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Old November 5th, 2009, 04:23 PM   #181
hkskyline
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Critics steamed up on `isolated' terminal plan
The Standard
Thursday, November 05, 2009

Academics have called on the government to explore other options for the Express Rail Link terminal other than West Kowloon.

City University public and social administration professor Joseph Cheng Yu-shek said the link would cost each taxpayer about HK$10,000.

He said West Kowloon is not the most convenient location for most Hongkongers, especially those who live in the New Territories.

"They will have to spend extra time and transport fares to travel to West Kowloon before they can ride on the express link," Cheng said.

His view was echoed by University of Science and Technology social scientist Chen Yun-Chung who said the choice of West Kowloon was more intended to facilitate the area's development rather than benefiting the community.

"West Kowloon is like an isolated zone, so is the location of the upcoming terminal," Chen said.

"The government would need to spend a lot to build new infrastructure to bring the traffic to the terminal if it is built in West Kowloon. We wonder whether it is worth doing this."

Last month, the Executive Council gave the green light to the controversial Express Rail Link between Hong Kong and Shenzhen.

But the project faces more problems than its cost - HK$54 billion - exceeding its original estimate by HK$14.5 billion.

The government hopes to start building the 26-kilometer Hong Kong section of the 140 km link to Guangzhou by the end of the year.

If it does not keep to that schedule, an insider warned the cost could balloon further.

Under the government plan, the line will pass Choi Yuen Tsuen, which will become an emergency station. That would mean the clearance of 150 households, or about 500 villagers.
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Old November 5th, 2009, 05:50 PM   #182
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I'm surprised to see West Kowloon being described as an isolated zone. It's within walking distance from Jordan and western Tsim Sha Tsui. With one transit, passengers can reach places from Tuen Mun to Wu Kai Sha (by the time it's built), and from Tung Chung / Airport to Central, even Chai Wan eventually.

For anybody interested:
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=22.303...,0.146599&z=13
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Old November 6th, 2009, 03:29 AM   #183
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isolated means too much in the center. like pen station in New York. it creates unnecessary traffic jams. they claim if they build it outside the city center accessing to station will be easier.
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Old November 6th, 2009, 07:00 AM   #184
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
I'm thinking whether passengers leaving the mainland will need to clear immigration in China first instead?
Doing so would vastly limit the number of destinations that could be served from WKT. Many stations would need immigration facilities for two trains a week, which sounds dubious.

Quote:
Illegal immigration from China isn't so much of a problem these days. On the other hand, we are seeing an increased number of South Asian illegals coming in, many by boat. I believe Hong Kong law allows them to work while they make an asylum claim.
Perhaps not from China, but this rail link would be an easy way out for anyone fleeing China, whether for a good reason (North Korean defectors) or bad (a fugitive murderer). Whether to allow PRC law to apply in the terminal becomes a "heads you lose, tails I win" situation.
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Old November 6th, 2009, 12:54 PM   #185
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Panyu rail hub set to shift focal point of Guangzhou by 2020, academic says
6 November 2009
SCMP

When the first train from Hong Kong on the controversial express line to Guangzhou stops at the terminus in Shibi, Panyu, it will have arrived at the nucleus of a burgeoning new city, part of the provincial capital's southward expansion.

In 2015, when the Hong Kong section of the line is due for completion, a 350km/h line to Wuhan will have been operating for three years and by 2020 the station - one of Asia's biggest with a footprint of 150,000 square metres - will encompass three such high-speed lines to key cities, a light-rail system and three metro lines.

And this, according to Professor Zheng Tianxiang, is why Hongkongers should be pleased - not unhappy - that their HK$65 billion line will terminate at Shibi rather than the present city centre at Tianhe, which he says will eventually be eclipsed by new developments.

Zheng, of the Pearl River Delta research centre at Zhongshan University, and MTR Corporation officials sang the praises of Shibi during a media tour to the site organised by the MTR this week.

"Some Hong Kong intellectuals ask why the high-speed train station was not located in downtown Guangzhou," Zheng said. "But the area around the existing Guangzhou East Station has little land for further development, and if you acquire lots of land to build a train station in downtown Guangzhou, it wouldn't be very economical or efficient."

He said central government studies predicted that the population of the Tianhe district would grow from one million in 2005 to 1.39 million in 2020, while the population of Panyu district around Shibi would grow from 1.25 million in 2005 to 2.03 million in 2020.

