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Old January 3rd, 2020, 03:39 PM   #4621
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Experts clash in MTR inquiry
3 January 2020
The Standard Excerpt

Experts for Leighton Asia and MTR Corp disagreed with a government expert on safety requirements used in the Shatin to Central rail link project, a commission of inquiry heard yesterday on resumption after a three-month break.

Ian Pennicott, a lawyer for the commission, said four experts took part in a video conference last month and there was a big discrepancy in opinions over safety requirements for steel bars used in the construction.

He quoted three structural expert witnesses - Nick Southward, Mike Glover and Don McQuillan - as saying that as long as the steel bars' twisted teeth were screwed into the cap at least seven rounds, or around 3.2 centimeters, safety demands can be met.

But government expert Lau Chi-wang said the two parts need to be fully connected.

Another dispute was regarding shear links, with three foreign experts saying the links used in the construction were enough.

But Lau said there were spots that required shear links to be reinforced but none were installed.

All the foreign expert witnesses agreed that there were manual problems with the train parking area and the north-south connection tunnel project, but there was no need to add shear links.

Lau disagreed, saying adding shear links is necessary.

More : http://www.thestandard.com.hk/sectio....php?id=215031
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Old January 7th, 2020, 05:40 PM   #4622
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Hong Kong protests have left the MTR Corporation beaten, bruised and bleeding – and it was supposed to be celebrating its 40th anniversary
South China Morning Post Excerpt
Dec 28, 2019

It was just after midnight on December 12, and tired railway workers at Ngau Tau Kok MTR station in east Kowloon were preparing to go home at the end of a long day.

Hong Kong’s rail network had enjoyed weeks of relative calm, after months of violence and vandalism as anti-government protests spilled into metro stations.

Suddenly, the peace was shattered. Black-clad rioters hurled petrol bombs inside Ngau Tau Kok station at about 1am, the MTR Corporation said, damaging escalators, ticket machines and a Maxim’s Cakes shop. The station was evacuated and closed about 30 minutes early.

It was the latest in a series of attacks by anti-government radicals, piling on woes in a year when the rail giant should have been celebrating its 40th anniversary.

The MTR Corp began 2019 hoping to put a scandalous 2018 behind it, after a series of management crises and construction problems resulted in delays and budget overruns for the Sha Tin-Central rail link, the city’s most expensive rail project at HK$99.1 billion.

Heads rolled, and this year Rex Auyeung Pak-kuen and Jacob Kam Chak-pui took over as chairman and CEO respectively.

But 2019 has turned out pretty awfully for the rail operator, which serves 5 million passengers a day and once boasted a near-perfect punctuality rate of 99.9 per cent.

More : https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/...-mtr-2019-came
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Old January 9th, 2020, 07:43 PM   #4623
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Hong Kong People (B&W) by bigboysdad, on Flickr
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Old January 12th, 2020, 03:33 PM   #4624
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Train watchers say new MTR line opening soon
The Standard Excerpt
Jan 8, 2020

The MTR Corp is gearing up for the launch of the first phase of the Tuen Ma Line in the first quarter, with sources saying service may start in the middle of next month.

Facebook page Riders, a group founded for "railway enthusiasts," quoted sources as saying trial runs had resumed on Monday and are expected to finish in six weeks.

For the first three weeks, trains on the Ma On Shan Line from the afternoon peak hours to the end of service will head farther to Kai Tak station to take a U-turn after unloading passengers at Tai Wai station, the Facebook page wrote.

Three weeks later all trains will take the U-turn at Kai Tak station to test the timetable, which will last for another three weeks, so it can be estimated that the Tuen Ma Line will be launched after the Lunar New Year.

"If the trials go smoothly, the line should be ready for opening in mid-February," Riders estimated.

The page quoted sources as saying the MTRC ended services early at the end of last year, resulting in trials scheduled between late November and mid-January being delayed.

In response to an inquiry, a spokeswoman for the rail operator said the first phase of Tuen Ma Line is currently undergoing trial operation. The operation tests for different systems, including railways, train services, and station facilities, will be carried out gradually. And staff will prepare for the opening, she said.

"The first phase of the Tuen Ma Line is expected to be launched in the first quarter as scheduled and the opening date is yet to be confirmed," she said.

