dating back to the late Song or Yuan dynasty was among the discoveries, Lam added.

Eaves tiles from the same period have also been found, proving the existence of buildings with tile roofs in the present Kai Tak area.

Pointing to the significance of the latest dig, Lam said: "The scale and variety of ceramics dating back to the late Southern Song and Yuan dynasties found at Sacred Hill is unprecedented."
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Old July 21st, 2014, 03:08 PM   #3572
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Hong Kong MTR 2014 in English and Chinese.



High resolution maps and in English or Chinese only can be found at:

http://www.metrohere.com/hong-kong/h...-map-2014-mtr/

Last edited by MetroHere; July 27th, 2014 at 02:15 PM.
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Old July 21st, 2014, 03:16 PM   #3573
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MTRC risked 'indigestion' with five projects at once
The Standard
Monday, July 21, 2014







The MTR Corp may have suffered "indigestion" when it launched five railway construction projects at the same time, the head of an investigative committee admitted.

MTR Independent Board Committee chairman Frederick Ma Si-hang, who is leading the probe into the delay of the high-speed Express Rail Link, said in a TV interview yesterday that the railway operator was "overly ambitious" in starting five mega projects at the same time. Ma added that in hindsight, it was probably wrong.

Along with the committee's first report on the two-year delay, released on Thursday, came the announcement on the same day of the early exit of MTRC chief executive Jay Walder.

"The MTR Corp may have suffered from a bit of indigestion," said Ma, an independent non-executive director of MTRC and former secretary for commerce and economic development.

"When these five projects were started, no one could have predicted that the 10 major projects would go ahead at the same time, leading to labor shortages."

The five delayed projects are the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, the Sha Tin to Central Link, the West Island line, South Island line (East) and the Kwun Tong line extension.

Then chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen announced his 10 major infrastructure projects, which included the Express Rail Link, Sha Tin-Central, and South Island projects, in his 2007-08 policy address to promote economic development and create employment opportunities. Some of the 10 projects were being built in 2010-12.

Ma also said the committee's final conclusion on the Express Rail Link, which has yet to be confirmed by independent foreign experts in the second report, is expected to be completed in October.

"Since we are not engineers, we have invited two experts to help us review the conclusion that we have made, which is not related to human [error], if it is correct or not."

The two experts are Bent Flyvbjerg, founding chair professor of major program management at Oxford University and Kao Tsung-chung, director and research professor of high-speed rail systems at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Legislative Council transport panel chairman Michael Tien Puk-sun reiterated the MTRC board should seek new blood to monitor the railway giant.
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Old July 24th, 2014, 05:28 PM   #3574
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Now double blow hits MTR
The Standard
Thursday, July 24, 2014



MTR Corp blamed signaling problems for the inconvenience caused to thousands of passengers on two of its lines yesterday.

The latest incidents came less than 24 hours after a six-hour West Rail disruption blamed on lightning strikes.

Due to signaling problems between Choi Hung and Kowloon Bay stations at 9.14am, trains ran slowly between Diamond Hill and Kowloon Bay, an MTR spokeswoman said. This added two to three minutes to journeys.

The problem was rectified at 11.15am and services returned to normal.

However, five minutes later, another signaling problem occurred between Tseung Kwan O and Tiu Keng Leng stations, with trains again forced to travel slowly. This problem was fixed around noon.

Passengers said they are frustrated at the frequent delays.

"Don't just keep increasing fares. Service must also improve," one said.
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Old July 30th, 2014, 06:06 PM   #3575
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Latest MTR faults lead to assurances on new line
The Standard
Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The new signal system controlling the unmanned trains on the South Island Line (East) will work independently and will not increase pressure on the existing system, the MTR said yesterday.

The assurance came on the heels of six incidents in the past week, five of which were related to signal problems.

The latest happened at 7.26am yesterday, delaying trains between Admiralty and Tsim Sha Tsui on the Tsuen Wan Line.

The service returned to normal at 8.18am.

Democratic Party lawmaker Wu Chi-wai urged the government to investigate the recent incidents.

He said there is loophole in the punishment system and that the government should not rely on MTR internal investigations.

Wu said the MTR tended to investigate each case separately.

MTR Corp South Island Line construction manager Jimmy Poon Kin-keung expressed confidence in the new signaling system.

"The whole system is completely different from the old one, which was designed for non-fully automatic operations," Poon said.

"The South Island Line will use its own independent and fully automatic operation system."

