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Old April 2nd, 2006, 06:23 PM   #1401
Mr.JACOB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim de Bruijn
It's a bit confusing, all those different railway systems and companies with their own maps. But the stations look modern and comfortable, but empty in the last pics, but I guess pics are not taken in rush hour.
What are u talking about there are only 2 systems KCR and MTR thats it and they arent to big as well so its not confusing at all.
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Old April 6th, 2006, 07:48 AM   #1402
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By "S3M64~DP2157" from a Hong Kong transport forum :







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Old April 6th, 2006, 10:01 AM   #1403
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love those shots~~


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Old April 6th, 2006, 05:08 PM   #1404
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MTR cuddles up to Network Rail
Andrew Bolton in Hong Kong
6 April 2006
New Civil Engineer

HONG KONG subway operator MTR Corporation said last week it was developing ties with Network Rail's property and track maintenance arms, in an effort to improve its prospects of breaking into the British market.

It is especially keen to work with Network Rail in the south west, where MTR is bidding jointly with GNER for the new train operating franchise.

Later this month, Network Rail officials are due to travel to Hong Kong to discuss its property development strategy.

"We are talking to Network Rail about opportunities in a particular British franchise region, for example in property developments, " said MTR international business director Francis Lung.

Network Rail is looking at a series of developments on land and air rights it owns, and has invited expressions of interest in developments at Euston, Victoria and Guildford stations (NCE 13 October 2005).

MTR believes it can help Network Rail on property development because has acquired strong skills in this area over the last 30 years.

It has used revenue from air rights property developments above its stations to pay for new lines in Hong Kong.

Alongside this MTR also wants to explore ways of better co-ordinating Network Rail's track maintenance with train operations. It hopes to cut disruption to services caused by over-running engineering work.

It also believes it could work out better ways of identifying track defects early on, to reduce damage to train wheels.

In Hong Kong MTR operates trains and track and has developed strong working relationships between train and track divisions.

Station staff are trained to listen for wheel fl ats on trains and are encouraged to report them on a special hot line.

This allows maintenance teams to quickly identify trains likely to damage track.
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Old April 7th, 2006, 06:44 AM   #1405
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租賃形式敲定 不炒東鐵員工
兩鐵合併減費不足一成

07/04/2006




【本報訊】特區政府加快兩鐵合併商討,行政會議昨日召開特別會議審議,因多個問題沒解決暫未敲定。據了解,兩鐵合併後,初步車費減幅會低於一成;兩鐵將以租賃安排合併;至於九鐵前線約五千多名員工則獲承諾不裁員。環境運輸及工務局局長廖秀冬召開內部會議時,力言會「加把勁」,望月內解決合併問題,港府傾向參考過往興建新機場時的模式,先與地鐵簽訂原則性的「兩鐵合併諒解備忘錄」的形式,再諮詢立法會意見,避免立法會成為橡皮圖章、硬啃協議的質疑。

減費過低合併無意義
政府基本上已敲定採用出租九鐵營運權予地鐵方式進行兩鐵合併;將來管理集團的地鐵,已承諾合併後首兩年不會裁減前線人員,即九鐵五千八百多名員工中,只有約四百名高級管理人員未獲提供職業保障。至於合併後車費,地鐵預計減幅會遠低於立法會要求的一成,相信長途客及需要轉車的乘客可獲較高減幅。

據悉,政府出租九鐵營運權予地鐵作價是整項兩鐵談判的關鍵,如果作價太低會被立法會批評政府是否在賤賣資產,故此政府與地鐵在九鐵營運權租金及九鐵車站新上蓋發展權作價方面,花了極多時間進行討論。

不過,兩鐵合併車費減幅遠低於一成,引來不少批評,立法會交通事務委員會主席劉江華擔心採用地鐵租九鐵方式節省不多,不能達到議員希望合併後減價一成要求。他說,如果乘客獲益不多,合併便變得意義不大。
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Old April 7th, 2006, 06:22 PM   #1406
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HK PRESS: Full HK Rail Merger May Be Put Off For 20 Years
6 April 2006

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--The proposed merger between Hong Kong's two rail operators will involve an asset-leasing arrangement, with a full merger of the two companies put off for 20 years, the South China Morning Post reported Friday.

