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Old February 18th, 2006, 06:41 PM   #1301
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East Rail trains to return to auto mode
18 February 2006
South China Morning Post

The KCRC will return its East Rail trains to automatic mode early next month after finding it is probably not the cause of the weld fractures that have plagued operations.

But lawmakers said the move was premature until the corporation had discovered what actually did cause the fractures.

The switch will make no difference to the frequency of trains, which was reduced when they were changed to manual operation in mid-January amid fears that acceleration and deceleration in automatic mode could have caused the breaks.

KCRC acting chief executive Samuel Lai Man-hey said train speeds would be kept the same as they were in manual mode.

"Neither acceleration nor braking speed will be subject to any change," he told lawmakers.

The change in January reduced the frequency of trains from 24 to 22 every hour. But the KCRC discovered after two months of investigations that the cause of the cracks could be something other than automatic operation.

General manager for construction Joseph Choi Kin-hung told a Legco transport panel meeting yesterday that preliminary findings of the independent review panel showed stress applied from the track, wheels and suspension was 30 to 60 per cent more than the trains were designed to withstand. But stress from acceleration and braking under automatic mode was within the trains' capacity.

Panel chairman Edmund Leung Kwong-ho said the stress could come from vibration of the track, train speed or the suspension, but the answer was not yet final.

Legislator Raymond Ho Chung-tai said returning to automatic may not be safe before the KCRC found the problem. "How can you be sure it will be safe to switch back to the auto mode before a final conclusion on what causes the cracks comes out?" he said.

Fractures were found in welding of 258 train components and couplers on a few East Rail trains.

The KCRC will begin a one-year project in May to enhance all components, hiring 60 extra workers. Mr Lai said the work was essential.

"The works serve to multiply the strength of the components in withstanding stress, it must be the right thing to do," he said.

Deputy Secretary for Environment, Transport and Works Cathy Chu Man-ling said the Railway Inspectorate and foreign experts from Lloyd's were satisfied with KCRC's interim safety measures.
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Old February 18th, 2006, 06:55 PM   #1302
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So the TST area is being disrupted again? lol!
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Old February 19th, 2006, 08:17 AM   #1303
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfgadv02
So the TST area is being disrupted again? lol!
But this time is quite different, anyway. When the East TST Station was under construction, KCRC dug Mody Road and Middle Road on surface to connect the TST MTR Station. The shops on those two roads were in a nightnare. Now, the new section between Nam Cheong and East TST is basically digging holes by the Tunnel Drilling Machines (TDMs) to make less interruptions on surface. Only the sections for making subways(Pedestrian Tunnel) may interrupt the surface road.
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Old February 19th, 2006, 08:34 AM   #1304
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地鐵港島南線催化旅遊
業界「好心急」 愈快興建愈好

19/02/2006
太陽報



【專案組記者陳佩雯報道】香港南區憑漁港風情,成為旅遊人士必到的勝景,但一直受交通不便而阻礙發展,一套高效率的鐵路運輸系統有助將南區催化成本港首屈一指的旅遊區。香港旅遊發展局主席周梁淑怡希望當局可盡快落實興建地鐵港島南線,又認為若要將南區發展成為香港著名旅遊區,除須具備足夠的「產品」外,更重要的是得到運輸基建「硬件」配合,否則即使獨特如海洋公園一類的主題景點,也難帶動遊客到訪。

旅發局主席周梁淑怡接受本報專訪時稱,在南區旅遊業發展的規劃中,已落實大變身的海洋公園對該區的整體發展起「龍頭」作用,當其工程相繼完工,南區其他旅遊發展及配套亦得到推動。她透露,現已至少有九至十間酒店計畫在南區興建,其他配套設施亦正在規劃中,料海洋公園的重整可推動其他規劃落實進行。

串連南區各景點
未來若要吸引大量旅客到訪南區,完善的運輸網絡是必備條件。周梁淑怡認為,地鐵港島南線的興建可以將南區各個旅遊點串連起來,又表示旅遊業界均「好心急」,希望愈快落實興建愈好,因為沒有大型集體運輸系統及基建配合,南區有再多再好的旅遊景點也是徒然,因擠塞的交通將無法負荷未來大量的旅客流量。

周梁淑怡表示,旅發局近年正積極向外國推廣不同形式的家庭旅遊,本港高效率的運輸系統對該類舉家外遊的旅客有一定吸引力,正如在南區,不乏適合一家大小的玩樂好去處,由主題樂園到適合綠色旅遊的郊野公園,以至海岸沙灘等,均需要有完善的運輸連接。
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Old February 19th, 2006, 12:09 PM   #1305
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Animation inside HK metro tunnel