As Guangzhou developed, the centre of the city would shift south towards Shibi and the district around Guangzhou East Station would no longer be a growth area, Zheng said.

He also echoed the Hong Kong government's line that the links to the national rail network were more important than direct access to the present city centre - 45 minutes by metro from the new terminus.

"Hong Kong wants to be an international city and China's hub. If Hong Kong doesn't link to China's high-speed rail, it will be hard to achieve this," said Zheng, a consultant for various infrastructure projects in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta including the Hong Kong-Macau-Zhuhai Bridge.

By 2012, that link will be right on the border - waiting for Hong Kong trains to roll through three years later - as high-speed trains from Beijing through Wuhan and Shibi reach Futian in Shenzhen.

By 2020, as well as the Hong Kong-Guangzhou express line and the Wuhan-Guangzhou line, Shibi will include a westward railway that will branch into two lines, one to Guizhou and one to Nanning .

The 200 billion yuan (HK$227.33 billion), 2,000-kilometre light railway will serve nine cities in the Pearl River Delta, including Guangzhou, Dongguan , Shenzhen, Zhongshan , Zhuhai and Foshan . By 2020, Guangdong would have 2,800 kilometres of high-speed rail line at a cost of 150 million yuan per kilometre, or a total of 420 billion yuan, Zheng said.

MTR Pearl River Delta planning manager Albert Yuen acknowledged that progress on the Hong Kong section - still bedevilled by compensation wrangles - seemed slow.

"It would be much faster in China. In China you can work 24 hours per day, while Hong Kong has restrictions on work due to noise and environment," Yuen said.

MTR Express Rail Link general manager Paul Lo Po-hing said that initially the MTR would acquire nine high-speed trains of eight cars each for a total cost of between HK$1 billion and HK$2 billion. Eventually this would increase to more than 20 trains. High-speed trains would depart from Hong Kong every 15 minutes during peak times and every 30 minutes off-peak, Lo said.

Meanwhile, a survey by the Civic Party has indicated that 41 per cent of Hong Kong residents think there has been inadequate public consultation about the rail plan.

In a poll of 650 residents, only 20 per cent of respondents thought there had been enough consultation. Another 38 per cent had no opinion.

The survey also found that 18 per cent of respondents were in favour of building the terminus in West Kowloon, while 55 per cent believed it could be built elsewhere.
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Old November 7th, 2009, 10:44 AM   #186
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Panyu rail hub set to shift focal point of Guangzhou by 2020, academic says
6 November 2009
SCMP

When the first train from Hong Kong on the controversial express line to Guangzhou stops at the terminus in Shibi, Panyu, it will have arrived at the nucleus of a burgeoning new city, part of the provincial capital's southward expansion.

In 2015, when the Hong Kong section of the line is due for completion, a 350km/h line to Wuhan will have been operating for three years
Wrong. A minimum of 5 years, since it shall open next month:
http://news.sina.com.cn/c/2009-10-09/040618791776.shtml
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Old November 7th, 2009, 04:43 PM   #187
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Good points.

I'm thinking whether passengers leaving the mainland will need to clear immigration in China first instead?
Yes.

All other terminals in the mainland China that run trains to HK have to make room for immigration and custom counters. Just because we are under "One Country, Two Systems," we are making many stations in the Mainland and the whole country to fit what we need. We are getting spoiled in some sense.

But I believe that's the same today.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Illegal immigration from China isn't so much of a problem these days. On the other hand, we are seeing an increased number of South Asian illegals coming in, many by boat. I believe Hong Kong law allows them to work while they make an asylum claim.
And yes, if the II is on asylum status, s/he can work in HK legally under the UN statue or something. That's why we a the hot spot for SE Asian and African.
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Old November 7th, 2009, 04:49 PM   #188
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The whole terminal location should be in Kam Sheung Road and be more convenient for the NT residents is just BS.

I live in Southern District, and I can throw out the same argument Kam Sheung Road is too far away from me and not convenient. West Kowloon is much better, why don't you extend it across the harbour as well.

This HSR service should just run right into the heart of the city, not to the outskirt. It isn't an airport.

I agree there could be a station in the NT, may run part-time service, but I don't think it should be the terminal.
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Old November 9th, 2009, 04:45 PM   #189
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With that logic the line should end at Shenzhen Luohu / Lok Ma Chau and we MTR the rest of the way.
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Old November 9th, 2009, 10:30 PM   #190
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Exactly; the critics should have stopped at the cost argument.

