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Old August 6th, 2006, 08:50 AM   #1561
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I dont understand why the airport express cant be opened for special situations like this one, its like, mtr is purposely doing it to give the airport autority a hard time~~ my friend left for hk just few days ago from vancouver, and i was praising to her about how fast it was in the airports... guess i dissapointed her~~
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Old August 6th, 2006, 09:17 AM   #1562
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I don't think there were enough passengers to keep the trains running well into the early morning. It costs a lot to keep the train system going. I doubt the MTR would want to incur significant losses for that night. Then they'll be drilled by the people when the financials are issued.
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Old August 6th, 2006, 01:54 PM   #1563
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When you have hundreds of trains pounding the same set of tracks every day, they'll need far more maintenance than your typical suburban rail line. The signalling system only allows trains to travel constantly in one direction on each track. It shouldn't be a problem from Tsing Yi to Kowloon since it parallels the Tung Chung Line, but at the Airport end there are only two tracks.

Remember that the overhead catenary line exists as well. For this to be maintained the power needs to be turned off. No power, no train service.
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Old August 7th, 2006, 10:31 AM   #1564
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dchengg
I dont understand why the airport express cant be opened for special situations like this one, its like, mtr is purposely doing it to give the airport autority a hard time~~ my friend left for hk just few days ago from vancouver, and i was praising to her about how fast it was in the airports... guess i dissapointed her~~
It's fast.......if you are a HK resident..
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Old August 8th, 2006, 11:22 AM   #1565
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MTR Press Release:
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Old August 8th, 2006, 12:07 PM   #1566
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jose_kwan
from wikipedia ...
some possible future maps of mtr ...
The only thing I'm concerned about is the plan for South HK Island. Can they just have one loop like Cyberport -> South Horrizons -> Aberdeen -> Wong Chuk Hang Does it really need a Lei Tung stop?
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Old August 8th, 2006, 12:10 PM   #1567
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaitak747
That's why I say it's almost impossible for MTR extending its services to Stanley or Repulse Bay unless there will be significant development. Moreover, technical problem is also a potential constraint which cannot easily be solved at low cost. So I don't see any posibility of constructing a new line for Stanley at this stage.
I actually find it pointless to have service running through Repulse Bay and Stanley / Tai Tam. First of all. Most of the area's residents are either middle or upper class and most of them own cars. Also, I doubt that there will be much commuters in this area.

Another thing, tourists are better off taking the bus to Stanley and see HK's wonderful southside scenery than travelling to Stanley underground
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Old August 8th, 2006, 03:41 PM   #1568
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WANCH
The only thing I'm concerned about is the plan for South HK Island. Can they just have one loop like Cyberport -> South Horrizons -> Aberdeen -> Wong Chuk Hang Does it really need a Lei Tung stop?
Ap Lei Chau is a densely-populated residential island, and Lei Tung is one of those housing estates. It has a huge population (Guinness classifies it to be the world's densest island) and it makes sense to have a rail stop there.
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Old August 8th, 2006, 03:43 PM   #1569
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WANCH
I actually find it pointless to have service running through Repulse Bay and Stanley / Tai Tam. First of all. Most of the area's residents are either middle or upper class and most of them own cars. Also, I doubt that there will be much commuters in this area.

Another thing, tourists are better off taking the bus to Stanley and see HK's wonderful southside scenery than travelling to Stanley underground
There is not enough density to have a rail line there in the first place, then the next problem is to run a line through the hilly terrain. Express buses take only half hour to reach Central from there anyway.
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Old August 10th, 2006, 11:52 AM   #1570
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MTR Press Release:
Announcement of Unaudited Results for six months ended 30 June 2006
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Old August 13th, 2006, 09:13 AM   #1571
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KCRC Press Release:
Kowloon Southern Link’s Tunnel Boring Machine ready to start works
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Old August 14th, 2006, 07:15 AM   #1572
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Minus property, what else will help the MTR save some red faces?
14 August 2006
South China Morning Post

"Underlying profit at MTR Corp, the city's main mass transit operator, more than doubled in the first half on earnings from sales of flats above its stations."

SCMP, August 11

WE GOT THAT wrong on one count, boss. It's actually Kowloon Motor Bus that is the city's main mass transit operator. But I'm glad to say we got it right on what underlies the profits of the Modern Town Redevelopment Corp. It's property, property, property.

Stand at the edge of old Yau Ma Tei and look west or at the Central harbour front and look north. You will see a fortress-like agglomeration of towering and closely packed new buildings on the Yau Ma Tei reclamation site. It is far from finished yet. The biggest tower of all is going up only now. What we have here is a new definition of urban jungle.