Check out the video its only 43 secs. You will see the animation halfway through the video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H57ZZ...ch=Hong%20Kong
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Old February 19th, 2006, 12:28 PM   #1306
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I remember seeing this between Admiralty and Wanchai. Is it still in service?
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Old February 19th, 2006, 12:32 PM   #1307
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This is between Wanchai and Causeway Bay as you head east on the Island Line.
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Old February 19th, 2006, 06:12 PM   #1308
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鄰近新車站 港景峰受惠
蔡慶佳
18 February 2006
香港經濟日報

籌備經年的九鐵九龍南線工程將途經多個西九龍豪宅項目,當中以奧運站帝柏海灣較受影響,可能會面對噪音問題;但暫時未能估計九鐵動工時,對該盤二手樓價帶來多大的影響。

另一邊廂,新建的九龍西站選址尖沙咀廣東道,位處鄰近的港景峰,由於日後增加了鐵路賣點,樓價可望受惠。

地產界人士指出,港景峰過往因缺乏鐵路概念,樓價升幅一直跑輸地鐵九龍站上蓋的豪宅物業(如擎天半島、漾日居、凱旋門等),由於未來九龍西站出口將設於廣東道政府合署,位於港景峰對面,令港景峰未來的交通配套,可媲美九龍站鄰近物業。

中原地產新九龍區域聯席董事劉偉雄指出,港景峰過去一年在缺乏新盤高價成交刺激下,樓價升幅僅約20至25%,相對九龍站鄰近物業樓價去年錄得逾30%升幅,表現落後。港景峰目前平均每平方呎造價約6,000至8,500元,相信在鐵路效應帶動下,該盤優質單位每平方呎造價可挑戰1萬元高位。

帝柏海灣恐有工程噪音

另一方面,九龍南線工程可說對沿線物業,造成有利有不利情況;其中途經奧海城2期、富榮花園及廣東道一帶,有關地底鑽挖工程一旦展開,由於工程貼近奧運站的帝柏海灣,可能會帶來噪音滋擾。

有地產代理坦言,帝柏海灣不少業主已經知悉工程即將會展開,但目前屋苑造價並未受影響。

美聯物業奧運站分行助理區域經理董銘達表示,近月帝柏海灣樓價未受九鐵工程影響,反受惠樓市後甦,過去3個月二手呎價彈升近10%,最新呎價回升至6,000元以上。屋苑本月已錄得5宗成交,其中1座高層A室,呎價更創7,400元的近月新高;另外,1座中層C室,面積1,331平方呎,昨日亦以868萬元易手,呎價6,521元。
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Old February 19th, 2006, 06:13 PM   #1309
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商舖憂封路 污染更嚴重
尤弘毅
18 February 2006
香港經濟日報

九龍南線的工程,令近年備受修路影響的尖沙咀,再度要面對封路、圍板的種種困擾,部分商舖憂心忡忡,目前已有店務員在上班時要戴上口罩阻擋飛揚的塵土,他們均擔心,工程開展後污染更嚴重。不過,部分將要封閉的路段,近月仍有商舖租務成交,商機仍然無限。

「現戴口罩 到時攜藥煲?」

在尖沙咀星光行至廣東道一間紀念品店工作的李小姐,不少遊客看見他時,總忍不住向這位長年戴口罩的女士問:「你生病嗎?」李小姐說,廣東道落貨車輛多,附近又有垃圾站,星光行對外的坑渠經常傳出臭氣,若遇上擠塞時,情況更糟,她現在上班前的例行公事之一,就是要戴上口罩:「如果廣東道要封走部分路,到時空氣會否更差?我豈不是要帶著藥煲上班?」

尖沙咀自00年初起,已曾出現多項掘路工程,目前梳士巴利道仍有封路措施,以進行改道工程,九鐵興建尖東站時更引發大批商戶索償。

位於廣東道的榮園粥麵小廚負責人馮先生說,雖然看見政府有貼出通告,講述九龍南線工程,但從來沒有人回答封路措施的具體情況:「現在仍未知生意會有多大影響,但人人都會擔心。」他表示,如果影響嚴重,將會考慮向九鐵索償。

不過,雖然尖沙咀近年掘路連年,但商舖成交暫未受顯著影響。在廣東道近港威中心一帶,約兩個月前開始有上下兩層店舖出租。伯爵地產經紀王先生指出,上層舖位一個月前已成交,呎價約100元,在新年後亦接獲多宗就地舖查詢的電話,估計呎租仍可企硬200多元,與修路前的租金差不多,而廣東道近北京道一號的舖位,呎租估計更可達700
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Old February 20th, 2006, 04:57 AM   #1310
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The only I saw was from Admiralty to Causeway Bay. It's for Cathay Pacific.

