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Old January 19th, 2006, 03:27 AM   #1241
hkskyline
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More aggravation for the KCRC
Winnie Chong
19 January 2006
Hong Kong Standard

The beleaguered Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation's troubles intensified even as it announced it will retrofit all 8,000 components attached to the underside of its 348 East Rail trains, where an epidemic of cracks has been discovered in the welding.

It was revealed Wednesday that on Tuesday a KCRC southbound train in Kowloon Tong station rolled for three meters with its doors open because a conductor forgot to apply the hand break after the railway suspended use of its automatic system to reduce stress on its carriages.

Also Wednesday, KCRC chairman Michael Tien addressed a special meeting of the Legislative Council's railway subcommittee to discuss the recently discovered undercarriage cracks and the railway's failure to disclose the problem for nearly three weeks.

He said the KCRC will repair undercarriage equipment on all East Rail trains, using screws where possible and, if necessary, relocating components to more stable areas.

He said a metal casing will also be used to secure all major components _ such as battery chargers and airconditioning units _ except for the three- ton compressors, where the cracks were first found last month. These were initially secured with nylon belts after cracks were found.

Repairs will begin in March once the KCRC finishes a study on the cause of the cracks. Tien said it will then take a further 12 months to complete repair work.

In the meantime, KCRC will continue services from Tsim Sha Tsui East to Lo Wu, even though this will mean reducing by one, to 23, the number of peak-hour runs.

``To get back to normal operations,'' Tien said, ``it involves a long- term solution, fundamentally.''

He guaranteed the cost of these measures will not be passed on to passengers through fare rises.

Edmund Leung, the KCRC's independent review panel chairman, said it has still not reached any firm conclusion about the causes of the cracks, but that they occurred much quicker than expected. The trains, which were put in service between 1982 and 1990, should have lasted about 30 years, he said, and that ``in general, it is not necessary to renovate the undercarriages in the first 15 years.''

On Tuesday, he said suspicion over the cause for the cracks has centered on the automatic speed control system installed on the line in 2003. He said Wednesday that, to identify the cause of the cracks, his review panel is studying past inspection and maintenance records.

KCRC acting chief executive Samuel Lai said KCRC has consistently consulted manufacturers and suppliers about operating and maintaining the trains.

Tien and transport chief Sarah Liao argued over whether the KCRC had violated railway regulations by not reporting the cracks to the government immediately. Although the cracks were first found in late December, they weren't disclosed until last week, nearly three weeks later. Last week, Liao sent a letter to KCRC management, rebuking it for the notification delay.

The notification failure provoked the ire of many legislators, especially since there was a report in a local Chinese- language newspaper Wednesday revealing the KCRC didn't disclose to the government an unsound link-up between two trains in a depot on Monday that had the potential to cause a fire.

Legislator and chairman of the transport panel Lau Kong-wah said: ``Every day there may be similar incidents. Today there may be cracks, tomorrow other things.''

But Tien said that, according to his legal advisers, the KCRC was not at fault because defects were found before they posed any danger.
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Old January 19th, 2006, 08:34 AM   #1242
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News from news.gov.hk:
East Rail service under close watch
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Old January 20th, 2006, 05:54 PM   #1243
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News from news.gov.hk:
Transport chief applauds KCR safety works
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Old January 20th, 2006, 05:56 PM   #1244
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News from Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK):
1000 passengers affected by MTRC signaling glitch
2006-01-20 HKT 22:57

Around a thousand MTRC passengers were affected by a signaling glitch on the railway's Tiu Keng Leng line during rush hour earlier this evening. The passengers were forced to switch to another train at Kowloon Tong station, and wait out a 10-minute delay. The MTRC says the faulty train has been sent to the depot, and normal services have resumed.
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Old January 21st, 2006, 12:34 AM   #1245
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In reference to the rubber tyre issue, maybe they mean the airport transit system inside the terminal itself.
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Old January 21st, 2006, 01:40 AM   #1246
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkth
News from Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK):
1000 passengers affected by MTRC signaling glitch
2006-01-20 HKT 22:57

Around a thousand MTRC passengers were affected by a signaling glitch on the railway's Tiu Keng Leng line during rush hour earlier this evening. The passengers were forced to switch to another train at Kowloon Tong station, and wait out a 10-minute delay. The MTRC says the faulty train has been sent to the depot, and normal services have resumed.
There's no Tiu Keng Leng Line.

