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Old July 28th, 2016, 04:04 PM   #981
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The new high speed rail link station taking shape in Kowloon West by Jamie Lloyd, on Flickr
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Old July 29th, 2016, 08:20 AM   #982
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Old August 6th, 2016, 05:02 PM   #983
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Hong Kong's high-speed link with China beset with problems
7 July 2016
Nikkei Report Excerpt

HONG KONG -- The list of challenges facing the controversial multibillion high-speed railway project seems to have grown longer. Plagued by cost overruns and repeated construction delays, the 26-kilometer-long railway linking southern China is facing more operational headwinds.

Despite the 84.4 billion Hong Kong dollar ($10.9 billion) railway being slated to complete in 2018, its future operation remains in question. Hong Kong railway operator MTR, the project's main builder, has yet to obtain rights to operate the train tracks from Hong Kong to the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou and link up to the country's wider high-speed network.

A MTR spokesperson confirmed to media last month that the company had yet to commence discussions with the government over the issue, echoing what Chief Executive Lincoln Leong had said earlier. "The operating rights have still not been given to the MTR and the government still hasn't decided which way they want to go. Our focus is to deliver the physical construction of the railway," Leong said in late January.

The railway project has already lost its appeal to some commuters as only one direct train to Guangzhou would be scheduled every day. This is despite the government's initial claim that the railway would provide a direct link from Hong Kong to Guangzhou in only 48 minutes, significantly down from 100 minutes currently. Of the 190 daily journeys from Hong Kong to southern China, only 4% would be made on non-stop trains, according to local media reports.

Another thorny issue is whether to allow the setting up of joint immigration checkpoints in the heart of Hong Kong. Legal observers say mainland Chinese customs officers should not be allowed to station in Hong Kong as that would be a serious breach of the "one country, two systems" principle governing the former British colony since its handover to Beijing in 1997.

Alarm bells were once again sounded on Wednesday when MTR was blasted for "deliberately covering up" construction delays of the high-speed railway. The project has already seen its completion date pushed back to 2018 -- three years behind schedule. Its budget has ballooned beyond the proposed HK$64.8 billion, with an additional funding of HK$19.6 billion required.

An inquiry report launched by a special committee under the Legislative Council, the territory's de facto parliament, considered the corporate governance of MTR "less than satisfactory." It held responsible MTR and its two former executives for failing to report accurately about the delays to the government, which is a major shareholder of the rail operator with a 76% stake. One of the executives, Jay Walder received a contractual settlement of HK$15.7 million after stepping down from his position as chief executive in 2014.

"The public was entitled to know the true situation... and this entitlement should not be sacrificed for the sake of commercial expediency," the report said. But MTR Chairman Frederick Ma has denied any cover-up. Calling the committee's findings "very disappointing," he told reporters: "These are very serious but groundless accusations."

A separate minority report submitted by five pan-democratic lawmakers pinpointed transport minister Anthony Cheung for "violating public interest" in his capacity as a top official. When questioned by reporters, Cheung said the government had "no incentives" to cover up the delays. "In hindsight, it would have been better to reveal the situation earlier to avoid unnecessary public speculation," he added.
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Old August 7th, 2016, 02:50 PM   #984
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It feels unthinkable to me that the Hong Kong government would let HSR service of an existing infrastructure be prevented over quarrels of operation rights. That would be madness, wouldn't it?
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Old August 7th, 2016, 05:49 PM   #985
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They didn't plan it out thoroughly when the shovels went into the ground. Seems they were rushed to start building based on Beijing's grand plans.
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Old September 26th, 2016, 07:23 AM   #986
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MTR expects first high speed train
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CHINA: MTR Corp announced on September 23 that it was shortly expecting to take delivery by sea of the first of nine high speed trainsets being supplied by CRRC Qingdao Sifang to operate from Kowloon to Shenzhen and Guangzhou on the Express Rail Link.

Prior to shipment from Qingdao, the first set has undergone extensive factory testing, with ‘stringent standards on safety and quality control’ enforced throughout the design and manufacturing stages, according to MTR. ‘During train production, MTR staff members have been stationed at the factory to closely monitor the production process including manufacturing, assembly and testing procedures’, said MTR Projects Director Dr Philco Wong.

