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Old May 11th, 2006, 08:54 AM   #1481
ailiton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dchengg
The screen doors were made maybe because to prevent people falling into the tracks. and plus.. what would the screen doors do to prevent from sars..
No, the PSDs were installed mainly to prevent the cooler air from escaping the platforms.
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Old May 19th, 2006, 11:08 AM   #1482
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I have uploaded three more videos from my Hong Kong trip:

Train Arriving at Central (on platform):
http://video.google.com/*********?do...17958994994576

Train Departing from Central (on train):
http://video.google.com/*********?do...73917293343217

Train Departing Wan Chai (on train):
http://video.google.com/*********?do...85950400884678

I have one more video to upload at Admiralty.
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 03:16 PM   #1483
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KCRC vows to put end to East Rail track woes
4 May 2006
South China Morning Post

The KCRC has promised that track unevenness blamed for putting excessive stress on the components of East Rail trains will be eliminated.

Track purchases for lines now follow a new, European standard that will prevent the imperfections that place stress on train components.

Senior director of capital projects Lee Kang-kuen said track unevenness such as that on East Rail was thought to have a greater impact on high-speed trains than on the medium-speed units used by the KCRC, but perceptions had changed.

"In the past 10 years, the industry has become aware that [unevenness] might actually be a problem, so back in early 2000 they worked out a draft of the standard and put some specification on undulations. As a result, an international standard based on the European standard was published in 2004," he said.

Chief executive James Blake said the problem would not recur because since 2004 all track for new projects had been required to comply with the new European standard. This could not be done earlier as the detailed requirements were not available.

Investigations into the fractures found on 258 East Rail train components blamed welding imperfections and unevenness found on 36 per cent of the rail track as the causes of the problem.

The batch of faulty track was bought in 1998 and 1999 under a track-renewal programme. Although the faulty rails had undulations of less than 1 millimetre in every 3.1-metre length, their irregular shape had created a springboard effect on the trains and imposed stresses double what the suspension system could bear.

This placed excessive stress on the trains' underframes, and this in turn affected the substandard welding.

Mr Lee said the supplier, which the KCRC has declined to identify, had provided rail tracks and rolling stock to other rail lines but the problems were encountered only on East Rail.

Senior transport director Li Yun-tai said the unevenness could appear during manufacturing or be caused by persistent interaction between train wheels and the rail track. No irregularities had been identified in the wheels.

A summary of the investigation report said that the unevenness could not be detected by conventional methods and the industry standards at the time were not set to eliminate such problems.

Mr Blake said such problems would be prevented in future by train-based and track-based instruments that would monitor the interaction between wheels and tracks.

The irregular rails will be replaced, while supporting brackets and the suspension systems on trains will be improved by 2007.

For the time being, interim measures such as metal cradles, nylon straps and welds in some train components, were enough to ensure safety. Although no fault was found with maintenance, guidelines will be issued to help detect cracks earlier.
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Old May 24th, 2006, 05:54 PM   #1484
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MTR News Release:
New Station Entrance at MTR Kwai Fong Station Opens today
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Old May 24th, 2006, 11:02 PM   #1485
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Are there different operators of the MTR (like the Underground in London)?
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Old May 24th, 2006, 11:15 PM   #1486
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Sarah Liao attacked over deal on rail fares
23 May 2006
South China Morning Post

The transport minister is under attack for the fare revision system she has brokered from the two rail companies after they merge.

At a joint Legislative Council transport and financial affairs panel meeting lawmakers expressed fears the newly merged MTR Corp and Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation would move quickly on a fare rise after a two-year freeze, introduced last month, ended.

"The period is totally misleading. By the time the companies actually merge, it may already be 11/2 years or more, which means the new company can apply for a fare rise right away," said Lee Cheuk-yan of the Confederation of Trade Unions.

Democratic Party chairman Lee Wing-tat suggested the government should cap the rate of fare increases at a fixed level.

But Secretary for Environment, Transport and Works Sarah Liao Sau-tung said this was not necessary.