More : http://www.thestandard.com.hk/sectio....php?id=215183
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Old January 17th, 2020, 06:29 PM   #4625
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Tuen Ma Line Phase 1 to open
Jan 17, 2020
政府新聞處 Information Services Department, HKSARG




Posted on Ming Pao
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Old January 23rd, 2020, 02:19 PM   #4626
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Hong Kong’s rail operator MTR Corporation continues to suffer from ridership losses in December last year
South China Morning Post Excerpt
Jan 23, 2020

Hong Kong’s embattled rail operator continued to take a beating in the December ridership but managed to rebound from a sharp fall in November, when stations were closed for vandalism by radical anti-government protesters.

According to latest figures from the MTR Corporation, its domestic ridership in December last year was 123 million, down 15.6 per cent from a year ago. However, the figures showed a rebound of 11.6 per cent from 110 million in November last year.

The high-speed rail link to mainland China recorded the biggest drop of 37.5 per cent in traveller numbers to 1.14 million from 1.83 million in December 2018, a record high since the link’s debut in late September 2018.

The Airport Express was the second-hardest hit last month with its ridership plunging by 34 per cent year on year to 1.07 million.

The downward trend was also evident on other cross-border rail services, passenger numbers for December falling 19 per cent to 8.30 million from a year ago.

More : https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/...ntinues-suffer
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Old January 30th, 2020, 01:29 PM   #4627
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MTR - Ma On Shan Line, Shek Mun by Howard Pulling, on Flickr
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Old February 3rd, 2020, 11:24 AM   #4628
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Explosives found at train station on Hong Kong’s border with mainland China, in what police call ‘one big step closer to terrorism’
South China Morning Post Excerpt
Feb 2, 2020

Hong Kong police called the bomb squad to a railway station at the border with mainland China on Sunday afternoon, when two explosive devices were found on a train.

The police force called the incident part of an ongoing bombing campaign and said the city was “one big step closer to terrorism” carried out by extreme, violent individuals.

Lo Wu MTR station, which links to a border checkpoint between the city and Shenzhen, was closed for several hours, and rail services affected. The border checkpoint is one of the busiest in the world.

One of the devices was defused, while another caught fire and spurted white smoke, though it was unclear whether it had been detonated. No one was hurt.

Police said officers were called in when a cleaner spotted a plastic bag under a seat on a train, which arrived at a platform at about 3.10pm. The cleaner moved the bag to the platform, where another employee examined it and saw wires inside.

More : https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/...tion-suspended
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Old February 6th, 2020, 12:46 PM   #4629
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Embattled MTR can expect massive blow to revenue amid coronavirus with closure of cross-border services, analysts say
South China Morning Post Excerpt
Feb 6, 2020

With its profitable cross-border service now completely shuttered in a bid to limit the spread of the deadly coronavirus, Hong Kong’s MTR Corporation is looking at a grim financial year ahead, with an estimated revenue loss of over HK$3 billion (US$386 million), according to analysts.

The gloomy forecast comes as the embattled rail giant, already reeling from the suspension of its high-speed and through train services to the mainland, shut down its remaining cross-border service at the Lo Wu and Lok Ma Chau stations on the East Rail Line on Tuesday.

Based on December ridership, the MTR Corp is expected to lose at least 8.3 million passengers a month for its cross-border service and another 1.14 million a month for the high-speed train line.

According to the rail firm’s financial data, the fare per passenger is about HK$30 for the cross-border service and HK$90 for the high-speed rail.

In other words, the complete shutdown of its cross-border service will cost the company at least HK$350 million in revenue a month.

More : https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/...t-massive-blow
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Old February 12th, 2020, 04:36 PM   #4630
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Platform by Gum Li, on Flickr
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Old February 13th, 2020, 04:19 AM   #4631
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Mind the crowd, says MTR ahead of new service
RTHK Excerpt
Feb 12, 2020


Posted on Ming Pao

The biggest mass transit operator in Hong Kong is all set to unveil their latest addition to their network, but people are being urged not to rush in to join the debut trip of the new Tuen Ma rail line on Friday.

MTR Corporation said people should beware of their personal hygiene and avoid crowded places amid the coronavirus outbreak in the city.

Trains of the line, formerly known as the Shatin-Central link, will run between Tai Wai, Hin Keng, Diamond Hill and Kai Tak for the time being.

It extends from the current Ma On Shan line and will eventually be connected to the West Rail line as the construction scandal at Hung Hom station delayed the opening of several other new stations.

Speaking to reporters, a MTR’s general manager Alan Cheng said the new line will make it more convenient for passengers to travel between Kowloon East and Northeast New Territories.

