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Old January 8th, 2016, 03:48 AM   #881
hkskyline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
Because that's the best information to extrapolate from. I'm very much aware that there are options as to where to extrapolate to.
There are no reliable precedents to extrapolate from. Period.

We all don't know how the schedules will be structured once the full line opens. The extra stations are there for a reason, and I doubt the intention is to leave them there to gather dust.
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Old January 8th, 2016, 07:24 AM   #882
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
The extra stations are there for a reason, and I doubt the intention is to leave them there to gather dust.
Look at the oldest HSR of China - Beijing-Tianjin. Open for more than 7 years.
2 stations still are gathering dust.
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Old January 8th, 2016, 07:38 AM   #883
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
Look at the oldest HSR of China - Beijing-Tianjin. Open for more than 7 years.
2 stations still are gathering dust.
Not representative to extrapolate that to other lines.
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Old January 8th, 2016, 09:30 AM   #884
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Not representative to extrapolate that to other lines.
Representative. There are other similar examples.
Second example: Guangzhou-Wuhan high speed railway. Opened in 2009, has been open for over 6 years.
Wulongquan East is still gathering dust.
There are more examples.
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Old January 8th, 2016, 10:01 AM   #885
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
Representative. There are other similar examples.
Second example: Guangzhou-Wuhan high speed railway. Opened in 2009, has been open for over 6 years.
Wulongquan East is still gathering dust.
There are more examples.
What makes you think those examples will apply to the Guangzhou - Hong Kong line? Any news sources that indicate those additional stations will be mothballed? You need a bit more substance to your wild guesses.
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Old January 8th, 2016, 11:59 AM   #886
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
What makes you think those examples will apply to the Guangzhou - Hong Kong line? Any news sources that indicate those additional stations will be mothballed? You need a bit more substance to your wild guesses.
Well, there are a lot of stations which are not exactly mothballed, but which are heavily underused. Majority of stations, in fact.
And that has been the pattern for years. Shenzhen-Guangzhou high speed railway has been open for over 4 years. The 2 stations at Guangmingcheng and Qingsheng have been open all the time, yet between them they have currently 11 trains stopping there, out of 102 which pass through.
The pattern of service changes in these years has been tinkering in small steps. The only major change was the Slowdown Campaigns in 2011.
And there is a pretty good underlying motivation for the pattern. There simply are spots along HSR that do not need 100 trains per day. What they then get is not 0 trains per day, nor 50, but a small number, like the 5-6 of these 2 stations.
I see no clear reason why that pattern should change qualitatively anytime soon. The guess that the basic pattern remains with small tinkering seems a good one.
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Old January 8th, 2016, 03:59 PM   #887
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
Well, there are a lot of stations which are not exactly mothballed, but which are heavily underused. Majority of stations, in fact.
And that has been the pattern for years. Shenzhen-Guangzhou high speed railway has been open for over 4 years. The 2 stations at Guangmingcheng and Qingsheng have been open all the time, yet between them they have currently 11 trains stopping there, out of 102 which pass through.
The pattern of service changes in these years has been tinkering in small steps. The only major change was the Slowdown Campaigns in 2011.
And there is a pretty good underlying motivation for the pattern. There simply are spots along HSR that do not need 100 trains per day. What they then get is not 0 trains per day, nor 50, but a small number, like the 5-6 of these 2 stations.
I see no clear reason why that pattern should change qualitatively anytime soon. The guess that the basic pattern remains with small tinkering seems a good one.
That is because they are located in the outskirts awaiting further development. But that also means they will be more frequently used as time passes, which would jeopardize the speed and frequency of express trains. Qingsheng, for example, intersects the Guangzhou metro and in a key development area, Nansha.
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Old January 18th, 2016, 04:08 PM   #888
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Old January 19th, 2016, 03:54 PM   #889
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Government insists 'one country, two systems' not threatened as Legco holds out over extra high-speed rail funding
19 January 2016
South China Morning Post Excerpt

The principle of "one country, two systems" will not be sacrificed for economic efficiency, the transport minister insisted on Tuesday. But lawmakers still didn't green-light extra money for the city's portion of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong rail link.