"Adoption of the fare-adjustment formula on future railway fares is already a price cap. It is a step forward from the current situation, when the two railway companies have the rights to set their own fares without the need to seek our approval," she said.

Future fare adjustments will be calculated on a formula taking into account the market situation and the public's ability to pay.

Dr Liao said fares were unlikely to go up soon after fare cuts were made on some routes on the first day of the merger, as it took time for economists to calculate the figures. She also vowed to maintain stability of market share between different modes of transport.

She ruled out a proposal to include rail company property income in the formula, saying this could create large fare fluctuations. Dr Liao also said no concessions would be provided to Light Rail passengers, as one third of them already enjoyed free travel on transferring to West Rail, and the services were losing money.
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Old May 24th, 2006, 11:16 PM   #1487
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New MTR trains to reduce waiting time
23 May 2006
South China Morning Post

Passengers on the MTR's Tung Chung line will save up to two minutes of waiting time during morning rush hours from the second half of this year, as the corporation introduces four new trains between the middle of next month and early next year.

The first new train will come into service by the middle of next month, reducing waiting times by 30 seconds to 7.5 minutes between 8am and 10am. This will increase the frequency of trains from 15 to 16 an hour.

Ultimately, the MTR Corp aims to raise the frequency to 20 trains an hour during the two morning rush hours before the end of this year.

This will ultimately cut waiting times to just six minutes.

However, the average waiting time outside rush hour will be maintained at the current eight to 10 minutes.

Tony Yeung Sau-on, acting head of operations for the MTR Corp, said the new trains were bought because the company foresaw a potential increase in passengers to and from Lantau Island.

"Adding on new trains allows us to inspect and repair our existing ones, but at the same time maintain the frequency," he said. Kwai Tsing district councillor Andy Lai Siu-tong said he was pleased to see a more frequent rail link between Tsing Yi, Tung Chung and the rest of Hong Kong.

"[Reducing] the waiting duration from eight to six minutes can save residents 25 per cent of their time on the platform," he said.

"I see it as a positive response to the people's demand for more frequent transport, in particular during busy hours."

He suggested that a review should be carried out to find how long passengers will spend waiting for trains after the new service is introduced.

The new trains, made in Korea, had the same look and colours as the ones currently in service, which were manufactured in Spain.

However, they feature designs to improve air circulation.

Mr Yeung said the handles for passengers to make emergency calls had also been made more accessible.

"We have had some comments that the existing handles were 'hidden' among the crowd when the train was full," he said.

"Now the handle is put beside the flashing system map and passengers should be able to find it quite easily."
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Old May 24th, 2006, 11:17 PM   #1488
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Rail merger can save MTRC $450m
23 May 2006
Hong Kong Standard

Hong Kong's publicly listed rail operator can save about HK$450 million per year after it merges with the Kowloon- Canton Railway Corp, MTR Corp chief executive Chow Chung-kong has told legislators.

At a joint meeting of the Legislative Council's transport and financial services panels Monday, lawmakers expressed their concerns about fare rises after the merger.

Under the terms of the merger, fares will not rise for the following two years, but after that they will be determined by a formula including inflation indicators such as the consumer price index.

Civic Party legislator Ronny Tong Ka-wah asked if the cost-effectiveness benefits of the merger would translate into fare cuts. Chow replied the merger will lead to reduced operating costs through economies of scale and trimming the overlapping of frontline stuff.

"We can save about HK$450 million a year but this will only happen after three to four years. And the room for fare cuts is about HK$600 million,'' Chow said, adding the fare reduction will take place on the first day of merger.

Fares of HK$12 or more will be cut by 10 percent and those between HK$8.50 and HK$11.90 by 5 percent. But Unionist Lee Cheuk-yan called the cuts "very trivial'' compared with the huge economic gain of the merger.
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Old May 25th, 2006, 01:25 AM   #1489
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samsonyuen
Are there different operators of the MTR (like the Underground in London)?
If you mean the MTR is run by different private companies, then no. However, the rail network overall is run by 2 major companies :MTR (city) and KCR (suburbs incl. New Territories). Hope I answered your question.
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Old May 25th, 2006, 10:56 AM   #1490
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herenthere
If you mean the MTR is run by different private companies, then no. However, the rail network overall is run by 2 major companies :MTR (city) and KCR (suburbs incl. New Territories). Hope I answered your question.
KCR operates trains to Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing as well, right?
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Old May 25th, 2006, 02:19 PM   #1491
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On April 11, 2006, the Hong Kong Government officially announced the details of the proposed merger. Now, the merger will be decided by minority shareholders of MTRC.