Poon emphasized that it is sophisticated technology widely used in many countries.

He said 71 percent of the South Island Line was completed by the end of May. The line will be served by 10 three-car trains, five of which are already in Hong Kong, with others due soon.

The final testing of the trains will be carried out later this year.

The structural work at Wong Chuk Hang depot has been completed, and 80 percent of the track-laying work finished.

It is the first depot in Hong Kong designed to accommodate trains for fully automatic operations. When the trains enter the depot, they will be controlled by the depot staff but once they leave they will be under the MTR Tsing Yi control room.
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Old August 1st, 2014, 06:23 PM   #3576
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MTR 'best in world' despite delays
The Standard
Friday, August 01, 2014

Hong Kong has the best subway system in the world, but hiccups are unavoidable, according to MTR operations director Jacob Kam Chak-pui.

Kam said yesterday that although there have been several incidents in which passengers were inconvenienced, these were isolated cases and there was no common cause.

He said minor signal disruptions are unavoidable even though the railway's signaling systems adopted the most advanced technology at the time of installation.

Kam's assurances came in the wake of five signaling incidents causing delays of eight minutes or more in the past nine days. He said six types of signal systems were installed in the network using the most effective and advanced technology.

Kam said that the MTR Corp had been trying to reduce signal problems to the minimum. "There are more than 8,000 train trips each day. It's very difficult to achieve zero delay," he said.

In the first seven months, 97 delays were recorded, slightly less than the same period last year.

All the signaling systems on the different lines remain in good condition, Kam said.

The most serious recent incident occurred on the West Rail Line on July 22, causing a reduction in train frequencies that lasted for six hours.

The other four signaling-related incidents occurred on the East Rail, Kwun Tong, Tsuen Wan, and West Rail lines between July 22 and July 30.

Another incident caused a delay of six minutes on the Tseung Kwan O Line on July 23.

Kam said the cause was severe lightning damage to two electronic computer cards in the signaling systems.

However, the corporation will look to strengthen lightning protection measures along the network with the assistance of an independent specialist on signaling equipment, Kam said.

A spokeswoman for the MTR added that passengers can rest assured the signaling systems on all lines are maintained and operating in good condition to provide safe train service.

In addition, replacement work on the Tsuen Wan Line, Kwun Tong Line, Island Line and Tseung Kwan O Line is expected to begin in 2015 and be completed in phases from 2018 to 2022.

After that, replacement work will begin on the Disneyland Resort Line, Tung Chung Line and Airport Express.

The East Rail Line signaling system will be replaced as part of the Sha Tin to Central Link project.
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Old August 4th, 2014, 05:49 PM   #3577
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MTR brings expertise to metro growth
31 July 2014
China Daily



MTR Corp, the operator of Hong Kong's metro system, is hoping to gain more concessions in the mainland as part of the central government's practice to encourage the public-private partnership business model to diversify economic structure and improve public services.

Beijing MTR Co, an MTR joint venture in the mainland, will start operating the second phase of Beijing's Metro Line 14 in the second half of this year. The concession lasts 30 years, and MTR will invest 2.2 billion yuan ($355.2 million) on metro trains, vehicle maintenance and operational facilities.

Unlike metro operators in the mainland and other parts of the world, MTR has a wide business portfolio, including residential and commercial development project, property leasing and management, advertising, telecommunications and international consultancy services, in addition to its railway operations.

Raymond Chien, MTR's chairman, said bringing expertise in railway development and property management to the mainland is a core component of the company's strategy for continued growth.

"Because Shenzhen is closer to Hong Kong and has favorable policies to support foreign investment compared with other parts of the country, we will focus on developing our business in this city and also in fast-growing cities like Beijing, Hangzhou and Tianjin, as well as explore opportunities in the western parts of China," Chien said.

MTR runs four metro lines in Beijing, Shenzhen and Hangzhou, as well as two property development projects in Tianjin and Shenzhen. The company's operating profit in the mainland and overseas markets amounted to HK$791 million ($102.06 million) in 2013, up 31 percent from a year earlier. One of the reforms the central government has adopted in the new stage of its social economic development is to encourage the practice of the public-private partnership model as part of its financial reform to create more new market growth points. Chien said it is extremely helpful for metro operators and helps to reduce costs in the mainland.

The public-private partnership model is where a government service or private business venture is funded and operated through a partnership of government and one or more companies from private sector.