The placement of immigration checkpoints serving both Hong Kong and the mainland at the link's West Kowloon terminus remained a concern for lawmakers. Some say having mainland officials working in the special administrative region undermines the separation of the two systems.

The government had said that issue should be dealt with separately from the request for extra funding.

"The government repeatedly stressed co-location arrangements will be implemented in compliance with the Basic Law and the principle of ‘one country, two systems'," said Secretary for Housing and Transport Anthony Cheung Bing-leung at the Legislative Council meeting, as he tried to urge lawmakers to endorse its request for extra money to finish the railway project, which had been delayed to 2018.

"[The government] will not, for economic efficiency, sacrifice ‘one country, two systems'.

"The government is still negotiating with mainland authorities on a feasible plan. As to how co-location arrangements will be implemented in the future, it still needs consensus of the community."

Discussion over extra funding will continue this Saturday.

The MTR Corporation is currently short HK$19.6 billion to complete the railway project and has sought the amount by March.

To keep the project running, the government last year proposed asking the Legislative Council to approve the extra cash by February. The government would recoup almost exactly the same amount through a special dividend from the MTR Corp, subject to its shareholders' approval.

The government expected the HK$65 billion it earlier allocated to MTR for the project would run dry by July.

If funding was not approved, the government said the project would be suspended, at an estimated loss of HK$4.8 billion.
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Old January 21st, 2016, 03:56 PM   #890
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7,000 jobs at stake in Rail Link: MTR chief
21 January 2016
South China Morning Post Excerpt

Frederick Ma warns Hong Kong's international reputation could be compromised if project is halted and result in a loss of HK$4.8 billion

The MTR Corporation's new chairman yesterday warned up to 7,000 people in the construction industry would lose their jobs and Hong Kong's international reputation would be jeopardised if the high-speed rail link to the mainland was suspended.

Frederick Ma Si-hang's warning came as a study by the Construction Industry Alliance released yesterday estimated that up to 20 per cent of the sector's 400,000 employees could be out of work if the pan-democrats did not stop blocking approval of infrastructure projects.

Lawrence Ng San-wa, president of the Hongkong Construction Sub-contractors Association, said: "Taking into account the family members of these affected employees, the affected people would be as much as 1.4 million."

In an interview with the Post yesterday, Ma said between 5,000 and 7,000 workers and engineers would lose their jobs if the city's section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong rail link stopped in its tracks.

There were about 100 imported workers employed at different sites of the Hong Kong section of the express rail link.

"It would deal a serious blow to Hong Kong's international reputation as the city has never seen the abandonment of any major infrastructure projects," he said.

Ma, who was involved in constructing Hong Kong International Airport in the 1990s when he worked for a building and civil works company, said international contractors might "give Hong Kong a bad name" if the project was abandoned.

"It would be disastrous to let it happen," he said.

The government hoped to persuade the Legislative Council to approve the HK$19.6 billion in extra funding by next month. Almost exactly the same amount should eventually be recouped through a special dividend to be paid by the MTR.

Were the Finance Committee to reject the funding request, the 26km railway linking West Kowloon to Guangzhou would come to a halt at an estimated loss of HK$4.8 billion.

The cost of resuming the project later would be HK$28.2 billion, resulting in an extra cost of HK$33 billion.

Were the project scrapped, the government estimated the cost would be HK$10.6 billion.

On February 1, MTR shareholders were to vote on a deal to pay the government HK$19.51 billion in a special dividend.
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Old January 22nd, 2016, 04:18 AM   #891
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Just sell the whole project to Beijing for one yuan .
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Old January 22nd, 2016, 07:39 AM   #892
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
Representative. There are other similar examples.
Second example: Guangzhou-Wuhan high speed railway. Opened in 2009, has been open for over 6 years.
Wulongquan East is still gathering dust.
There are more examples.
Wulongquan East exist for strategic reasons only, you look up the station on the map. it is literally in the middle of nowhere, the nearest thing is a medium sized town. However, near by an additives mine for Wuhan steel, which makes high yield strength steel used to build submarines. I would not be surprised if there are major military installations near by. That place has unusually good infrastructure for what it is. Though, the only I can see near by is a medium sized and fairly soft airbase little to the south, deploying about a regiment worth of obsolete J-7 fighters.