Just wait some more months, the Chinese name of the MTRC will be changed after being granted the Service Concession while the English name will remain unchanged. The KCRC will be a holding company of the KCR system, without actual railway operations. In other words, KCR will be a part of MTR empire.
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Old May 26th, 2006, 10:43 AM   #1492
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Quote:
Originally Posted by staff
KCR operates trains to Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing as well, right?
KCRC has those services BUT ALMOST ALL the trains provided are from the Mainland China. Only the KTT Train is owned by KCRC. You may refer to the website of the KCRC for more details.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 06:44 PM   #1493
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From news.gov.hk:
Railway merger package well-balanced

FSTB and You--Rail Merger
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Old June 2nd, 2006, 05:06 PM   #1494
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IT is a controversial issue is Hong Kong.
But, if the fare is rising, it would affect the profit of MTR Coperation.
And also the citizen can not afford such kind of high transport's fare.
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 02:00 PM   #1495
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RTHK News:
Govt thinking of expediting construction of MTR South Island line 2006-06-03 HKT 17:30

The Secretary for Transport, Sarah Liao, says the government's studying whether to expedite the construction of the MTR South Island Line. An environmental impact assessment concerning the redevelopment of Ocean Park points out that any revamp will increase traffic in Southern district and the Aberdeen tunnel. Dr Liao says a public consultation is underway. And the government will consider public opinion before reaching a final decision.
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Old June 8th, 2006, 06:21 PM   #1496
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RTHK news:
MTR Chairman confident of shareholder support for merger 2006-06-08 HKT 16:26



Chairman of the Mass Transit Railway Corporation, Raymond Chien. (Photo by RTHK's Chan Ching-wah)

Chairman of the Mass Transit Railway Corporation, Raymond Chien

The Chairman of the Mass Transit Railway Corporation, Raymond Chien, says most minority shareholders of the listed company are inclined towards approving a planned merger with the Kowloon Canton Railway Corporation. Speaking to the media following the corporation's annual general meeting, Mr Chien called the merger package - fair and balanced. However, he acknowledged that it was impossible to say whether shareholders would approve the deal.
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Old June 10th, 2006, 10:23 PM   #1497
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Dream City role for Nan Fung
Raymond Wang
10 June 2006
Hong Kong Standard

Cheung Kong (Holdings), controlled by Li Ka-shing, has brought in private firm Nan Fung Development to develop the HK$15 billion Dream City Phase 2 housing project atop MTR Corp's planned Tseung Kwan O South station.

Cheung Kong, which won development rights to the project in a tender in January, said Friday Nan Fung would take a 15 percent stake in the joint venture for a nominal US$1 (HK$7.80).

Nan Fung, run by billionaire Chen Din-hwa, has agreed to invest HK$678 million. It is also expected to share the project cost in proportion to its stake.

Cheung Kong paid a land use conversion premium of HK$8.06 billion so it can build flats above the future Tseung Kwan O South subway station. Together with construction costs and interest, the MTRC said earlier that the project will cost about HK$15 billion.

``Cheung Kong and Nan Fung have worked together on other projects and the board considers that the previous experience of working together successfully made Nan Fung a suitable partner for undertaking the Tseung Kwan O project,'' Cheung Kong company secretary Eirene Yeung said.

Cheung Kong, the SAR's second- largest developer by market value, and Nan Fung are jointly developing a luxury residential project in Ho Man Tin for more than HK$12 billion. The site was purchased by Cheung Kong at a government land auction in 2004. Nan Fung has a 10 percent stake while the remainder is held by Cheung Kong. Nan Fung's move to share the risk and take a stake in the two projects reflects its optimism about the outlook for the market, industry observers said.