What we also have is a new definition of saving face. When our government decided to sell some shares in MTR Corp in 2000 (they called it a privatisation but it wasn't), the figure tossed around in Lower Albert Road for the firm's value was about HK$100 billion. This, our bureaucrats reckoned, approximated the sunk cost of the MTR. So they decided it was also what the company was worth.

But investors don't operate on simplistic government reasoning. They look at returns on capital and the MTR's returns were poor chiefly due to having been ordered to take on an enormous money loser in the Airport Express. There was no way the market would value it at HK$100 billion as it stood.

How then were our bureaucrats to save face on their public projections that it was worth HK$100 billion? Simple. Stuff it full of the best land in our public land bank, pretend that the transfer was made at market value and then relax almost all the normal height and plot ratio restrictions on that land. Hey, presto, the grim concrete nightmare you now see on the Yau Ma Tei reclamation.

A good deal more than that site alone has gone into the MTR of course, mostly on the reasoning that buses do not pay for the roadways they use and therefore railways should also have their construction costs subsidised.

It is a fair argument, except that the MTR property subsidies went past that justification when it was listed on the market. At that point we went into subsidising a face-saving exercise and now we have to keep it up or the share price will collapse and face will still be lost.

The flip side of this is that we also have extraordinarily low fares. I can ride the MTR from end to end for a cost that would take me no more than two or three stations on the London Underground.

But there is now no chance of getting those fares up to a more appropriate level. Our legislators actually demand to see them drop further. It will be property, property, property from now until kingdom come. The MTR talks of getting itself off the hook eventually, as all addicts do, but don't be fooled. It can no longer happen.

For the proper perspective, look first at its announcement that it made a pre-tax profit of HK$6.15 billion in the six months to June. Now turn to the table to see how this breaks down if you strip out the property element, including what the company holds for rental.

Take note that the depreciation and interest charges apply to the railway operations alone. To the extent that there are any such charges on property, they have already been taken into account in the property profits the company books.

What we are left with in the railway element, including station kiosks and advertising displays, is only an HK$8 million pretax profit. It is actually up from what it was last year but if this were all that shareholders were given, the share price would fall faster than a dead cat dropped from the top of IFC 2.

Not only is it a miserable return but remember that even this was possible only because past property proceeds made the balance sheet so cash-rich that the company could afford to advance a HK$3.3 billion interest-free loan to Cheung Kong (Holdings) for development of a site in Tseung Kwan O.

And by the way, there was only the barest mention in the results announcement of the coming merger with the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corp, another pointless face-saving exercise on which our government insists and which will be very much to the detriment of the MTR.

We are assured, however, that an independent financial adviser will advise independent directors on an independent board committee on how to advise independent shareholders.

You will excuse me for thinking that independence in such matters exists in inverse proportion to the number of times it is pledged.
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Old August 15th, 2006, 11:50 PM   #1573
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KCRC pioneers way to spot stress on tracks
Engineers have been experimenting with fibre-optics for three years and are now seeking a patent
16 August 2006
South China Morning Post

The KCRC has discovered a cheap and innovative way to monitor the stresses on its rail lines - a system that uses fibre-optics.

It is the first time the telecommunications technology has been applied to a railway system, and the company is seeking a patent, Tony Lee Kar-yun, the acting general manager of rolling stock, said.

The Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation started experimenting with optical fibres in 2003, at first using them to collect data on train speeds and loads. Two months ago, engineers discovered the technology could also be used to calculate stress levels.

"The discovery came right in time to answer the government's request for us to develop a monitoring system," Dr Lee said. "These sensors cost a few dollars each in mass production. They are not affected by lightning and thunderstorms and they have a life span of up to 30 years."

A mounting device snapped on December 21 last year, leaving a compressor dangling under a train. More cracks were found in the mountings of other compressors. Poor welding and stresses caused by the trains travelling on uneven rail tracks were later blamed. In a control room located across a rail section in Fo Tan yesterday, Dr Lee demonstrated how the computer interpreted the data from the eight sensors attached to the rail track.

"We see from the graph the amount of stress created by the interaction of the tracks and the wheels," he said. "If there are any abnormalities we perform a check-up and do the repair at once, so as to curb the problem before it has a chance to loom large."

The Fo Tan section is the only one fitted with the sensors so far, but by the end of the year, four more sections will be fitted with sensors, including a high-speed section in Tai Po Market, and one that goes through an underpass in Kowloon Tong. All the tested rail sections are representative of the range of track found throughout the rail network.

Sensors will also be attached to welds and components on 36 train cars where cracks have previously developed.