Edit: Did a little research, it's 52nd Air Regiment of 18th Air division, deploying J-7II fighters. But I doubt that's the major installation though, since it's some what unimportant.

Last edited by luhai; January 22nd, 2016 at 08:10 AM.
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Old January 26th, 2016, 08:52 AM   #893
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Shouldn't this kind of stuff be moved to the CHINA High Speed Rail thread? I fail to see how strategic discussions on Wulongquan East is tangent to the situation in Hong Kong.


On the other hand, what is the current immigration modus operandi for Mainland-bound trains terminating at Hung Hom Station? A friend of mine said that immigration seems to take place within the station, but I'm not longer sure as l don't see anyone having issues with that. If Mainland immigration does take place HongKong-side, then what is the ruckus being raised with the Express Rail Link? If HungHom does not have immigration facilities, given trains such as the KTT stop at multiple stations within China, how are procedures implemented there?

My view is that whatever plan already in place on the current East Rail Line corridor should be implemented as well for the XRL.
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Old January 26th, 2016, 11:40 AM   #894
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I don't live in HK, so others might have a better answer than me. But here goes:

If I'm not wrong, passengers go through Chinese immigration before boarding the through trains in China, then clear HK immigration at Hung Hom and vice versa.

I don't think passengers not going to HK are allowed on those trains.

As for WKT, because apparently the plan is to integrate it into the CRH network, and it'd be unfeasible to have every station with a HK-bound train also house Chinese immigration facilities, thus the desire to co-locate both immigration facilities at WKT.
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Old January 27th, 2016, 07:13 AM   #895
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Swordsman View Post
Shouldn't this kind of stuff be moved to the CHINA High Speed Rail thread? I fail to see how strategic discussions on Wulongquan East is tangent to the situation in Hong Kong.
The tangent was, how the existence of minor stations in China would affect the total frequency and trip time of trains terminating in Hong Kong.
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Old January 27th, 2016, 12:42 PM   #896
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On the other hand, what is the current immigration modus operandi for Mainland-bound trains terminating at Hung Hom Station? A friend of mine said that immigration seems to take place within the station, but I'm not longer sure as l don't see anyone having issues with that. If Mainland immigration does take place HongKong-side, then what is the ruckus being raised with the Express Rail Link? If HungHom does not have immigration facilities, given trains such as the KTT stop at multiple stations within China, how are procedures implemented there?
Mainland entry and exit immigration checkpoints are not located on Hong Kong soil for the through trains.

Instead all through train passengers have to pass through the Mainland China entry and exit checkpoints at Beijing West, Shanghai, Changping, Guangzhou East, Foshan, and Zhaoqing station.
The Mainland China platform, where the train stops, arrives or departs from are usually fenced off. This also applies to Zhuzhou [hunan] and Jinhua station, because the Hong Kong - Shanghai trains stops there, although Hong Kong originating passengers are not allowed to exit the train there.
Moreover, the HK exit immigration officials do not check if the departing passenger have a valid visa for Mainland China.