In 2002, the two groups formed a consortium that secured a residential and retail development package at Tiu Keng Leng Station.

Dream City Phase 2 will feature a total of 4,272 flats. The project is slated for completion in three to four years.

Last year, Cheung Kong won the rights to the estimated HK$5 billion Dream City Phase 1 project, which will comprise 2,096 flats in five towers. It is scheduled for sale by 2008-2009.

Cheung Kong shares rose 0.24 percent Friday to close at HK$82.30.
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Old June 13th, 2006, 06:39 PM   #1498
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MTR Press Release:
Find Direction in "DISorientation" "art in mtr ¡V arttube" Showcases the Work of Freeman Lau

"Rock" History at MTR Tai Koo Station
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Old June 14th, 2006, 11:18 AM   #1499
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Platform screen doors at Wan Chai:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=g0tfGpnGfgE
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Old June 15th, 2006, 05:55 AM   #1500
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Rail merger sidelines mini punters
15 June 2006
South China Morning Post

After a noisy annual general meeting at the MTR Corporation last week, a tantalising question emerged: what if its minority shareholders reject the proposed merger with the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation?

In fact, this anticipated merger of Hong Kong's two rail companies reflects a history of poor policymaking at the highest level.

The story begins with the 1999 budget, when then financial secretary Donald Tsang Yam-kuen announced that the government would privatise the MTR Corp. When the subway company was being floated on the market the following year, its prospectus said: "[The MTR Corp] has autonomy to determine its own fares without any requirement to obtain the approval of government or any other body."

That provision was the key to its listing success. Why would anyone have bought MTR Corp shares if the company did not have absolute autonomy in setting fares based on commercial realities?

But the government has also been promising lower transport fares. Transport Minister Sarah Liao Sau-tung has been talking about that since 2002. She is a member of the board of the MTR Corp and of the wholly government-owned KCRC.

Two key aspects of the merger proposal should appeal to investors and anyone interested in public policy. First, the MTR Corp would have to pay the KCRC an ever-increasing percentage of the revenue it derives from the use of the latter's assets, which it will lease for 50 years.

Second, the MTR Corp's autonomy in setting fares would effectively vanish, except for the Airport Express, cross-border links to the mainland and the Lantau Island cable car. Future fare increases would be capped at the rate of inflation minus a productivity factor. The rate of inflation would be calculated as the average of the annual change in the consumer price index and the nominal wage index for transport workers. The productivity factor would start at 0.1 per cent per year, and would be reviewed every five years.

What does all this mean? The proposed formula allows for no real (that is, inflation-adjusted) increase in fares; gives an ever-higher proportion of revenue to the KCRC; and saddles the MTR Corp with future capital costs.

This is what David Webb, the astute minority-rights activist, said of the merger proposal: "The MTRC has pitched this to investors as [a scheme where] 'downside protection [is] provided by a variable annual payment structure', when in fact this is an 'upside-removed, downside-on-inflation' deal."

This is a blatantly poor deal for the MTR Corp's minority shareholders. It seems the government's aim is to make sure that the KCRC has the best possible deal, and to use the occasion to deliver on Dr Liao's promise to reduce transport fares.

In a paper to the Legislative Council, the government says: "KCRC [will] retain ownership of the assets, capture the upside of KCR railway's performance under a revenue-sharing mechanism, and get back a fully operational railway system at the end, or upon early termination of the service concession."

To get legislators to approve the merger, the government sweetened the package with a two-year fare freeze and some tariff cuts, including a $2 Sunday fare for the elderly.

The last stakeholder the government has time for is the investing public.

Perhaps cynically, the administration does not think it needs to pay attention to them because legislators and citizens' groups are focused on lowering fares.

But what if the deal is rejected by minority shareholders? Would officials simply accuse them of greed?

As Mr Webb has suggested, why not just take the company private again, and stop the pretence that the merged entity is going to be a commercial enterprise?
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