Leong Kwok-kuen, deputy chief executive officer of MTR, said more cities in the mainland have realized that this model can enable local governments to use the expertise and efficiency private companies can offer to the delivery of certain metro facilities and services traditionally provided and operated by the government.

The National Development and Reform Commission so far has approved 37 applications for rail transportation construction projects in the past six years, and 19 cities had metro systems by the end of 2013.

Even though building and enlarging the metro network will improve China's urbanization process, it is quite expensive to sustain these lines.

In second-tier cities, for example, governments have to spend between 3 billion and 6 billion yuan ($484.3 million to $968.51million) to subsidize their metro systems because of low fares, high maintenance and operating costs, according to a report by the institute of transportation research of NDRC released in March.

MTR won the bid for a site at Beiyunhe station along Tianjin Metro Line 6 through a joint venture with Tianjin Metro Group Co in 2013. A mixed-use development of 270,000 square meters will be sold at the Tianjin site in 2015.

"The Chinese mainland has abundant purchasing power and a growing middle class, so carrying out 'the rail plus property' business model certainly can benefit the traveling public because the cost of building railways is shared by the profit generated from property sales," said Hou Hanping, a professor of public transportation at Beijing Jiaotong University.

"Fares can be kept at reasonable levels, without the need for government subsidies on day-to-day operations, "Hou said.
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Old August 6th, 2014, 05:32 PM   #3578
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Signal upgrades may disrupt MTR
1 August 2014
South China Morning Post

Work could cause train delays but will make system more stable, rail operator says

MTR passengers were yesterday warned to expect more delays next year when the railway operator starts upgrading its signalling system. The news came after a week in which five disruptions lasting more than eight minutes hit the system.

Operations director Dr Jacob Kam Chak-pui said the work on the Tsuen Wan, Kwun Tong, Island and Tseung Kwan O lines could add uncertainty to train operations.

“We hope there will be no impact, but we don’t know,” he said.

The signal upgrade operations are due to be completed between 2018 and 2022.

The MTR said work would be done only outside the railway’s operating hours, so that any impact on services would be kept to a minimum.

Kam said that while the upgrade would allow the MTR to add more train trips and make the system more stable, there could be an increase in disruptions during the process.

“In other places, they close the whole system during the whole upgrade, but that’s impossible in Hong Kong,” he said.

When the system was upgraded for the first time in 1998, there was one occasion when service could not resume the next morning because the system was not fully restored.

In the worst of the delays last week, lightning damaged signalling systems on the West Rail and East Rail lines, causing delays that lasted for hours.

Dr Tony Lee Ka-yun, MTR’s chief of operations engineering, said power released from the lightning strikes caused interference to the signalling system.

The strength of the surge was unprecedented and the MTR is investigating whether a stronger protective system is needed.

Incidents involving the signalling system also occurred on the Kwun Tong, Tsuen Wan and West Rail lines in the past week.

Lee said the incidents were not related and the fact they occurred at about the same time was “random”.

He said 50 maintenance employees had been put on standby at critical points in the system to prepare for emergencies.

Kam added that as of Wednesday there had been 21 disruptions this year lasting longer than eight minutes – an average of three a month.

He said the number was similar to past years.
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Old August 12th, 2014, 04:13 PM   #3579
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MTR is world class, but still needs changes
7 August 2014
China Daily

The Mass Transit Railway Corporation (MTRC) is an exceptional organization. It is a Hong Kong Stock Exchange listed company and constituent stock of the Hang Seng Index. Yet, it is also considered a government company. Before the MTRC was listed it was a company established by the government to provide underground railway services. The MTRC has operated according to commercial principles since the company's inception. The MTRC does not have the image of a "State-owned enterprise". On the contrary, the Kowloon-Canton Railway (KCR) was operated like a government department. Indeed, the KCR was a part of the government before its merger with the MTRC. Since the merger, the MTRC has become the sole provider of railway services in Hong Kong.

This simple background outlines the MTRC's role in the construction and operation of railways in Hong Kong. Nevertheless, the monopoly of the MTRC in Hong Kong's railway businesses is not without its problems. It marks the beginning of an endless debate over the roles and responsibilities of the company. In recent years, the operations of the MTRC have been easy targets for criticism and attack. The recent departure of the company's CEO does not mean the end of its problems, but rather the start of a new chapter.

It is unfair to say that the MTRC is not operating efficiently. Many of its problems stem from the fact that the government is its largest shareholder. The MTRC was established like a "State-owned enterprise". However this image has been affected by the listing of the company. Many people mistakenly believe that the government is able to influence MTRC operations - it is not, despite the fact that it controls a 75 percent holding in the company.