Here's a related thread

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=308140
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Old February 20th, 2006, 06:55 AM   #1311
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KCRC lambasted for reinstating auto trains
Leslie Kwoh
18 February 2006
Hong Kong Standard

Lawmakers and government officials, in a rare display of unity, have jointly condemned the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corp after it announced it will revert to automatically operating its trains, which the troubled railway stopped doing last month as a safety precaution.

``We were only informed of the decision yesterday,'' Deputy Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works Cathy Chu said at a meeting of the Legislative Council's railways subcommittee Friday. `` The KCRC will need to submit a formal application and safety assessment report before we agree to the switch.''

The KCRC changed the operational mode of its East Rail trains to manual in mid-January after claiming that the rapid force of acceleration and deceleration in the automatic mode was a ``potential cause'' of the cracks found in the underframe components on many of its trains.

The KCRC's acting chief executive, Samuel Lai, said that the railway had during the one-month interim modified the acceleration and deceleration rates of the automatic operation mode.

But lawmakers questioned the KCRC's sudden abandonment of the precaution.

``Before, the KCRC was blaming the automatic mode for the problems, and now they want to switch back before they've found the root cause,'' Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong's Lau Kong-wah said. ``The two parties [government and KCRC] are not working in tandem.''

But Lai contended that the switch is safer because ``there will be fewer human errors, such as the accuracy of stopping a train, and this will ease pressure on drivers.''

Even with the switch, the total journey time between Tsim Sha Tsui East and Lo Wu will still be 1 minutes longer than with the unadjusted automatic mode, Lai said.

Friday's disagreement between the administration and the government- owned railway was the latest in a string of communication blunders that began in late December, when the KCRC discovered _ and then delayed for almost three weeks reporting to the government _ an incident in which a loosened compressor had required passengers to change trains. Subsequent inspection revealed cracks in nine of the rolling stock's 116 compressors.

While the government expressed satisfaction with the railway's interim mitigation measures _ such as the installation of metal supports and comprehensive inspections every 48 hours _ it maintained that prevention of future incidents depended on the identification of root causes.

The KCRC previously said it was ``confident'' it would be able to identify the cause of the cracks by the end of last month, but failed to bring any substantive conclusions to Friday's meeting.

Lai said one possible cause of the cracking could be the stress of the train's vertical motion, or bouncing, which exceeded recommended standards by 30-60 percent at certain locations, according to inspections.

Consultants hired by the KCRC from Lloyd's Register Rail Asia Pacific also failed to bring concrete answers to the table, saying they had focused for the time being solely on evaluating the railway's immediate remedial measures, and would proceed to evaluate maintenance procedures next.

When pressured by lawmakers to air general views on the situation, Lloyd's president Michael Hamlyn admitted he thought there was ``an unusual amount of cracking in this case.''

Addressing concerns that overextended manpower was in part responsible for the lack of maintenance, Lai told the subcommittee the railway planned to bring in 60 new technical employees, hired in phases on one- or two-year contracts.

But lawmakers remained uneasy. ``I feel like we're being led down the garden path by the KCRC,'' said independent democrat Albert Chan. ``Apart from terrorism, anything could be the cause, and I think there is some fatal problem within the system.''

The government demanded the KCRC provide a full report of its asset management, but Lai later said the two parties have yet to agree on details.
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Old February 20th, 2006, 05:24 PM   #1312
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KCRC urged to review rules on train inspections
Expert doubts maintenance guidelines are up to date

20 February 2006
South China Morning Post

The KCRC should implement new inspection procedures for its rolling stock to ensure any new fractured components are detected early, the head of an expert panel investigating the recent spate of cracks in train parts has said.

Edmund Leung Kwong-ho, chairman of the independent review panel, tasked with finding out what caused the cracks in the welding of 258 train components, said the fracture as large as the one which snapped on December 21 should have been detected during a visual inspection.

"When cracks on the welding reach 60mm to 70mm, a hammer and visual test should be able to uncover it. Beyond that, it is a matter of months before it breaks completely," he said.

