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Old June 13th, 2005, 04:50 AM   #861
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By 968 from a Hong Kong transport forum :

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Old June 13th, 2005, 10:58 PM   #862
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Seven lay bids for KCRC project
Ernest Kong
11 June 2005
South China Morning Post

The first residential project tendered this year by Kowloon-Canton Railway Corp (KCRC) attracted bids from seven leading property developers yesterday.

Seventeen developers had shown interest in the project, including smaller firms such as Chun Wo Holdings, SEA Holdings and Kowloon Development.

However, the small developers stayed away from the 2,528-unit Wu Kai Sha project, to be built along KCRC's Ma On Shan Line, because of the estimated $9 billion investment needed for the project.

The winning bidder is required to pay $340 million up front to KCRC and guarantee an additional $300 million in profit sharing, according to one of the bidders.

The developer will also be responsible for the land premium, which can be paid to the government in three tranches.

The Lands Department has set the premium for the project's first phase of 1,008 units at $2.03 billion while the second- and third-phase premiums will be determined through talks with the developer.

The developer can also negotiate a one-time payment option with the Lands Department.

The seven bidders are Cheung Kong (Holdings), Sun Hung Kai Properties, Henderson Land Development, New World Development, Sino Land, Hang Lung Properties and a venture between Kerry Properties and Wheelock Properties.

Wheelock Properties sales and marketing director Ricky Wong Kwong-yiu expected the investment, including land premium, to add up to $9 billion.

"The project is profitable according to current market prices," said Mr Wong, who added that Wheelock's stake in any joint venture with Kerry would be more than 50 per cent.

The 1.85 million square foot project comprises seven residential towers and a shopping podium.
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Old June 14th, 2005, 07:40 PM   #863
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By "thomaswu" from a Hong Kong transport forum :























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Old June 15th, 2005, 06:52 AM   #864
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Corporate Press Release
14 June 2005
Train of the Disneyland Resort Line ready at MTR Central Station

Today (Tuesday, 14 June 2005), a Disneyland Resort Line train display at MTR Central Station concourse starts the 90 days countdown leading to the opening of the Hong Kong Disneyland theme park on 12 September 2005.

The MTR Disneyland Resort Line is the world’s first dedicated railway line to serve a Disney theme park and will offer Hong Kong Disneyland guests a seamless journey from anywhere of the MTR system to the theme park. It will take just over 23 minutes to get to the theme park from Central.

The whimsical Disney-themed trains are exclusively designed by the MTR Corporation in conjunction with Disney’s imaginers featuring the fun and exciting elements of the Hong Kong Disneyland. This train journey is not to be missed for Hong Kong Disneyland guests wishing to enjoy the full theme park experience. It will be a ride to enjoy and remember.
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Old June 15th, 2005, 08:06 AM   #865
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would you visit the Disneyland if you do go to HK?
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Old June 15th, 2005, 06:09 PM   #866
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East Rail hit by 16 malfunctions a month - Transport official urges KCRC to get back on track
Elaine Wu
14 June 2005
South China Morning Post

A transport official has called on the KCRC to improve its automatic speed control and braking system, which experiences a malfunction about once every two days and in April caused a train to skip Tai Wo station.

Kowloon-Canton Railway Corp senior director of transport Li Yun-tai told lawmakers of the railway subcommittee yesterday that the automatic system had malfunctioned on average 16 times each month.

The system was introduced on East Rail in 2002 to control the speed of trains and ensure they made their scheduled stops.

On April 28, a driver passed Tai Wo station without stopping while manually operating a train during a system malfunction caused by a loose connection.

Cathy Chu Man-ling, deputy secretary of transport, called for the rail operator to reduce the number of such incidents.

"We believe the performance of KCRC's system is not ideal because there are about 16 incidents each month," Ms Chu said.

"That means on average there is one incident every two days. We feel there's a need to greatly improve stability."

By comparison, Ms Chu said the MTR Corp had recorded only one system malfunction since the end of last year.

The KCRC should seek expert advice on improving repairs and maintenance work to enhance the system, she said.