WK is a new district; it will take time to mature. I still remember all the Chek Lap Kok critics making claims that Chek Lap Kok would be too far from everywhere, Kai Tak could cope by having another runway, the new airport should be built between Kennedy Town and Green Island through reclamination, etc. The CLK location makes the Zuhai Bridge much more strategic sense and provides room for a possible third runway.

Besides, the future terminus is well connected to Central through Airport Express. MTR needs to be creative with its future ticket pricing, such as including airport express ride between Hong Kong and Kowloon stations as part of the HSR fare to Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

You cannot always get space and convenience at the same time; this is especially true in Hong Kong.

Last edited by aab7772003; November 9th, 2009 at 10:56 PM.
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Old November 10th, 2009, 04:07 AM   #191
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People that raise their voice are mostly the short sighted politicians versus planners who see the future.
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Old November 10th, 2009, 05:56 AM   #192
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Please see Pages 22, 23 and 24 of the following Legco document. The design of West Kowloon Terminus appears to have minor changes.

http://www.legco.gov.hk/yr09-10/chin...1-166-1-ec.pdf
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Old November 10th, 2009, 06:47 AM   #193
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As much as I believe in the strategic value of the high speed railway line, I think that the original through train services should be maintained. Guangzhou and Shenzhen are spreading out fast; not all passengers want to go to the same places.

Last edited by aab7772003; December 30th, 2009 at 01:29 AM.
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Old November 10th, 2009, 04:35 PM   #194
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A HSR is needed, but that doesn't mean it comes at any price. The current price tag is too big, considering other major projects such as the cultural district have not had that kind of budget luxury.
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Old November 10th, 2009, 07:06 PM   #195
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Thousands to feel the noise from rail link construction
Many pupils, elderly residents have not been told of project

9 November 2009
South China Morning Post

Tens of thousands of people living and working along the controversial new cross-border high-speed railway - including many living in multimillion-dollar luxury apartments - face years of noise pollution.

An MTR Corporation environmental impact assessment report produced this year says that at least 65 commercial and residential buildings will be hit by noise during the construction of the line, which will last until 2015.

Most of the affected buildings are in West Kowloon, Nam Cheong and Shek Kong, with noise coming from the massive drilling and blasting works required to complete the line's underground stations and tunnel.

Developments worth more than HK$10,000 per square foot in The Arch, another in The Waterfront and one block in the Sorrento above Kowloon Station will all face noise levels above the acceptable 75 decibels during construction, despite sound-proofing measures.

Engineers say 70 to 75dB of noise is equivalent to having a busy road directly outside an apartment.

The 26-kilometre Hong Kong section will be built entirely underground and run from the West Kowloon terminus to the mainland via Mong Kok, Kwai Tsing District, Tsuen Wan and Mai Po.

Despite construction getting under way by the end of the year, residents in the areas to be affected have not received information about the potential noise impact.

The Executive Council has given approval to the cross-border express railway with a price tag of HK$65.2 billion. Land owners from Tsoi Yuen Tsuen first drew the public's attention to the railway when they began protesting about the demolition of their homes to make way for a depot.

The MTR Corp's environmental impact assessment report named several areas - described as noise-sensitive zones - that would most likely be affected by noise. The report shows public housing estates, homes for the elderly, village houses, schools and luxury flats within the zones.

It recommends that for homes for the elderly, construction noise, after mitigation measures, should not exceed 70dB, the equivalent of the noise generated by a vacuum cleaner. It also sets the daytime construction-noise maximum for schools at 65dB during examinations and 70dB during normal school hours.

However, the report predicts that Ying Wa College, Sham Shui Po, will suffer noise of up to 70dB; Yaumati Catholic Primary School up to 74dB; and that noise pollution at HKIVE Haking Wong Waterfront Annex on Lai Chi Kok Road may exceed the recommended maximum by 3dB to 7dB for about 34 months.

Luxury developments in West Kowloon are not to be spared. Sky Tower at The Arch will have noise levels of up to 70dB, while its neighbouring Moon Tower will suffer up to 76dB. Tower 3 of The Waterfront on top of Kowloon Station will hear levels of up to 78dB.