However, KCRC maintenance workers did not notice the more than 250 cracks in the welding until a more advanced test was used to inspect train components after a mounting device snapped on December 21, leaving a compressor dangling under the train.

"Before the incident, we did not have a record of the type of train parts tested during daily maintenance, so we don't know whether anyone made a mistake or skipped the test on some important components," Mr Leung said.

He said workers did not have time to hammer every component and could only perform random checks - one component for every four carriages.

Ko Pak-kwan, a KCRC repair worker for 40 years, said the accuracy of the regular hammer and visual inspection depended largely on the judgment of the inspector.

"It does depend heavily on the experience and judgment of the inspector, but we all have guidelines to follow," Mr Ko said.

KCRC acting chief executive Samuel Lai Man-hey said he was certain there were no problems with maintenance procedures and that a supervisor was on-site to monitor the work.

But Mr Leung, a former president of the Hong Kong Institute of Engineers, doubted whether the guidelines were up-to-date.

"The guidelines on what parts to hammer may be out of date, and those inspections are general ones, where there is no demand on how frequently a part should be checked."

Mr Leung said his team would advise East Rail to review the frequency of inspections and set out a reasonable timetable.

"One thing we need to find out is how long does it take for cracks to develop."

Alstom, which supplies the train parts, said the frame was supposed to have a life of 30 years without the need of any thorough inspection. However, the fractures emerged after all parts were screened under an advanced non-destructive test only a year ago.

Engineers performed similar tests on Light Rail trains when cracks were detected in the wheels in 2004. At that time, experts carried out checks after the first, third and sixth month to find out how long it took cracks to develop.

The non-destructive test, although reliable, can cost between $1 million to $2 million a month and poses a severe strain on manpower.
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Old February 21st, 2006, 08:31 AM   #1313
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MTR News Press Release:
"Red-white-blue" Nylon Fabric Capturing Children's Faith, Hope and Love in Hong Kong
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Old February 21st, 2006, 08:45 AM   #1314
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KCR has a plan to build a new Mongkok station just a few hundred meters south of the current one!
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Old February 21st, 2006, 08:39 PM   #1315
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This is probally the biggest and oldest active thread on SSC, it gone way past the 500 post limit. This has a negative effect on the speed of the forum. There should be a second thread, made by one of the HK'ers.


and this thread,
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Old February 22nd, 2006, 06:42 PM   #1316
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If the mods think this thread is getting too big, then feel free to close it and I'll start a part 2 thread.

MTR surges as rail merger gets back on track
Rail assets likely to stay in government hands as KCRC loses grip on controls
21 February 2006
South China Morning Post

MTR Corp shares jumped to a fresh high of $16.90 yesterday on expectations the government is about to conclude its long-awaited merger with Kowloon-Canton Railway Corp (KCRC).

The stock rose 1.19 per cent to more than double its issue price at its listing in 2000.

MTR and the government, its controlling shareholder, aimed to end merger talks in the next few weeks, sources said.

Brokers hoped the news would not be another false alarm after Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen in his first policy address in October last year said that merger talks were in their final stages.

Mr Tsang and Sarah Liao Sau-tung, the head of the Environment, Transport and Works Bureau, are keen supporters of the merger. During his recent visit to KCRC's Sha Tin headquarters, Mr Tsang assured KCRC staff of their job security following a merger.

"The government is very close to wrapping up the deal," one source said. "It is likely to be done within the coming few weeks."

Another source close to the government said matter was now in the hands of Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau chief Frederick Ma Si-hang, who had yet to determine a valuation for the merger.

"The Treasury bureau is very unlikely to complete on time on Wednesday when Financial Secretary [Henry Tang Ying-yen] is due to deliver his budget speech," the source said.

A spokeswoman for the Environment, Transport and Works Bureau said yesterday: "There is progress in the merger discussions but it is not appropriate to comment on the likely timetable at this stage."

First made in 2003, the merger proposal was almost derailed last month by safety issues connected with defective train components.

Sources said the government favoured a partial merger with the integration of MTR and KCRC operations and maintenance services.

MTR would assume management of KCRC rail services but ownership of the rail assets would remain with the government.

This is to avoid the government selling KCRC assets at a discount, given the corporation's projects - such as the West Rail and East Rail extensions - are in the early stages of operation. The KCRC is on track to complete the Lok Ma Chau spur line and Kowloon Southern link in the next three years.

However, there have been rumours that the government and MTR had encountered obstacles on the valuation of KCRC's rail assets and properties.