Citing sources familiar with the situation, the paper said blue-chip MTR Corp. (0066.HK) would pay HK$6 billion, in addition to annual rent of HK$500 million for the assets of government-owned Kowloon-Canton Railway Corp. (KCR.YY), and take over the running of rail services. A decision by the government could come later this month.

The plan, which was discussed at a special Executive Council meeting Thursday, doesn't involve any transfer of asset ownership, as government officials fear a backlash if they were to sell the KCRC to the MTR immediately, the sources said, according to the report.

They said the government was concerned that disposing of KCRC's assets at their current value, which is depressed by losses on new lines, could attract criticism that it was selling the assets too cheaply.

The government hopes to record an additional gain of HK$4 billion from selling KCRC's property assets to the MTR or to other buyers.

The merger between KCRC and MTR, which is 77%-owned by the government, has been in the works for over two years. The government said late last year the two rail companies had entered the final stage of discussions on the merger, which would reduce inefficiencies that exist between the two operators.

MTR primarily runs subways in Hong Kong's densely populated urban center, while KCRC runs less-busy commuter rail lines and long-distance routes connecting Hong Kong with mainland Chinese cities.

Newspaper Web site: http://www.scmp.com
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Old April 8th, 2006, 10:11 AM   #1407
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Unions seek secure future for rail staff after merger
8 April 2006
South China Morning Post

The KCRC and MTR Corp unions yesterday joined forces to urge the government to disclose fully its staffing plans in the proposed merger of the two railways.

They also sought direct participation in negotiations between the rail operators and the government.

The joint appeal was issued by the five staff unions of the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation and the MTR Corporation, whose combined membership accounts for more than a third of the 12,000-strong workforce of the two rail companies.

The unions said they were worried by rumours that the government would guarantee only that there would be no changes to frontline staffing for two years after the merger. They claimed this was a softening of its promise that "frontline staff would not be affected".

"The government should quickly announce news of the merger and not let rumours fly around," said Federation of Trade Unions legislator Kwong Chi-kin, who acts as the alliance's legal consultant.

"In particular, it needs to clarify whether there has been any reversal in its stance over the protection of frontline workers," he said. "The notion that frontline staff would not be affected for [only] two years was something that we would oppose fiercely and we hope the government will pay attention to the opinions of the unions."

Alliance spokesman Ko Pak-kwan, chairman of KCR Workers' Union, said their demands were very simple: there had to be no layoffs whatsoever and the workers had to be treated fairly.

"All the time, the government has said that frontline staff will not be affected, but how to define frontline staff is something it has not explained," he said.

The alliance was also concerned about the future of 1,600 KCRC contract employees, most of them working in train maintenance sections, as well as 600 permanent staff who joined the company on civil-service terms.
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Old April 9th, 2006, 07:54 PM   #1408
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I'm surprised a city would still make underground stations so dark -- they could've brightened up those walls in the latest shots above.

Does the high ridership figure point to there being a need to have the MTR network pierce more HK neighbourhoods?

Cheers,
Chris
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Old April 9th, 2006, 08:00 PM   #1409
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The older stations, especially some on the Island line, are darker, but still the lighting is reasonable. They're actually not bad, but taking pictures on those platforms is quite difficult. In fact, the platforms are slightly brighter than Montreal's Metro (I was on it last year). I notice the lighting has improved in stations that have been retrofitted with platform screen doors.

I don't think there is a need to build more lines to boost ridership. Hong Kong is a very centralized city. Building another line a block away is not going to do much, and oftentimes the built-up corridor is only a few blocks deep.
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Old April 10th, 2006, 04:24 AM   #1410
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All those stations have platform screendoors installed already so lighting has already improved.
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Old April 10th, 2006, 10:59 AM   #1411
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All stations except the elevated ones or Sunny bay with PSGs
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Old April 10th, 2006, 11:57 AM   #1412
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elkram
I'm surprised a city would still make underground stations so dark -- they could've brightened up those walls in the latest shots above.

Does the high ridership figure point to there being a need to have the MTR network pierce more HK neighbourhoods?