Mr Li said the KCRC would spend $6 million to upgrade its signalling system to correct the problem by the end of the year.

It would also place a second staff member in driving compartments to ensure trains stopped at the required stations while being manually operated, he said.

On other railway matters, lawmakers once again pressed MTR Corp executives to extend concessions to families using the Disneyland Resort Line.

However, MTR deputy operations director Andrew McCusker declined the request, saying fares would be determined by market forces.

Mr McCusker also said the MTR would not begin studying the cost of adding screen doors at eight of its stations that are above ground until early next year.

The installation of screen doors at 30 underground stations would be completed early next year.

But passengers who pay their fare with Octopus cards will continue paying an extra 10 cents on each ride until 2015 to cover half the $2 billion cost.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 03:28 AM   #867
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Ouch, 16 incidents per month is a lot.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 03:33 AM   #868
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Nope, because I am from Hong Kong. Beside, this Disneyland will have a lot of Mainland Tourist and erm I dont really like their attitude to tell you the truth.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 09:39 AM   #869
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfgadv02
Nope, because I am from Hong Kong. Beside, this Disneyland will have a lot of Mainland Tourist and erm I dont really like their attitude to tell you the truth.
I experienced and felt the same way about that years back while touring in China, recently at the avenue of stars in HK and while queueing to check in at Singapore Changi airport. Hopefully, my bad experiences with them are isolated and not representative of the general China population.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 08:57 PM   #870
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Yea, once we went to Ocean Park last year and they just SKIPPED us in line. Then they start telling us why are we yelling? Well, if you are doing something wrong, YOU SHOULD be yelled at. Then they tried to get in front of us but we just blocked them. During the wait, they were spitting on the queue line.
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Old June 17th, 2005, 07:36 AM   #871
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same here, mainlander's attidute id terrable. splitting up and lining up in several lines ia alright but not skipping to the front. most mainlanders spit on the ground, i personally think thats gross.
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Old June 17th, 2005, 10:34 AM   #872
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Developers vie for $9b KCRC project
11 June 2005
Hong Kong Standard

Hong Kong's three largest developers, Cheung Kong (Holdings), Sun Hung Kai Properties and Henderson Land Development, and five others have submitted tenders for Kowloon-Canton Railway Corp's residential project atop Wu Kai Sha station, which has an estimated value of up to HK$9 billion.

The other five involved in the bidding for the KCRC project in Ma On Shan are Hang Lung Properties, New World Development, Sino Land, Wheelock & Co and Kerry Properties.

"We are satisfied with the response as it reflects the confidence of developers in the potential of the site and the property market," KCRC director Daniel Lam said.

The site, occupying 3.4 hectares of land, can be developed into seven apartment buildings with 40 to 48 levels, providing 2,528 flats as well as a shopping center. The total gross floor area will be 1.86 million square feet.

The winning bidder will have to pay a land premium to the government of HK$4.88 billion, or HK$2,624 per square foot (psf), for the project, which will be developed in three phases.

Developers also have to pay HK$340 million to bid for the project.

Centaline Surveyors senior associate director James Cheung estimates the value of the land at HK$3,500 psf and construction costs of HK$1,500 psf, putting the value of the development at more than HK$9 billion.

The scale of the latest KCRC project has deterred most small to mid-sized developers, and prompted Wheelock and Kerry to team up for the first time.

KCRC received 17 expressions of interest in January.

The first phase of the Wu Kai Sha project, to be completed by 2008 and consisting of 1,008 flats, a retail area, a kindergarten plus clubhouse, and a carpark, will require a premium payment of HK$2.03 billion.

KCRC said it will award the tender later this month.
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Old June 18th, 2005, 05:49 PM   #873
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Re: last 4 postings.

I like visiting this thread normally as MTR is one of my favourite systems in the world and as an ex HK resident I like to keep in touch with MTR developments. Your postings above are really inappropiate in this thread, and most likely most other threads.