RTHK...
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Old January 21st, 2006, 02:39 AM   #1247
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ailiton
There's no Tiu Keng Leng Line.

RTHK...
Lol, yea....its Kwun Tong line....:rolleyes:
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Old January 21st, 2006, 03:16 AM   #1248
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輕鐵一日兩宗碰撞意外
九鐵再發現19組件有裂紋

21/01/2006


廖秀冬(左二)前往九鐵何東樓車廠為員工打氣。

【本報訊】繼東鐵發生連串事故,輕鐵再發生兩宗列車碰撞事件。昨早一列輕鐵列車到達兆麟站時,與另一列車車尾碰撞,傍晚又有另一列車在青山公路與一輛輕型貨車相撞。另外,九鐵昨檢查多二百一十二個主要組件及九個非主要組件,發現十九個組件有裂紋。

九鐵近期改用人手控制列車後事故頻仍,除了九鐵高層成為眾矢之的外,員工亦感受無比壓力,政府高層及九鐵公司昨齊齊為員工減壓,環境運輸及工務局局長廖秀冬昨突然主動到訪九鐵的火炭車廠維修中心,慰問逾百名前線員工,澄清政府對九鐵的批評並非針對員工。九鐵方面亦決定不向日前涉及列車事故的兩名司機作處分,又為員工提供個人諮詢及輔導服務,協助員工處理壓力問題。

廖秀冬為車廠員工打氣
廖秀冬昨傍晚約六時,突然主動前往九鐵火炭的何東樓車廠,慰問車廠內維修及檢查列車的前線員工,為他們打氣。她在會見逾百名九鐵員工時指出,政府及立法會議員對九鐵的批評,並非針對員工。她指,理解員工可能要日以繼夜工作,部分員工可能感到沮喪,但希望員工能堅守職位。

另外,昨早九時四十一分,一列505線輕鐵列車到達兆麟站與另一列停在月台的614P線列車相撞,列車沒有損傷;傍晚六時三十一分,一列615線列車在元朗青山公路與屏葵路交界處,與一輕型貨車碰撞,兩宗事故中沒有乘客受傷。九鐵已向鐵路視察組報告事故,並會進一步調查。

針對東鐵連串事故,九鐵昨繼續檢查列車組件,新檢查的二百一十二個主要組件中,發現九個吊架焊接位及九個掛架有裂紋,並有一個非主要組件有裂紋。

九鐵評估後認為維持繁忙時間每小時二十二班車,能應付新春過境人流,前線研究能否抽調西鐵及馬鐵列車支援。運輸署已要求公共交通公司研究,一旦東鐵停駛如何配合應變。
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Old January 21st, 2006, 04:08 AM   #1249
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^My chinese is a little rusty...
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Old January 22nd, 2006, 04:29 PM   #1250
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Quote:
KCRC acting chief executive Samuel Lai said KCRC has consistently consulted manufacturers and suppliers about operating and maintaining the trains.
Who else uses Alstom/MC stock?
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Old January 22nd, 2006, 07:36 PM   #1251
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They already have mass transit lines from Hong Kong - Macau - China???

WTF??? This is unbelievable. Waaaah...... this is insanity to THE MAX!!!

It looks like a lot has happened ever since my last visit in 2001

With such news, I've gotta keep my self up-to-date with the latest in global mass transit.
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Old January 22nd, 2006, 07:40 PM   #1252
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackraven
They already have mass transit lines from Hong Kong - Macau - China???

WTF??? This is unbelievable. Waaaah...... this is insanity to THE MAX!!!