Cheers,
Chris

I know that from the pictures it looks a bit dark, but once you're inside the platform yourself, you'll find that it's not that dark and the feeling that the platform gives you is very cool!!!
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Old April 10th, 2006, 05:15 PM   #1413
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Hong Kong MTR Subway Part 2

Since operations began in 1979, the MTR Railway has become one of the most important elements of Hong Kong's transportation network.

With a railway network of 87.7 kilometres route with 50 stations, the MTR carries over 2.3 million passengers a day - one of the most intensively utilized systems in the world.

To meet escalating passenger demands, the Corporation expanded its train fleet from 140 cars in 1979 to 1,050 cars in 2002 (including 88 cars for the Airport Express), 86% of which are in service to meet the daily morning peak demand.

Significant progress has been made with the construction of new lines and associated property developments. The Tseung Kwan O Extension is the newest line to be completed and commenced service in August 2002. Earlier in July 2002, the MTR was awarded both the Penny's Bay Rail Link and the Tung Chung Cable Car projects. Consultation is now in progress on the proposed South Island Line and West Island Line as a railway alternative to the transport needs of the west and south sides of Hong Kong Island.


















Tseung Kwan O Extension Project
Tseung Kwan O Extension (TKE) is the 6th operational line of the MTR Corporation, which serves Tseung Kwan O new town and Yau Tong. The TKE project features 33 major contracts, 13 for the civil works and 20 for the electrical and mechanical works. All construction works have been completed. The line was opened to the public on 18 August 2002 including five stations, namely Yau Tong, Tiu Keng Leng, Tseung Kwan O, Hang Hau and Po Lam as well as the depot in Area 86 together with the improved Quarry Bay and North Point Stations. A further station will be added to the Line at Tseung Kwan O South. Trains operate at the same speed and frequency as the other MTR urban lines (80 km/hr and ultimately 105 seconds headways)































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Old April 10th, 2006, 05:17 PM   #1414
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HK MTRC Shrs Surge As KCRC Merger Talks Proceed
10 April 2006
By Jeffrey Ng and Jon Ogden
Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--Hong Kong urban rail operator MTR Corp.'s (0066.HK) shares surged to an all-time intraday high Monday after the company said it is at an "advanced stage" of merger talks with government-owned Kowloon-Canton Railway Corp. (KCR.YY)

MTRC declined to comment on recent press reports about details of the proposed linkup, but investors pushed its shares as high as HK$19.50 in early dealings on speculation the terms will be favorable for the blue-chip operator of Hong Kong's subway trains.

MTRC finished Hong Kong's morning session at HK$19.40, up 2.7% on the day following gains of 8% last week.

As is often the case in Hong Kong, real estate could play a role in the market's assessment of the deal.

Analyst Kevin Yim of Sun Hung Kai Financial Services said speculators are betting MTRC will attain KCRC's real estate in outlying areas of Hong Kong at an attractive price, giving it a "significant" gain in net asset value.

MTRC issued a public notice Monday about the "advanced stage" of the merger talks, but it declined to comment on local newspaper reports from last week that the proposed merger will first involve an asset-leasing arrangement.

Newspapers reported a full merger of the two companies will be put off for 20 years because of political pressure regarding the sale of government assets.

MTRC said Monday it will make further disclosures regarding the merger "at the appropriate time," but reiterated it can give "no assurance that the discussions will result in an agreement in relation to a rail merger."

The South China Morning Post reported Friday MTRC would pay the government HK$6 billion, in addition to annual rent of HK$500 million for KCRC assets, and take over the running of rail services. It said a decision by the government on the merger could come later this month.

Yim said the sharp run-up in MTRC's price suggests investors aren't convinced MTRC would have to pay HK$6 billion up front.

A merger between KCRC and MTRC, which is 77%-owned by the government, has been in the works for more than two years.

Analysts say that since the deal will require approval from MTRC minority shareholders, it will have to accommodate their interests.

Secretary for Environment, Transport and Works Sarah Liao said last month a recent management dispute at KCRC prompted authorities to accelerate the merger talks to eliminate uncertainties for KCRC employees.