The merger talks also focus on how to meet the government's competing objectives of lowering train fares, scrapping second-board charges, enhancing efficiency and productivity and protecting the interests of 360,000 MTR minority shareholders while at the same time assuring front-line staff their employment would not be affected.
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Old February 22nd, 2006, 10:32 PM   #1317
Terrence
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ailiton
KCR has a plan to build a new Mongkok station just a few hundred meters south of the current one!
How did you know? I haven't heard about it before!
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 06:54 AM   #1318
hkskyline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrence
How did you know? I haven't heard about it before!
九鐵擬斥十億重建旺角站
2月 21日 星期二 03:30 更新
( 綜合報道 )



( 星島日報報道 ) 為應付日後落成的沙中增加的客流量,九鐵正研究重建旺角站,其中一方案動用十億元重建車站,並將車站南移,興建上蓋酒店及寫字樓等補貼開支,建議下星期提交九鐵管理局討論。九鐵發言人證實旺角站有重建必要,強調任何方案及研究計畫均要由董事局拍板。

消息透露,九鐵基建小組曾研究重建旺角站,以應付日後落成的沙中,大幅增加的客流量。

由於目前車站是弧形設計,若重建則涉及拉直路軌,及擴闊車站及興建幕門,估計重建費高達十億元。

消息稱,九鐵建議發展上蓋物業補貼高昂的重建開支,其中一個方案,是將車站向南移數百米,在太平道旁垂直的土地上重建車站,並在車站加建上蓋,興建寫字樓、商場或酒店。建議下周將交予九鐵管理局討論。

立法會交通事務委員會主席劉江華表示,九鐵必須小心規劃重建項目,避免工程發出噪音擾民,及日後落成的項目影響其他交通。

中原測量師行董事總經理黎堅輝對重建方案表示歡迎,並指出旺角區是一個已發展的區域,若增加發展的地方,實是一個不錯的選擇。

他指一直以來旺角區缺乏商業的用地,雖朗豪坊已提供不少商用樓面,但仍不足夠,增加優質商用樓面是一個極具價值的項目,預計每方呎地價可達四千元。

他表示早前有消息指旺角水務署將遷出,若重建計畫將連同水務署的地皮一併進行,發展空間將更高,更可接駁現有的新世紀廣場的商用地面,其商場部分更可塑造成另一個沙田新城市廣場,從而將新世紀廣場的價值推高,若有關方案能連同水務署地皮發展,其地價更可看高一,每方呎可增至五千元。

測量師彭兆基則表示,有關項目多以放租用途為主,若以人流或地理位置而言,旺角項目能為九鐵帶來穩定的收入。他更指出,現時九鐵旺角站兩旁種有不少樹木,發展鐵路上蓋物業無疑是一件好事,但希望能保持現有的綠化特色。

  
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 07:22 AM   #1319
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
九鐵擬斥十億重建旺角站
2月 21日 星期二 03:30 更新
( 綜合報道 )



( 星島日報報道 ) 為應付日後落成的沙中增加的客流量,九鐵正研究重建旺角站,其中一方案動用十億元重建車站,並將車站南移,興建上蓋酒店及寫字樓等補貼開支,建議下星期提交九鐵管理局討論。九鐵發言人證實旺角站有重建必要,強調任何方案及研究計畫均要由董事局拍板。

消息透露,九鐵基建小組曾研究重建旺角站,以應付日後落成的沙中,大幅增加的客流量。

由於目前車站是弧形設計,若重建則涉及拉直路軌,及擴闊車站及興建幕門,估計重建費高達十億元。

消息稱,九鐵建議發展上蓋物業補貼高昂的重建開支,其中一個方案,是將車站向南移數百米,在太平道旁垂直的土地上重建車站,並在車站加建上蓋,興建寫字樓、商場或酒店。建議下周將交予九鐵管理局討論。

立法會交通事務委員會主席劉江華表示,九鐵必須小心規劃重建項目,避免工程發出噪音擾民,及日後落成的項目影響其他交通。

中原測量師行董事總經理黎堅輝對重建方案表示歡迎,並指出旺角區是一個已發展的區域,若增加發展的地方,實是一個不錯的選擇。

他指一直以來旺角區缺乏商業的用地,雖朗豪坊已提供不少商用樓面,但仍不足夠,增加優質商用樓面是一個極具價值的項目,預計每方呎地價可達四千元。

他表示早前有消息指旺角水務署將遷出,若重建計畫將連同水務署的地皮一併進行,發展空間將更高,更可接駁現有的新世紀廣場的商用地面,其商場部分更可塑造成另一個沙田新城市廣場,從而將新世紀廣場的價值推高,若有關方案能連同水務署地皮發展,其地價更可看高一,每方呎可增至五千元。