Start making generalisations about a group of people invites others to make generalisations about you. This gets us all no where so pls perhaps stick to MTR/rail related posts.
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Old June 19th, 2005, 06:19 PM   #874
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KCRC discounts target mainland's Disney fans
Elaine Wu
15 June 2005
South China Morning Post

The KCRC will offer discounts of up to 40 per cent on rail fares from the mainland to Hong Kong as part of Disneyland package tours to lure more passengers to its intercity services.

Carmen Li Wai-ching, general manager of the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation's intercity and freight services, said yesterday the company had been working with mainland travel agencies to offer such package tours.

Travellers taking the service from Guangzhou to Hong Kong could obtain discounts of about 30 per cent on their round-trip tickets, she said. KCRC executives still needed to discuss details of the promotional fares on the Beijing and Shanghai lines to Hong Kong but the discount should be at least 40 per cent in order to make them competitive.

It is understood that Disneyland has begun giving Guangdong travel agents tickets to sell package tours to Hong Kong.

A two-day, one-night package for a family of four staying at a hotel in the theme park will cost 3,280 yuan, a package for two people costs 2,300 yuan, and solo visitors joining a tour and staying at a hotel outside the theme park will pay 890 yuan.

The KCRC said similar discounts could also be given to Hong Kong families and group travellers going to Shanghai or Beijing. This could prove especially popular for summer study tours as the organisers could buy tickets for an entire carriage.

The promotion's target is to fill extra capacity during non-peak hours on the Guangdong line. Rail chiefs predict the discounts can increase the number of passengers by 10 to 20 per cent.
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Old June 21st, 2005, 06:42 PM   #875
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20 June 2005
Corporate Press Release
New voice recognition and barge-in feature for KCRC Passenger Service Hotline

The Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) is pleased to announce the launch of the new voice recognition and barge-in feature for KCRC Passenger Service Hotline 2929 3399 on 23 June 2005.

The voice recognition feature can be easily operated by simply voicing the names of the departure and destination stations on the telephone, the caller can immediately obtain information about the departure time of the first and last trains as well as the fare for the journey. The new feature not only simplifies the enquiry process but also provides information over the telephone in an interactive way. The system provides Cantonese, Putonghua and English services.

Another new feature of the hotline system is the barge-in function, which allows passengers to directly input the code of the required information. The caller simply presses the relevant buttons on the telephone, the system will automatically provide the required information.

Moreover, passengers can obtain the information by fax, round-the-clock everyday. Besides the service of local domestic railways and feeder bus services, the system also offers direct connection toinformation on the intercity and new railway projects hotlines.

The KCRC’s professional hotline operatorsofficers will handle enquiries from passengers from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm Mondays to Fridays and from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm on Saturdays. During non-office hours, a voice mailbox will be activated for passengers to leave messages and our operatorsofficers will revert back as soon as possible during office hours.

KCRC is dedicated to offering tailored services to meet the expectations of passengers. KCRC will prepare publicity materials including leaflets to inform the public of the new hotline features. For enquiries, passengers may call the KCRC Passenger Service Hotline at 2929 3399 or visit KCRC’s website (http://www.kcrc.com).
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Old June 24th, 2005, 07:18 AM   #876
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MTR on an uncertain track in China
Real estate will be key to profitability of HK's metro operator as it looks to expand beyond its home market, says Justine Lau.
22 June 2005
Financial Times

When CK Chow, theformer chief executive of Brambles Industries, returned to his home town of Hong Kong to head MTR Corporation, the subway operator, at the end of 2003, both Mr Chow and MTR were at a crossroads.

Mr Chow had resigned from the Anglo-Australian group amid strong criticism over his inability to turn round the struggling company.

MTR, meanwhile, was suffering from the after-effects of the severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak and was desperate to expand beyond Hong Kong's saturated market.

After it opened in 1979, MTR enjoyed strong passenger and revenue growth.

The company's profits were driven in large part by the government awarding it rights to develop the real estate surrounding its stations, with the property business often subsidising the less profitable trains.