Liao said the proposal to merge the railway operators is expected to be put to legislators for discussion by May,

The management dispute arose after KCRC's acting Chief Executive Samuel Lai wrote to the board in March complaining about Chairman Michael Tien's leadership style. The dispute ended with Lai's resignation.

MTRC primarily runs subways in Hong Kong's densely populated urban center, while KCRC runs less-busy commuter rail lines and long-distance routes connecting Hong Kong with mainland Chinese cities.
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Old April 11th, 2006, 03:02 AM   #1415
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When i was in hk, taking the escalator in the hk stations.. why do they beep once in a while?
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Old April 11th, 2006, 03:20 AM   #1416
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dchengg
When i was in hk, taking the escalator in the hk stations.. why do they beep once in a while?
I believe its made for blind people.
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Old April 11th, 2006, 04:26 AM   #1417
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Yes they are....
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Old April 11th, 2006, 05:01 PM   #1418
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HK rail firms unveil $1.5 bln merger
By Alison Leung

HONG KONG, April 11 (Reuters) - Hong Kong's two railway operators, MTR Corp. and Kowloon-Canton Railway Corp., on Tuesday unveiled a $1.5 billion pact to merge their rail and property businesses after years of politically charged wrangling.

The government had approved a proposal to merge the operations of MTRC and KCRC -- both of which are government controlled -- over the course of a year, hoping to trim operating costs and make them more efficient.

But that came after months of intense market speculation that had coloured the stop-and-go merger plan, broached years ago but hampered by fears of job losses, criticism over the inadequacy of savings, and other issues.

MTRC is now set to win monopoly rail-operator rights in the city for a one-off payment of HK$12.04 billion ($1.55 billion) -- comprising a lower-than-expected HK$4.25 billion to lease KCRC's rail system and HK$7.79 billion to buy its property investment, development and management business.

MTRC, whose silver trains are synonymous with downtown Hong Kong, will also pay a higher-than-expected HK$750 million in annual rent to use KCRC's network in the northern part of the territory for half a century.

Government officials said that if annual network leasing fees, profit-sharing and other matters were factored in, the overall cost of the deal would range between HK$30 billion and HK$56.5 billion -- less than the HK$60 billion it had ploughed into KCRC over the years.

Under the deal, the government would start sharing with MTRC profits from the operation of KCRC's former rail operations from the fourth year after the merger, taking between 10 and 35 percent, based on revenues.

Transport Secretary Sarah Liao outlined imminent reductions of 5-10 percent in ticket prices, a move expected to hurt revenue in the short term.

Liao added that fares would be linked to inflation in future, abolishing the companies' right to fix fares.

Some analysts expressed doubt over the touted benefits of the deal, which include cost savings.

"Typically, mergers remove competition and hence provide pricing power. No cigar however, as the government wants fare concessions," investment bank CLSA wrote in a report on Monday, adding a 10 percent fare cut implied lost revenue of up to HK$1 billion.

"There is still some potential political risk," Tai Fook Securities sales director Andrew To said, adding politicians might try to protect shareholders' and employees' interests.

SELL ON GOOD NEWS?

MTRC executives said the firm would not sell shares but instead issue debt, while striving to keep its gearing ratio below 60 percent versus about 40 percent at the end of 2005.

The government said the merger, which would "affect" up to 700 jobs, would take at least a year to complete.

Shares of MTRC eased 1.5 percent to HK$19.60 in the first half-hour of trade on Tuesday before being suspended. But the stock posted a record high of HK$20 on Monday and had risen 28.5 percent so far this year on hopes of the merger, outperforming the Hang Seng Index's <.HSI> gain of 10 percent.

MTR's 2014 bonds <XS0184198157=DBAB> had held steady at 75/71 basis points over U.S. Treasuries.

"The news is positive to MTR but I will recommend selling the stock on good news as the current price level is high," To said.

The merger proposal needs to be approved by Hong Kong lawmakers and MTRC shareholders.

MTRC operates the city's sole subway network, while KCRC manages a network linking the city with areas in the New Territories, north of central Hong Kong. (Additional reporting by Daisy Ku)
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Old April 11th, 2006, 05:02 PM   #1419
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HK Govt To Lease KCRC Assets to MTRC In Merger
11 April 2006
By Jeffrey Ng and Jon Ogden
Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--Hong Kong's government unveiled plans Tuesday for merging the city's two railway networks, in a deal that became so politicized it took two years to reach and is expected to take another year to finish.