The report also points out that after the line opens the residents of Shui Hong Nursing Home at Cheung Shan Estate, Kwai Chung, will face continuing noise from a ventilation shaft about 75 metres away. Chan Wing-hung, a social worker at the home, expressed concern for the health of the 100 residents aged 60 to 96. "I have not yet received any notice about the rail. We will study the impact if we are informed and, if problems affect us, we will speak out."

Ying Wa College has 1,200 pupils and its primary section, Ying Wa Primary School, has 1,000. But principal Roger Lee Chee-wah said he had little information on how the project would affect the school.

"Our school has not yet received any consultation on the railway. I have not yet received phone calls or letters," he said. "The predicted noise of 70 decibels falls within the criteria. But {hellip} the standard should be stricter for schools. Students need a quiet environment for learning."

The situation was somewhat different at HKIVE Haking Wong, a vocational training school. Principal Winnie Ngan Shuk-yin said the annex on Lai Chi Kok Road was used as an electrical workshop. "Representatives of related parties had meetings with us. We also agreed that the construction works would be temporarily suspended if needed. Actually, students do drilling at the workshop, which also creates noise. So the rail works would not affect us much."

Fu Cheong Estate, across the road from Ying Wa College, has two blocks expected to be affected by construction noise. But nine of 10 residents interviewed said they had no idea on how construction work would affect their lives.

Leung Kin-hoi, 25, who lives with her husband and child at the estate, said she was worried about the impact on health. "I have not heard of construction works near my estate. I worry that it might affect my child's studies and health. Noise would disturb my child's sleep," she said.

Kenny Wong Kai-ming, 22, who lives in Tower 1 of The Waterfront, said he did not know the location of the railway but was concerned that the noise might disturb his studies.

The report said the contractor should liaise with schools and avoid noisy construction work during examinations. It also recommended that mitigation measures such as silencers and mufflers be used on construction equipment.

Peter Wong Yiu-sun, a former president of the Institute of Engineers, said that the heavy machinery used in the early stages of construction would be quite noisy.

"Preparation of the construction site, especially moving heavy machines or drilling the first hole in the ground, will cause noise," he said.

"But the impact also depends on ambient noise and the distance of affected parties from the source of the noise."

Maggie So Man-kit, senior manager of projects and property communications at the MTR Corp, said equipment and site practices would aim to keep noise to a minimum. However, there would be times when noise would be unavoidable.

She said the contractors would be instructed to work with schools and community facilities such as nursing homes, and that public forums and meetings with owners committees had been organised. The committees of the properties on top of Kowloon Station had been informed via their management offices.

MTR Corp general manager of the express rail link, Paul Lo Po-hing, pledged the company would take all measures possible to reduce environmental noise and vibration from the project.

"We have to submit the environmental assessment report before the construction. We have to get the permit before starting construction. In the permit, we would outline the measures to be taken," he said.

Meanwhile, the Transport and Housing Bureau said it would ensure the project complied with the conditions on the environmental permits.
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Old November 10th, 2009, 07:18 PM   #196
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oh god...! This is starting to be funny.
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Old November 10th, 2009, 08:56 PM   #197
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gakei View Post
Please see Pages 22, 23 and 24 of the following Legco document. The design of West Kowloon Terminus appears to have minor changes.

http://www.legco.gov.hk/yr09-10/chin...1-166-1-ec.pdf
If the station has one entry on each eastern and western end directly connecting to Kowloon Station and Austion Station, does that argument on 12 minutes walk from the station to the other MTR stations go away?
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Old November 10th, 2009, 08:59 PM   #198
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Thousands to feel the noise from rail link construction
Many pupils, elderly residents have not been told of project

9 November 2009
South China Morning Post

Developments worth more than HK$10,000 per square foot in The Arch, another in The Waterfront and one block in the Sorrento above Kowloon Station will all face noise levels above the acceptable 75 decibels during construction, despite sound-proofing measures.
Take that 5-year, and the 10k/sf property will become 15k/sf at no cost to the owners.
If people look at it that way, I think most of them would be more than happy to deal with the day time noise when they are out at works anyways.
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Old November 10th, 2009, 09:35 PM   #199
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The PDF has an interesting design for the WKD terminus.
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Old November 11th, 2009, 03:22 PM   #200
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricIsHim View Post
Take that 5-year, and the 10k/sf property will become 15k/sf at no cost to the owners.
If people look at it that way, I think most of them would be more than happy to deal with the day time noise when they are out at works anyways.
People want risk-less return, and those living in high class areas don't want their peace disturbed and still enjoy a 50% capital gain!
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