It looks like a lot has happened ever since my last visit in 2001

With such news, I've gotta keep my self up-to-date with the latest in global mass transit.
No, there is no train service from Hong Kong to Macau. There are ferries running between the two cities. KCR runs a train line to the Chinese border in Lowu, and will open another line to Lok Ma Chau soon. Shenzhen's new subway connects to the Lowu border crossing and I believe they will eventually connect to Lok Ma Chau as well.
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Old January 24th, 2006, 06:21 PM   #1253
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Chinese paintings in Tseung Kwan O Station:
Page 2 of The Green Green Grass Of Tseung Kwan O In Chinese Watercolour

Enhanced MTR Train Service For Lunar New Year Holiday. Please notice the first photo on Page 3!
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Old January 25th, 2006, 07:24 PM   #1254
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
No, there is no train service from Hong Kong to Macau. There are ferries running between the two cities. KCR runs a train line to the Chinese border in Lowu, and will open another line to Lok Ma Chau soon. Shenzhen's new subway connects to the Lowu border crossing and I believe they will eventually connect to Lok Ma Chau as well.
I think skyline here is referring to the proposed Macau-Hk-Zhuhai bridge, on which, TCL stock/line maybe extended to Macau.
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Old January 25th, 2006, 08:07 PM   #1255
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That would be so cool. Then at certain stations they could add Portugese announcements.

What would be even cooler is if they added Tagalog announcements.
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Old January 26th, 2006, 03:11 AM   #1256
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cal_t
I think skyline here is referring to the proposed Macau-Hk-Zhuhai bridge, on which, TCL stock/line maybe extended to Macau.
It is highly unlikely that the bridge will have a rail link. It was deemed too costly.
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Old January 26th, 2006, 03:12 AM   #1257
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Safety issues threaten to delay merger of railways
Analysts mixed over direction of plans after discovery of defective train parts

26 January 2006
South China Morning Post

Analysts were divided yesterday over how Kowloon-Canton Railway Corp (KCRC) should proceed after safety glitches threatened to delay government plans to partially merge Hong Kong's two rail operators.

While some believe the company should clear up its disclosure and safety issues before proceeding with the merger with MTR Corp, others say the government is using it as an excuse to delay the plan.

The South China Morning Post reported yesterday that the discovery of defective train components had prompted the Environment, Transport and Works Bureau to rethink the time frame for the proposed merger, complicating the marathon talks about merger terms between the government and the MTR.

"KCRC's safety record should not be used as an excuse to delay the merger," said Bill Barron, a senior fellow at public policy think-tank Civic Exchange and a visiting professor with the Institute for the Environment at the University of Science and Technology.

"The only rationale I can see is to use the safety problem to delay the merger so that the government can be in a better bargaining position with the MTR. This means it can make MTR's minority shareholders feel they are buying something that is not as badly broken as it appears."

He pointed out that the merger would be "the best medicine" for improving KCRC's management culture and the city's overall transport planning.

However, an analyst with a European brokerage said the government needed to resolve the safety problem before proceeding with the merger, which would have far-reaching implications for KCRC's quality and valuation of assets.

"The problem has to be sorted out in advance even though the merger is likely to involve operating rights only," he said.

It is understood the government favours a partial merger by retaining ownership of KCRC assets and "leasing" the KCRC lines to the MTR to create a seamless rail network.

This would mean the MTR would be responsible for operating and maintaining KCRC rail lines and rolling stock with the option of buying them when they become financially viable.

The "asset-light" approach would not only increase the chance of obtaining approval from MTR's 360,000 minority shareholders but also reduce the financial burden on the MTR given the KCRC's large number of fledgling rail lines.

The government, sole owner of the KCRC and 76 per cent stakeholder in the MTR, cannot vote on the merger under the listing rules.

Although taking a relatively simple merger option, the government and MTR had yet to reach agreement on the valuation of KCRC assets, another source said.

Some analysts pointed out that profitability and market share of the East Rail border-crossing services, KCRC's key earnings contributor, was shrinking due to competition from buses and minibuses.

A KCRC spokesman said the company's market share at the Lowu border crossing fell 7.4 percentage points to 61.2 per cent in 2004, despite a 17.64 per cent rise in the number of passenger trips on KCR border-crossing trains.

"Our market share will be eaten away continuously by rising competition even though the pie is growing," he said.

The $10 billion Lok Ma Chau spur line will have to compete with public buses and minibuses.
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Old January 26th, 2006, 03:13 AM   #1258
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MTR train arsonist gets maximum life term for grudge attack
26 January 2006
South China Morning Post

Screaming "release me! I'm not guilty!", an elderly man was sentenced to life in prison yesterday for setting fire to an MTR train.