Dynamic testing was undertaken on high speed infrastructure between Shanghai and Kunming, with over 5 000 km accumulated during test runs.

Upon the arrival in Hong Kong, the first trainset will be delivered to Shek Kong stabling sidings before undergoing static and low-speed dynamic tests. These will be followed by dynamic testing on the 16 km pilot section of XRL between the emergency rescue siding at Shek Kong and the ventilation building at Mongkok West.

Based on the CRH380A design, each XRL trainsets has eight cars and weighs 408 tonnes. There are seats for 579 passengers, plus two wheelchair spaces, and maximum speed is 350 km/h.

MTR reports that the XRL project ‘is progressing as planned’ and is now around 82% complete. The corporation says that it is ‘making every endeavour’ to achieve the target of delivering XRL for passenger service in Quarter 3 of 2018.
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Old September 26th, 2016, 07:26 AM   #987
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THE first MTR-CRH380A arrived Hongkong on September 23





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Old September 28th, 2016, 07:31 PM   #988
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Looks sweet. When the Hong Kong trains are operational can passengers book tickets from Guangzhounan to Shenzhenbei/Futian and get off or do they need to book with CRH to do that? I've wondered why Hong Kong requires their own trains on this line. I somehow expect CRH to take care of all transportation. Will CRH go into Hong Kong? I'm sure this has been discussed before yet I cannot find it.
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Old September 28th, 2016, 07:56 PM   #989
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I think it would be like the existing through trains, where MTR provide some trains and CRH the rest.
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Old September 29th, 2016, 07:22 AM   #990
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flankerjun View Post
THE first MTR-CRH380A arrived Hongkong on September 23





I am surprised that these have delivered by sea, then being road transported to Shek Kong, when the rails are in place allowing for loco hauled delivery. Or even just trucking them from Shenzhen rather than the need for a sea voyage.
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Old September 30th, 2016, 12:34 AM   #991
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I wondered that as well? Why not ship the trains by rail? I can't imagine it's cheaper(edit: meant to say "I think it might be cheaper to ship by rail, put the product on the tracks and pull them down to Hong Kong."). Maybe they wanted to finish some type of work in Hong Kong rather than the mainland? I really have no idea.

Last edited by FM 2258; September 30th, 2016 at 07:04 PM.
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Old September 30th, 2016, 02:57 AM   #992
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Short View Post
I am surprised that these have delivered by sea, then being road transported to Shek Kong, when the rails are in place allowing for loco hauled delivery. Or even just trucking them from Shenzhen rather than the need for a sea voyage.
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Originally Posted by FM 2258 View Post


I wondered that as well? Why not ship the trains by rail? I can't imagine it's cheaper. Maybe they wanted to finish some type of work in Hong Kong rather than the mainland? I really have no idea.

I think it's cheaper and time is especially not an issue .

Also ...

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Old September 30th, 2016, 10:07 AM   #993
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyridgeline View Post
I think it's cheaper and time is especially not an issue .

Also ...

I think you have missed the fact that these trainsets had already been moved from Qingdao to conduct testing between Shanghai right across China to Kunming. Thus a move by rail to Shenzhen should not have been cost prohibitive, however I expect there is a more obscure tax or production reason, with the vehicles "exported" by sea.
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Old September 30th, 2016, 04:13 PM   #994
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I would imagine it would be a logistical nightmare to close Hong Kong's highways to let the big trucks carrying the rolling stock to pass. Even if they do it during the night, if there were any incidents, it may affect morning rush hour traffic.
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Old October 30th, 2016, 04:34 PM   #995
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D76_5512 by Sun Lam, on Flickr
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Old November 16th, 2016, 05:48 PM   #996
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West Kowloon, Hong Kong by Mike, on Flickr
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Old December 1st, 2016, 09:24 AM   #997
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Quote:
Expect government plan for co-location of Guangzhou rail link checkpoints by end December, lawmaker says
South China Morning Post
1st December 2016
Tony Cheung
Cannix Yau


Legco railways subcommittee chair Michael Tien fears there may be insufficient time to enact required local legislation before 2018 launch. The government is expected to put forward a proposal by the end of December on how to implement the controversial co-location of checkpoints at the West Kowloon terminus of the troubled HK$84.4 billion express rail link to Guangzhou.