But in the past few years, the operating environment in Hong Kong has become increasingly challenging, following a slump in the property market in the late 1990s and a slowdown in passenger growth. Overseas expansion has therefore become one of MTR's main priorities.

Last year, MTR announced its first project outside the territory - a plan to invest Rmb6bn (Dollars 725m) to build a subway in Shenzhen, the southern Chinese city neighbouring Hong Kong, along with rights to develop 2.9m square metres of land.

It has also formed a venture to build a Rmb15.3bn subway in Beijing and explored opportunities in other Chinese cities such as Wuhan, Chengdu, Tianjin and Nanjing.

"Every major city in China has in their planning a 400km to 450km metro railway. In Hong Kong, we have 88km. So every one of those cities is going to build a network that is 4.5 times bigger than ours in the next 15 to 20 years," Mr Chow says.

While the potential is great, some analysts have concerns about the profitability of these investments and their potential risks.

"You look at railway companies around the globe. They are not hugely profitable and they don't always generate solid economic returns for shareholders. That basically tells you that if you are going to build a railway anywhere, you need decent subsidies," says Danie Schutte, analyst at CLSA.

For MTR, such subsidies in China have come in two forms. In the Shenzhen project, the property development is expected to help recoup its rail investment. In Beijing, the municipal government has committed to fund 70 per cent of the capital expenditure.

One analyst, who declined to be named, estimates MTR will still make a loss of Rmb38m a year over its 30-year franchise from the Shenzhen project despite the property development rights.

The same analyst forecasts the Beijing project will generate profits of Rmb60m a year, lifting MTR's earnings by less than 1 per cent in 2008.

"On the railway side, China is going to be a very controlled market. I doubt if MTR will have a lot of flexibility to price. On the property side, the central government's measures to cool down the market from time to time is not good news for them," the analyst says.

Mr Chow says the projects in China will become cash-flow positive in 10 years.

He says MTR will not invest more than 10 per cent of its shareholders' funds in China in the foreseeable future. MTR's shareholders funds were HKDollars 63.5bn in 2004.

But this does not mean MTR will not stop looking abroad.

"We are going for an operating franchise in Europe. These (European franchises) are different from the Chinese businesses: they do not require any investment and we will get the cash from the first day of operation," Mr Chow says.

MTR hired Jeremy Long, former managing director of UK-based FirstGroup's rail division, to head its European operation in April.

It is bidding for two projects in the UK and is looking for a local partner to tender for a project in Sweden as well as considering entering Germany and Italy.

But Mr Chow insists the company has not forgotten its home market, where property prices have rebounded and passenger numbers have been inching up thanks to strong tourism growth.

"Two years ago, I would agree with you that growth in Hong Kong might be quite limited. But now I think the Hong Kong market has changed. It is still going to be very big," he says.
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Old June 24th, 2005, 07:28 AM   #877
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New trains had damaged doors. It is said that people are cutting them up at night. Police are searching for possible motives. Argh...hope they get caught.



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Old June 24th, 2005, 07:47 AM   #878
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Hangzhou rail plan drives MTR shares to 4-year high
Denise Tsang
10 June 2005
South China Morning Post

MTR Corp shares reached a four-year high yesterday after the company expressed interest in a 100 billion yuan Hangzhou subway project in its latest drive into the mainland.

The partially privatised corporation's stock jumped a further 2.83 per cent to $14.50, bringing an accumulated gain of 12.4 per cent over the past month. It has outperformed the Hang Seng Index by 18.38 per cent since the start of the year.

Brokers and analysts attributed the revived interest to the MTR's increasing penetration across the border.

Other key factors, such as an earlier than expected share of profits from property development in West Kowloon and a reversal of fortunes for its subway operations in Hong Kong as the economy improved, spurred buying sentiment.

"The growth story supercedes the protracted overhang of the potential merger with the KCRC and sale of the government's second batch of MTR shares. After all, many investors are forgetful," one analyst said.

In its latest bid to seek growth outside the matured and competitive Hong Kong market, the MTR yesterday said it was examining a potential role in a planned, eight-line, 280km subway system in Hangzhou.