"We monitor these data every day so we know when a particular component is subjected to excessive stress," Dr Lee said.

His team had been researching a monitoring and alert system so a computer could warn staff when something goes wrong, he said.

A government expert panel said in a report last month that cracks had not been discovered during routine maintenance because of poor lighting and the fact dirt had gathered on the components.

To monitor the health of the tracks, a train that has passed its regular thorough inspection will be run across the whole East Rail route once every three months, allowing the sensors to check if the tracks contain any irregularities.

The three-year research programme with fibre-optics has cost the company HK$3 million, and the installation of the system will add a few more million, Dr Lee said.
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Old August 16th, 2006, 09:35 AM   #1574
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RTHK news:
KCRC plans closer monitoring of vibrations from trains 2006-08-16 HKT 09:05

The Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation plans to introduce an optical system to monitor vibrations generated by its East Rail trains. This follows the discovery of cracks on the undercarriage of East Rail trains, caused partly by slight undulations on the track. The new device will be able to detect symptoms of premature defects in the railway system. The Corporation's Acting General Manager, Tony Lee, told Candy Kan the new device would help maintain the structural health of its trains and track.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 08:46 AM   #1575
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KCRC Press Release:
Kowloon Southern Link’s Tunnel Boring Machine launched

--The name of the TBM is Xiaolongnu (小龍女, Little Dragron).
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Old August 30th, 2006, 06:37 AM   #1576
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西港島線無上蓋發展
三站共14出入口 料2012通車

30/08/2006
太陽報



地下鐵路公司終拍板決定西港島線各站出入口位置,明日將建議公開及提交政府審議,整段伸延線將不會有上蓋發展項目。地鐵在諮詢過程接納了中西區區議會的建議,決定由堅尼地城泳池清拆改建的地鐵站,不會有上蓋發展,而地鐵會在工程進行前先興建全新泳池替代,方便居民使用。

消息人士指出,地鐵建議清拆部分政府建築物,較大改變是現時的堅尼地城泳池將要拆卸,改為堅尼地城站,但會在西環公園對出近海旁的西祥街臨時停車場位置,先興建一個泳池,日後泳池會是西區中央公園的一部分。雖然部分居民擔心日後建成地鐵站會加重該區的交通負荷,但地鐵堅稱泳池位置興建地鐵站是最佳選擇,而地鐵站不會有上蓋發展,以免阻礙景觀。

此外,位於西營盤站附近的戴麟趾康復中心亦會因興建地鐵站出入口而拆卸,日後將會原址興建一幢新的康復中心。至於屈地街公廁及正街熟食中心則會拆卸。

地鐵亦會徵用部分土地,包括位於西營盤西湖里遊樂場及鄰近的舊樓位置,改作工程臨時工地及物料存放場,而在堅尼地城的西寧街對開的休憩地方,於工程完成後會成為地鐵站的排氣口。

政府注資不逾半
若一切順利,地鐵西港島線最快在今年底前獲政府批准及刊憲,明年初完成環境評估報告後正式動工,工程費初步估計約六十至七十億元,全長三公里,預計二○一二年通車。政府初步建議注資不逾一半。西港島線是現有港島線的伸延,共有三個站,分別是西營盤站、大學站及堅尼地城站,共有十四個出入口。

雖然西區居民普遍歡迎地鐵增設西港島線,但一批堅尼地城西寧街居民昨日卻向地鐵公司遞交請願信,反對地鐵在西寧街設置施工地盤及興建港島西延線的永久排氣口。居民批評此舉是扼殺居民的休憩空間,並擔心排氣口會污染環境。中西區區議員楊位款批評地鐵並無正視居民訴求。
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Old August 30th, 2006, 06:46 AM   #1577
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More trains on Tung Chung line
30 August 2006
South China Morning Post

The MTR Corporation will boost services on the Tung Chung line following demands from residents, despite the relatively low number of passengers using the route, a top company official said yesterday.

From Monday, trains on the line will run at alternate intervals of eight and four minutes during the morning rush hour, compared with every eight minutes at present.

Evening peak services will also be changed from every 10 minutes to every eight minutes.

MTR Corp's head of operations, Wilfred Lau Cheuk-man, said the improvement in the service had been made possible with the addition of four new trains to its fleet.

"Once in a while, we hear this request for more frequent services, but we have to consider cost-effectiveness," Mr Lau said.

The Tung Chung line serves an average of 180,000 passengers a day, but Mr Lau said even the most crowded trains during rush hour were only 40 per cent full.