Because of his repeated disruptions of proceedings in the Court of First Instance, Yim Kam-chung, 68, was held in a separate room, linked by video, to hear Mr Justice Louis Tong Po-sun hand down the maximum sentence for arson.

The judge said Yim's action in igniting a bottle of solvent in a train carriage had been premeditated and "extremely dangerous".

But he added there was a need for society to take better care of elderly people living alone, such as Yim, whose isolation may have prompted him to "think radically". The judge also praised passengers who had helped others escape without regard for their own safety.

The court heard reports from two psychiatrists, one of whom said Yim was free of any delusional or personality disorders, and one who said he did have such problems and that hospital confinement would be appropriate.

As had happened often during the trial, Yim was moved to the separate room after repeatedly screaming: "I didn't leave my house on the day, I didn't set the fire! Release me! I'm not guilty!"

The sentence will be reviewed after 10 years. Prosecutor Arthur Luk SC said he was not aware of any previous arson cases in which the person convicted had been sentenced to life.

Commenting on the sentence, barrister Albert Luk said it was reasonable as the fire could have caused serious injury or death. Another barrister, James Chandler, said setting a fire in such a confined area causing the public to panic could be the worst kind of arson.

Mr Justice Tong said Yim bore grudges against law-enforcement units and had committed the offence "with premeditation and planning to cause serious damage". Noting that Yim was "a lone elderly [person] without people to take care of him, and {hellip} to talk to", the judge said: "We have lots of lonely elderly around us, but sometimes it seems that society has not been attentive enough to their needs. I hope every one of us can spare no effort to offer help and support to them in the future."

Mr Justice Tong also said he had been touched to hear from witnesses how passengers had helped each other to escape despite the risk to their own lives. "The sense of civic responsibility of passengers, and the efficient and professional work carried out by police and related departments helped to prevent the event turning into a disaster."

The court had heard that Yim started the fire at about 9am on January 5 last year in the first carriage of a train shortly after it left Tsim Sha Tsui station for Admiralty. In a caution statement to police he had said that because the government had confiscated six of his vehicles he decided to "cause a tragedy" at Admiralty, because the Chinese characters for the station were similar to his name, Kam-chung.

Gavin Kwai Sze-kit, who won awards for heroism for alerting passengers then stamping on the burning bottle, said: "Sentencing of the case has already been handed down. What else could I possibly say?"
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Old January 27th, 2006, 05:21 AM   #1259
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Light Rail trains have minor flaws, says KCRC
27 January 2006
South China Morning Post

The KCRC said yesterday it had found another set of equipment fractures, this time on its Light Rail vehicles.

Still trying to find the cause of flaws in the mounting of key components on its East Rail trains, the corporation said cracks had also been spotted in battery box mountings on the Light Rail vehicles.

But an engineering expert said the cracks posed no safety hazard. The Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation said they would be repaired by today.

The cracks were found only in first-generation trains, introduced in 1988 - 69 of the 119 Light Rail vehicles, engineering manager Tony Lee Kar-yun said.

"If we hadn't found the cracks now we would have found them soon during our regular check conducted every 18 months," he said

Polytechnic University engineering expert Lo Kok-keung said the problems were minor, with no safety implications.

Meanwhile, since Wednesday, East Rail has been hit by two power-supply problems and a burning smell that caused one train to be evacuated.

Passengers were asked to leave a north-bound train near University station on Wednesday because of the smell, which was later found to come from a brake disc coating.

Trains had to be stopped twice yesterday for 20 seconds when the air-conditioning and lights failed.

"I understand the same thing has happened before, but I assure you they are isolated incidents which have nothing to do with systemic failure," Mr Lee said.

He said any public impression that the KCRC had suffered a plethora of technical problems lately was only due to a recently adopted wider notification practice.

Mr Lee blamed the power failure on automatic protection systems recently imported from Japan.
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Old January 28th, 2006, 01:59 AM   #1260
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Wow, 2006 must be pretty bad for KCR eh? First East Rail, then Light Rail.
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