New People’s Party lawmaker Michael Tien Puk-sun, chairman of the Legislative Council’s railways subcommittee, said on Wednesday that he had gathered this news from various “sources”, but when he confronted transport minister Anthony Cheung Bing-leung in a private meeting, Cheung declined to confirm it.

“I heard from various sources that the co-location plan will be unveiled by the end of December. I asked the Secretary to confirm these today, but of course he did not,” Tien said, adding that Cheung told him only that the co-location plan would “conform to the Basic Law”. Lawmaker Michael Tien Puk-sun fears that there may not be enough time for enactment of local legislation before the express rail link is ready for launch.

The co-location arrangement, which pan-democrats say violates the Basic Law, would mean mainland officers being stationed at the West Kowloon terminus and enforcing laws in Hong Kong. This would require Legco’s approval because it involves enactment of local legislation.

However, sources close to MTR Corporation’s top management said that so far they had not received any news from the government about its plan, though construction of the co-location facilities had already begun at the West Kowloon terminus. “We will stick to our schedule to produce the hardware. But we are not sure if the co-location can meet this schedule. After all, the design of the West Kowloon terminus is to specifically cater to the implementation of co-location,” a source said.

The specifics on how immigration procedures will be enforced remain unclear. Tien also said it still remained unclear whether the immigration procedures would be partly enforced by Hong Kong officers and partly by mainland officers with the help of technology. The lawmaker said his main concern was whether there would be enough time for enactment of local legislation before the express rail link was ready for launch in the third quarter of 2018.

“It is a controversial issue – you cannot assume that society can digest it and reach a consensus in 18 months. We are running out of time, if the plan is unveiled after next month, I am worried that people will say the government is forcing them to accept it as it is,” Tien said, adding that he expected the government would resolve all the relevant legal issues and queries.

Hinting at the possibility of mainland intervention, Tien said: “I hope it can be done by local legislation, because it would safeguard ‘one country, two systems’, and we are comfortable about it.”

Original Article
I can see this derailing and delaying the project further as various elements of the Legco debate this issue.
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Old December 9th, 2016, 01:38 PM   #998
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South China Morning Post Excerpt
Hong Kong talks with Beijing over co-location of checkpoints for Guangzhou rail link at ‘critical stage’
But city’s government not ready to reveal other information to public, says Undersecretary for Transport and Housing Yau Shing-mu
December 9, 2016

Negotiations with Beijing over the controversial co-location of checkpoints at the West Kowloon terminus of the HK$84.4 billion express rail link to Guangzhou have reached a critical, final stage, according to Undersecretary for Transport and Housing Yau Shing-mu.

But he said that the Hong Kong government was not ready to disclose other information at this point. “So far we do not have any further updates on the negotiations,” he told the Legislative Council’s subcommittee on matters relating to railways on Friday.

New People’s Party lawmaker Michael Tien Puk-sun, chairman of the subcommittee, believed that the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee would need to discuss any agreed proposal between Hong Kong and the mainland and authorise the State Council to make relevant arrangements.

“I suspect that the NPC Standing Committee may need to discuss this issue during its bimonthly meeting on December 19, otherwise it will be too late for the government to arrange the enactment of local legislation [so that the] deadline in the third quarter of 2018 [would be met],” he said.

But Yau insisted he had nothing to add, saying that he had no idea of the NPC Standing Committee’s schedule.

The co-location arrangement, which pan-democrats say violates the Basic Law, would mean that mainland officers would be stationed at the West Kowloon terminus and would be enforcing laws in Hong Kong. Legco’s approval is required for this plan because it involves the enactment of local legislation.

More : http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/e...on-checkpoints
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Old December 11th, 2016, 06:41 AM   #999
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High speed rail constructions, Hong Kong by Song Jose, on Flickr
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Old January 6th, 2017, 03:46 PM   #1000
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West Kowloon Terminus Construction


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