You may do some research on this topic by consulting these videos:

Through Train Hong Kong - Shanghai (HK exit immigration procedure)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-ziFBdHywY

Through Train Hong Kong - Shanghai (Mainland China entry immigration procedure)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yc0uLZ6JUFw

Through Train Shanghai - Hong Kong (Mainland China exit immigration procedure)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_0C4kIKZ2s

Through Train Shanghai - Hong Kong (HK entry immigration procedure)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlgfXFeei90

Through Train Hong Kong - Guangzhou (HK exit immigration procedure)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AsMY6ONYVk

Quote:
I don't think passengers not going to HK are allowed on those trains.
This is not 100% correct.
The Beijing - Hong Kong and Shanghai - Hong Kong carriages are simply attached to domestic trains between Bejing - Guangzhou and Shanghai - Guangzhou.
Passengers, who just want to travel between Beijing and Guangzhou, are allowed to board the HK-bound train. Physically HK-bound and Guangzhou-bound passengers are travelling on the same train.
However, they are kept apart in different parts of the train, because the HK-bound passenger have already passed Mainland China exit immigration in Beijing. The restaurant car forms the border! Train staff won't allow passenger to switch between the Guangzhou-bound car and the HK-bound restaurant car.

If any clever HK-bound passenger gets the idea of manually opening the door (with a tool) and exiting the train (e.g. in Zhuzhou [hunan] or Jinhua), they will be in trouble, because the military is guarding the platforms.

Last edited by doc7austin; January 27th, 2016 at 01:02 PM.
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Old January 27th, 2016, 03:00 PM   #897
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Jan. 27, 2016
The Standard Excerpt
Begging for mercy only express rail option?

Minority MTR Corp Ltd shareholders will meet Monday to vote on a deal to keep the Express Rail Link project on track.

In face of the special dividends promised, it's the market consensus the "yes" vote will carry the day, although the funding package will call for the corporation to empty its entire cash reserves and borrow billions to foot the bill.

Who would refuse ready cash despite the drawbacks?

If the proposal wins approval at the extraordinary general meeting, pressure will mount on lawmakers to pass a request the government is making to Finance Committee legislators.

It would be wishful thinking to assume there exists a logical relationship. For an opposition that has been trying to cripple the administration by filibustering, the EGM outcome will have no bearing on the current debacle in the Legislative Council.

Although sensible people know it would be disastrous to abort the mega rail project after so much has gone into it, the reality is our political environment is no longer friendly to common sense.

MTRCL chairman Frederick Ma Si-hang has every right to be impatient. He's unwilling to switch off the "rocket" because he knows it will be extremely costly to reignite it later.

But he doesn't seem to have a better choice than making public appeals to draw attention to the dire situation and begging for mercy from lawmakers by approving the funding.

At stake is an additional HK$19.6 billion the government is asking lawmakers to approve. To secure approval, the request needs to be endorsed by the public works subcommittee, before going to the Finance Committee.

Theoretically, the government could take the case directly to the Finance Committee - even though the subcommittee is responsible for examining the proposal and making recommendations.

But, in doing so, ties between the executive and the legislature would be hit further.

The issue is pressing for Ma since the request is still stuck in the subcommittee, without any sign of when it may move forward. Of course, the danger is that budgeted funds will be used up and works then must stop.

It's no exaggeration such stoppage will inflict great damage to the SAR's international reputation. What will professionals in Britain, France, Japan and South Korea say if Hong Kong becomes a laughing stock? It's unimaginable.
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Old January 30th, 2016, 06:39 AM   #898
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My take on this is stopping the project would show the government has the cuts to enforce accountability and governance. We can't keep paying an unlimited amount and let them overrun recklessly.

Laughing stock warning if link project shelved
Jan. 25, 2016
The Standard Excerpt

Hong Kong will be the laughing stock of the world if construction of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link is stopped or suspended, the railway chief says.

MTR Corp Limited chairman Frederick Ma Si-hang said if the additional funding is not approved, contractors will have to be informed before the end of March or three months prior to the stoppage of work as the current funding of HK$65 billion will be exhausted by then.

"A lot of our contractors are international companies," he told a radio program. "Obviously they won't be happy about the stoppage of work. And this will be the talking point in their countries."

The contractors are from France, Spain, Italy, Britain, Japan and South Korea.

Ma said Hong Kong has enjoyed a good reputation with the construction of infrastructure over the years and he warned that calling off the Hong Kong section of the project will be a disaster.