測量師彭兆基則表示,有關項目多以放租用途為主,若以人流或地理位置而言,旺角項目能為九鐵帶來穩定的收入。他更指出,現時九鐵旺角站兩旁種有不少樹木,發展鐵路上蓋物業無疑是一件好事,但希望能保持現有的綠化特色。

  

Brief summeries from Sing Tao Daily for whose who can't read Chinese,

--Mong Kok KCR East Rail Station is preparing to rebuild for the increasing passenger flow from the Sha Tin- Central Line.

--It costs around HK$1 billion for rebuilding, including straighten the rail, enlarging the station and installing the Platform Screen Doors.

--One of plans is to locate the current station few hundard meters south at the Peace Avenue.

--One surveyor from the Centaline Surveyors believes it is a good place for more place for the business purpose. It would be more space for the business purpose if the Water Supply Dept ascertains to leave this land for larger redevelopment.

--Another surveyor urged KCRC that they should remain the green policy for the redevelopment.
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Old February 24th, 2006, 05:45 PM   #1320
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MTR extension will hit buses and jobs, Citybus chief
Residents and rail operator's profits will also suffer, he says

24 February 2006
South China Morning Post

The MTR Southern extension line will likely create a lose-lose situation that would not only hurt the MTR Corporation's profits but also force bus companies to axe 600 jobs, cut 200 buses from their fleets and reduce services.

The warning was issued yesterday to politicians and Southern District residents by Lyndon Rees, head of Citybus and New World First Bus.

Mr Rees, the founder of Citybus, was speaking four days before retiring as managing director of Citybus and New World First Bus.

"If you ask the politicians whether they want extension of the railway into the area, they'll all say yes," he said. "But if you say a railway in the Southern District will pose threats to bus operations and bus services will be more expensive, they'll probably change their mind."

He said a railway extension could be very damaging to the bus companies, while it was also highly unlikely the line would be profitable. "A lot of these branch railway lines in America were eliminated because they don't make any money, but it could mean a reduction of 200 buses in our fleet and 500 to 600 jobs could be lost," he said.

Mr Rees said it had always been difficult to run a bus company in Hong Kong.

"A friend who gave up his Porsche to travel on my air-con bus on the Happy Valley route called me a few months ago and told me the bus was three minutes late that morning. This is how demanding members of the public are."

When Mr Rees came to Hong Kong to join the Transport Department in 1969, the bus services were in a terrible state. "I was shocked by the condition of buses, which were either rundown or broken, and there were not enough of them. It was common to see hundreds of passengers waiting patiently for hours in the pouring rain," he said.

A year later, he left the government to join China Motor Bus in the hope of reforming the whole bus fleet and culture. Within five years, he became known as the man who had shrunk a five-man bus operation to a lone driver, and the one who had introduced flat fares, a queuing culture and double-decker buses.

Commuters were strongly opposed to double-decker buses and one-man operation at the time, believing them to be dangerous and inconvenient. But Mr Rees showed his commitment to the reform by driving the first one-man bus in 1970 from Wan Chai ferry pier to Shau Kei Wan. Double-deckers were roaming the streets of the city by 1975, and five years later Mr Rees left the company to start a new bus company with just one double-decker, five staff and one route.

"I worked 20 hours a day and received no pay for the first five years. I worked in a container full of mice and had to take shelter under an umbrella on rainy days," he recalled.

But the hard work paid off when Citybus won its first non-franchised bus routes between City One in Sha Tin and Kowloon Tong MTR station in 1981. More were added in later years, when Citybus also became the first to buy an open-top and air-conditioned bus in 1985. Mr Rees also introduced cross-border services in 1985.

"To work in the bus industry is like working in a labour camp. It is an onerous and stressful job, and you have a lot of responsibility for your staff and customers. You worry about accidents and the well-being of everybody. There were times when I wanted to do something else, something I always wanted to do but which I haven't had time to do."

One is to set up a Transport Museum to display vintage buses that are "scattered all over the place" in the New Territories. Mr Rees has discussed the concept with various government officials but will only start looking for a venue after returning this winter from a seven-month trip to London.

New World deputy managing director Samuel Cheng Wai-po will take over from Mr Rees on March 1.
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