"You may have doubts about this, but I tell you passengers tend to squeeze themselves into the middle train car as they're the nearest to the escalators, while cars on either end are quite empty."

Mr Lau hoped new property developments in Tung Chung would help boost the line's patronage.

Tung Chung residents have long complained about the infrequent train services on the route.

District councillors have met MTR officials several times to discuss the issue, and a petition was launched in June demanding an improved service.

Two of the four new trains are already in service, while the other two are still under inspection.

The four will take up the 36 extra runs per day as the number of daily journeys on the route is increased from 240 to 276.
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Old August 30th, 2006, 06:47 AM   #1578
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MTR to catch more advertising dollars while you catch the train
28 August 2006
South China Morning Post

The MTR Corporation is expanding and updating its advertising billboards to stay competitive.

Advertising brought in almost HK$500 million last year for the corporation.

Central, the fourth-busiest MTR station, will be a focus of the facelift, which includes installing a ring of plasma television screens in the shape of a spaceship, and scrolling advertising boards.

Yeung Mei-chun, MTR Corp marketing and station business manager, said traditional advertising had reached saturation point. Companies now demanded bigger advertising displays and new ways to present their products.

"More and more customers are looking for feature advertisements. Everything's getting bigger. They want more space to present their products and they want it to be more fun," she said.

Cell phones, banking services and digital products have been the MTR Corp's biggest sources of advertising this year, while property and slimming advertisements have plunged by 70 per cent and 40 per cent respectively. Both have fallen off the top-10 list.

"Demand from digital products, including mobile phones, has been strong since last year and we want to provide them with more choices," Ms Yeung said.

The ring of plasma screens, first installed in Causeway Bay station, will now be introduced in Central, Tsim Sha Tsui and Mongkok stations. Another feature will be a screen that can swap three images by changing the lighting.

The MTR Corp is also working to squeeze new advertising space into stations.

New scrolling advertisements will replace fixed ones to boost capacity at the same spot threefold. Unoccupied niches will be turned into advertisement showcases fitted with LCD monitors.

But Ms Yeung said these new measures would boost revenue only marginally.

"The initiative can help us to maintain our market share, but revenue will rise only a few percentage points," she said.
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Old August 31st, 2006, 08:02 AM   #1579
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MTR Press Release:
MTR Property Management wins another SOHO China management contract in Beijing
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Old August 31st, 2006, 11:07 PM   #1580
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MTRC plans switch over line funding
Winnie Chong
Hong Kong Standard
Friday, September 01, 2006

MTR Corp has abandoned plans for a property development atop its future Kennedy Town station but is asking government permission to develop the former police quarters site in Ka Wai Man Road to fund its West Island Line.

The three-kilometer extension of MTRC's Island Line from Sheung Wan will have three new stations - Sai Ying Pun, University and Kennedy Town - with a total of 14 exits.

The new extension will cost about HK$7 billion, to be financed equally by MTRC and the government.

MTRC passed its revised proposal to the Environment, Transport and Works Bureau Thursday, canceling its previous bid to develop property on top of Kennedy Town station. The site is said to be only a single block, which is too small. Central and Western District Council is also opposed to any development of the site.

Instead, MTRC has suggested the area around Kennedy Town station be developed into leisure facilities and a public transportation interchange. At the same time, it wants the government to approve the former police quarters site at Ka Wai Man Road in Kennedy Town for property development.

If the proposal goes ahead, this will be the first time the MTRC has financed operations through property development away from stations.

MTRC senior coordinating engineer Tang Pak-hung said the move was due to public opposition to development at the Kennedy Town site, and because Sai Ying Pun and University stations were not suitable for property development.

"For this project, the police site is suitable," Tang said, adding that the final decision will be made after discussions with the government.

Tang said MTRC will consider other suggestions by the government. "We will keep all options open and are flexible," he said.

MTRC also presented the amended proposal to Central and Western District Council, where it was accepted, council chairman Chan Tak-chor said.

But Charles Chan Chiu-kwok, managing director of Savills Valuation and Professional Services, had doubts about the revised MTRC proposal, saying it was unusual for it to ask for land away from its stations.

"MTRC is an independent listed company. MTRC's request for land will violate the principle of land sales in the city. It will be unfair to other developers. It also raises questions about collusion between government and business," said Chan, who added there was no base to calculate the price of the land.

James Cheung King-tat, senior associate director at Centaline Surveyors, estimated that the price for property development on the top of Kennedy Road station is similar to that of Ka Wai Man Road, at about HK$5,000 per square foot.

MTRC will invite tenders for the project at the end of the year, with construction due to start next year. Train services are scheduled to commence in 2012.
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