The Link Real Estate Investment Trust (the Link REIT) on the other hand, is an entirely different matter: The government holds no shares in the Link REIT. Although there has been much criticism of the Link REIT's operations, the public is less critical of the government's influence on its decisions. But the government's controlling stake in the MTRC makes it an easy target for complaints about its lack of involvement in MTRC activities.

The true reason is that since the MTRC was floated, the government has adopted the role of dormant investor. This was a strategic move designed to ease market concern about undue government intervention in MTRC operations. However this also limits the influence the government holds over MTRC operations and can lead to problems. It is unsurprising to see public discontent leveled, sometimes unfairly, at the government.

But to say the MTRC is not performing well is wrong.

Yes, certain lines may have experienced a series of service interruptions recently. And further delays in the opening of new lines have not helped things. But new statistics show the MTRC is still operating impressively.

Compared with its earlier service record, there has been no significant decline in quality. The MTRC wants greater transparency in its operations and even describes this as a decline in service quality. But analyzing these statistics is not the same as watching angry passengers blaming the rail operator on TV. The saying "perception is reality" explains a great deal in this regard.

Those who have traveled on underground railways overseas are full of praise for the MTRC's service. This may explain why the MTRC has become the victim of its own success. As it turns out, the MTRC has put itself in a vulnerable position in that its high standards of excellence now leave practically no room for error. People are quick to criticize it when something goes wrong. Criticisms tend to be overtly harsh simply because of the government's majority holding in the company.

We cannot compare old statistics with more recent figures. The world has changed. When Hong Kong's underground railways were constructed some 30 years ago, passenger numbers were small. Also, Hong Kong learned much from the experience of big cities like London, New York and Tokyo and the way they operated their underground railways. Therefore, the MTRC avoided many mistakes made overseas and was able to provide a superior service.

As time passes, underground railways age. MTRC hardware is fixed - despite constant software upgrades. Hardware constraints naturally limit the effectiveness of software upgrades. Frequently, even with superior software upgrades, limitations of the space available at stations and platforms have adversely affected the benefits of software upgrades. So there are limits to further improvements to MTRC operations. Its problems are often hardware concerns. They do not result from a lack of effort on the part of MTRC management.

However, with an organization such as the MTRC, managers need to understand that the public has different demands and views. They cannot run the company based primarily on the views of professional engineers. So, it is essential that the MTRC communicates more effectively with its various stakeholders.

The author is dean of the School of Business at Hang Seng Management College.
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Old August 17th, 2014, 05:31 PM   #3580
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MTR Corp should pay part of railway delay cost, experts say
13 August 2014
South China Morning Post

The MTR Corporation should pay part of the HK$4.62 billion in extra costs that the delayed cross-border high-speed rail link is expected to incur, experts in transport and engineering say.

It was likely the bill would be split between the government, MTR Corp and contractors as the railway giant was responsible for some parts of the two-year delay in the project, veteran transport analyst Dr Hung Wing-tat and engineer Dr Greg Wong Chak-yan both said yesterday.

The MTR Corp could claim against its contractors if they were found at fault, Hung, of Polytechnic University, also said.

On Monday, the company released its latest estimate of the project cost - HK$71.52 billion, 6.9 per cent more than the HK$66.9 billion the Legislative Council approved in January 2010. It said the new figure was based on "a detailed review of the revised programme" that would now see the link finished in 2017.

Hung and Wong said given the scant details, they could not tell if the figure was reasonable.

But "at least, extra costs incurred from the delay of the West Kowloon terminus construction should be paid by the MTR Corp", Hung said.

"Even if there are unforeseen ground conditions at the site, the MTR should have included the variables in the original budget."

Two reasons that have been cited for the delay were rocks and boulders at the terminus that posed difficulties for excavation workers, and heavy rain in March that damaged a tunnel-boring machine.

Wong, who used to work for MTR Corp, expected any new estimate to include costs incurred by factors both within and outside the company's control.

"For example, in the case of adverse weather conditions, it's God's responsibility, so the government would have to pay," he said. "What I worry is there could be more claims from contractors, as they would know only the amount of claims to date."

The government holds a 76 per cent stake in the MTR Corp.

It is funding the Hong Kong side of the West Kowloon-Guangzhou rail link and has entrusted the MTR Corp with the construction in an agreement that states, "The corporation must use its best endeavours to complete or procure the completion" of the project.
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