Ruling out direct investment in the project, a spokeswoman said the MTR would study whether it should play a role as a project manager or consultant. It helped review the feasibility study of Hangzhou's Metro Line One project in 2003.

"We don't think we will invest in the project, but will look at other roles," she said. "We will focus our resources on two direct investment projects in Beijing and Shenzhen."

The Hangzhou project would be developed in phases after securing government approval recently, the Wen Wei Po newspaper reported.

"[The MTR's] current share-price rally appears justifiable seeing how the market is building up some expectations on future net asset value expansion from both property price appreciation [and] overseas value-enhancing subway projects," said Credit Suisse First Boston in a research note.

The brokerage is the latest to upgrade its earnings and net asset value forecasts for the MTR. It has raised its earnings estimates for the three years to 2007 less than 1 per cent and its net asset value figure 3 per cent to $16.80 per share.

After the MTR disclosed in April that it was likely to recognise profits from internal sales of the Arch apartments in West Kowloon this year instead of next, Daiwa Institute of Research lifted its earnings estimate 44.4 per cent to $5.81 billion this year and 0.7 per cent to $6 billion next year.
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Old June 24th, 2005, 07:56 AM   #879
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June 24, 2005
Hong Kong's MTR Corp seeks better power deal from CLP, HK Electric - report

HONG KONG (AFX) - MTR Corp Ltd has called for more competition in the power market and accused Hong Kong's two power producers of earning 'super-normal profits', the South China Morning Post reported, citing MTR Corp chief executive Chow Chung-kong.

Presenting its views to a government-sponsored public consultation on the way forward for Hong Kong's power market, Chow said the regulatory environment does not provide incentives 'to ensure companies supply at a lower cost; indeed the incentives tend to work the other way.'

He added: 'As a result, industrial users in Hong Kong, such as MTR, bear one of the highest electricity costs in the world.'

The scheme of control covering Hong Kong's two power producers, CLP Holdings Ltd and Hong Kong Electric Holdings, is due to expire in 2008, and the government is conducting a review to find out if changes need to be made.
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Old June 24th, 2005, 07:28 PM   #880
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Authorisation of Kowloon Southern Link Scheme gazetted
Friday, June 24, 2005
Government Press Release

The Chief Executive in Council's authorisation of the Kowloon Southern Link (KSL) under the Railways Ordinance was gazetted today (June 24).

"The KSL is a 3.8km-long rail line that will link the existing West Rail Nam Cheong Station with the existing East Rail East Tsim Sha Tsui Station. It will provide passengers along the West Rail catchment in Northwest NT with a direct link to urban Kowloon. They can also use the KSL to access Northeast NT through the interchange with the East Rail at the existing Hung Hom Station," a government spokesman said.

"To provide additional convenience to passengers destined for the Tsim Sha Tsui area, there will be a new West Kowloon Station at the site now occupied by Canton Road Government Offices from where passengers can reach the China Ferry Terminal on Canton Road on foot within minutes," the spokesman added.

The KSL is a railway project recommended in the Government's Railway Development Strategy 2000. The estimated cost of the KSL is $8.3 billion.

"The KCRC and the Government are fully mindful of the inconvenience and disturbance that the KSL works may cause to the public, traffic conditions and the environment in the area. We will do all we can to minimise it," the spokesman said.

The whole of the KSL will be underground. Bored tunnelling method would be adopted along Canton Road to minimise disturbance to the road surface. Where the cut-and-cover method has to be used, special efforts will be made to minimise the disturbance caused.

The spokesman said that site liaison groups would be set up among the KCRC and the relevant government departments to agree on all temporary traffic arrangements that will maintain the smooth running of vehicles on the road as far as practicable.

"To maintain effective communication with the local community affected, the KCRC will establish community liaison groups comprising representatives of the affected residential buildings, shops and hotels. The KCRC will also have to comply with the conditions set out in the Environmental Permit issued by the Director of Environmental Protection to keep the disturbance to the environment to acceptable levels," he added.

Works for the KSL will start in August, 2005, for completion in 2009.
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