The tie-up involves blue-chip MTR Corp. (0066.HK) leasing the assets of government-owned Kowloon Canton Railway Corp. (KCR.YY) for a period of 50 years, and is renewable when that contract expires, the government said.

MTRC, which is 77%-owned by the government, will pay HK$4.25 billion upfront and HK$750 million annually to lease KCRC's rail services, in addition to variable annual payments based on the revenues from KCRC's rail operations.

The government will also sell property development rights along KCRC's network to MTRC for HK$7.79 billion. MTRC said the deal will be funded internally, as well as from bank borrowings.

"The merger will reduce duplication and enhance efficiency of Hong Kong's rail network," Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works Sarah Liao told reporters Tuesday. "We believe this is a fair and a balanced deal which balances the interests of all stakeholders."

Liao said the deal will take at least another year to complete pending both legislative and minority shareholder approval.

Hong Kong's Chief Executive Donald Tsang told reporters earlier Tuesday that the deal will "bring tremendous benefits to the community."

MTRC primarily operates the subway network in Hong Kong's densely populated urban center, while KCRC runs commuter rail lines and long-distance routes connecting Hong Kong with cities in southern China.

The merger had been in the works for over two years amid intense political pressures against the sale of government assets below what lawmakers consider an appropriate price. In the end, the administration opted for an asset-leasing agreement instead of an all-out sale of KCRC's assets.

"The leasing agreement (instead of an asset sale) makes the deal more acceptable politically" and increases the chance that it will be approved by the legislature, said Manfred Ho, an analyst at BOCI Research.

MTRC Chairman Raymond Ch'ien said the merged rail network could realize savings of about HK$400 million to HK$500 million a year, thus allowing fares to be cut by as much as 10% on some routes.

Merger Of Rail Network To Be Earnings Accretive For MTRC

Analysts said the merger should boost MTRC's profitability going forward. "It will enhance return on assets, particularly if MTRC can streamline the efficiency of KCRC's operations," said Louis Wong, research director of Phillip Securities.

MTRC shareholders will be relieved the company isn't having to shoulder the cost of acquiring KCRC's railway assets, added Wong.

Credit Suisse analyst Gary Chan said in a note after the government approved the merger that the deal is a "favorable value proposition to MTRC."

On the surface, the terms of the deal don't look attractive. KCRC reported a net profit of HK$429 million in 2004, its last reported earnings, much lower than the HK$750 million a year MTRC will be paying to lease the railway assets. But the earnings were depressed by heavy depreciation costs on KCRC's newly completed railway networks, said analysts.

They said MTRC will be able to extract a much higher return in terms of the operating cash-flow on KCRC's railway assets, while leaving KCRC to bear the depreciation burden of its new rail networks. Currently, KCRC has HK$19.7 billion in outstanding debt.

In 2004, KCRC's operating profit before depreciation totaled HK$2.17 billion, down from HK$2.30 billion the previous year. The company said it will release 2005 figures later this month.

MTRC's shareholders will probably be in favor of the property development aspect of the deal, analysts said.

The company has the rights to develop eight property projects along KCRC's various rail lines and could mimic MTRC's successful business model of reaping sizable profits from residential complexes along its existing network.

But MTRC's share price may not move much higher from the record closing high of HK$19.90 Monday when it resumes trading as early as Wednesday, said Phillip Securities' Wong.

"The stock price has already moved ahead of the merger that has already been rumored for so long."

MTRC now looks fully priced at 20 times this year's expected earnings against the Hong Kong stock market's valuation of 14 times forward earnings.

Shares of blue-chip MTRC were suspended from trading mid-session Tuesday morning ahead of the merger announcement. They last traded down 1.5% at HK$19.60.
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Old April 11th, 2006, 07:03 PM   #1420
hkth
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Railway Merging in Hong Kong

From news.gov.hk:
Railway merger proposal gets green light

Railway merger proposal strikes balance


More merging news can be found on the MTR and KCR's Press Releases.
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