The public works subcommittee of the Legislative Council is still debating the government's request for an additional HK$19.6 billion which also needs the approval of the Finance Committee.

Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung Bing-leung had previously warned that if the funding is not approved by the end of next month, construction may be suspended in March.

Ma said stopping construction is like turning off a rocket that is about to be shot into space. Once the project is suspended, it will not be as easy as flicking a switch to resume the work as some 7,000 engineers and workers are involved, he added.
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Old February 2nd, 2016, 04:24 PM   #899
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The Standard Excerpt
MTRC on track with express rail funding
Feb. 2, 2016

Minority MTR Corporation Limited shareholders gave an almost unanimous approval for special dividends to be used to press on with the much-delayed Express Rail Link project, the first step for securing government funding.

Shareholders backed the motion with a 99.83 percent of the vote in the subway operator's first general meeting of the year, with 585 shareholders attending yesterday.

The MTRCL's biggest shareholder, the SAR government, which holds 76 percent of the company, did not join the meeting or the vote.

But the HK$19.6 billion extra funding for the Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link has yet to get through the public works subcommittee in the Legislative Council. It meets today for a sixth time on the funding.

If the funding request is voted down, the special dividend will not be distributed.

MTRCL chairman Frederick Ma Si- hang called on lawmakers to consider the wishes of an overwhelming majority of the minority shareholders and pass the additional funding.

"The biggest fear of the MTR Corporation is the filibustering in Legco, as delay in the project will mean more costs," Ma said.

"If the funding cannot be approved, it is you and me, the taxpayers, who are paying the money. I hope lawmakers can make up their minds as soon as possible."

Ma has repeatedly asked lawmakers to "have mercy" on the funding after the vote.

To keep the project running, the government last year proposed to seek HK$19.6 billion in additional funding on top of an initial HK$65 billion, with almost exactly the same amount to be eventually recouped through a special dividend to be paid by the MTR, which shareholders approved yesterday.
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Old February 3rd, 2016, 03:35 AM   #900
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Feb 2, 2016
Hong Kong Economic Journal Excerpt
MTR retail investors speak the truth about the rail link

The Hong Kong government and MTR Corp. (00066.HK) are on full-court press to secure funding for the high-speed rail link that will connect the city to Shenzhen and Guangzhou.

The rail operator’s shareholders have given the green light to a revised budget plan that caps funding for the project at HK$84.4 billion.

MTR said more than 99.83 percent of the votes approved the funding plan, which provides for the government to pay HK$19 billion to cover the extra cost of the project.

In turn, the company will pay back the amount via two dividends of HK$4.4 per share; the government owns 70 percent of the company.

As to be expected, the shareholders welcomed the funding plan mainly because of the special dividends, but they took the opportunity presented by the shareholders’ meeting to question the government’s decision to follow Beijing’s plan to build the rail project which may take decades to recoup the investment costs.

They know that the project shouldn’t have been approved in the first place.

Still, any opposition was bound to be defeated; less than 1 percent of the votes rejected the motion.

In the shareholders’ meeting on Monday morning, several minority investors expressed their doubts about the project’s outlook.

One investor, Mr. Lee, a retired engineer of the Highways Department, said he did not support the plan because it sacrificed the MTR shareholders’ interest to complete the project.

Lee said while he welcomed the special dividend, he found it odd that the company had to borrow money for the payout.

Another shareholder, Ms. Chin, said she earned HK$4 per share when the company’s stock rose to HK$38 from HK$34 two months ago.

But she said she was worried about the stock’s outlook.

“The gearing ratio of MTR will surge to 29 percent, and the project still faces uncertainties. That could have negative impact on the share price,” she said.

Chin also criticized the consultant’s report that described the funding plan as a “fair deal” to convince shareholders to approve it.

“My husband also promised a lot when he proposed to me,” she quipped.

Some investors admitted they lacked confidence in the project, and the best solution was to stop it to avoid further losses.

Others criticized MTR and the government for dragging minority shareholders into the “funding trap”, noting that they didn’t have sufficient vote to reject the plan.
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