He said it will only take nine minutes to go to Diamond Hill from Tai Wai, eight minutes quicker than transferring in Kowloon Tong.

"Passengers from the East Rail line and the Ma On Shan line going to the eastern part of Kowloon and Hong Kong Island will be benefit. They will have a shorter journey time. I think this group of people will choose to change to Tuen Ma line in Tai Wai station," he said.

The construction scare at Hung Hom, where steel reinforcement bars weren't fitted correctly, has led to a serious delay, with trains between there and Kai Tak not expected to start running until late next year – more than two years later than originally scheduled.

More : https://news.rthk.hk/rthk/en/compone...8-20200212.htm
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Old February 14th, 2020, 04:15 AM   #4632
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MTR opens phase one of the Tuen Ma Line
RTHK Excerpt
Feb 14, 2020












Images from Ming Pao

The MTR has opened part of the new Shatin link with a special train leaving Kai Tak for Wu Kai Sha at 5.45 am on Friday.

For the time being the new line - known as phase one of the new Tuen Ma Line - will run between Kai Tak, Diamond Hill, Hin Keng and Tai Wai, where it joins the existing Ma On Shan Line.

The rail operator says this new extended section of the Ma On Shan line will make it more convenient for passengers to travel between Kowloon East and North-East New Territories.

Phase 2 of Tuen Ma Line will run from Kai Tak to Hung Hom via Sung Wong Toi, To Kwa Wan and Ho Man Tin.

At Hung Hom, it will link up with the West Rail Line which runs between Hung Hom and Tuen Mun. Its opening has been delayed by more than two years until late next year because of a shoddy construction scare at Hung Hom Station.

More : https://news.rthk.hk/rthk/en/compone...8-20200214.htm
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Old February 16th, 2020, 03:56 AM   #4634
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MTR - Tuen Ma Line, Hin Keng by Howard Pulling, on Flickr
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Old February 20th, 2020, 02:25 PM   #4635
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MTR to freeze fares, slash rents amid virus outbreak
RTHK Excerpt
Feb 20, 2020

The MTR Corporation announced on Thursday that fares won't go up for the rest of the year for those using Octopus cards, and many tenants at its stations and malls will have their rents cut temporarily, to “support the community during difficult times”.

Jacob Kam, CEO of the rail operator, said although its revenue has been severely affected by the coronavirus outbreak, the corporation can see the pressure different sectors of society are facing, and that some of the MTR's tenants are struggling to stay afloat.

"We will ensure passengers do not have to face any effective fare changes this year, and the February and March rental of our small to medium tenants will be reduced by half," he said in a statement.

He added: "Hong Kong is our home. Members of the public are like our family and when they are in need, we do our best to offer them helping hands."

Train fares had been expected to go up by 3.3 percent in May when a special rebate ends, while another increase was possible at the end of June.

More : https://news.rthk.hk/rthk/en/compone...abChangeable=0
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Old February 23rd, 2020, 05:09 PM   #4636
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MTR IKK Trains (Itochu-Kinki Sharyo-Kawasaki Consortium / SP1900 EMU) of East Rail Line (12-car formation) by KXEnviro | fb.me/KX675, on Flickr
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Old February 25th, 2020, 10:15 AM   #4637
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MTR Corp’s passenger numbers plummet amid outbreak
Feb 25, 2020
South China Morning Post Excerpt

Hong Kong’s coronavirus outbreak has brought a steep fall in January passenger numbers for a city rail operator already battered by months of anti-government unrest, with observers warning of even more hard times ahead.

According to the latest figures from the MTR Corporation, ridership on domestic services was 116.5 million in January, down 21 per cent year on year.

Its high-speed link to mainland China recorded the biggest drop in traveller numbers – down almost 40 per cent to 1.05 million, from 1.7 million in January last year.

The grim figures came as the rail giant, already reeling from the suspension of the high-speed and through-train services to the mainland in late January, shut its remaining cross-border service at Lo Wu and Lok Ma Chau stations on the East Rail line early this month, in a bid to limit the spread of the deadly coronavirus, which has infected more than 80 people in the city.

The Airport Express was the second-hardest hit last month, with passenger numbers plunging almost 36 per cent year on year to 972,000, from 1.5 million. Other cross-border rail services also took a severe beating, with passenger numbers for January down by 32 per cent to 7 million from 10.4 million a year ago.

More : https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/...umbers-plummet
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