• Fri
  • Oct 24, 2014
  • Updated: 4:04pm

The tracks of time

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 01 December, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 01 December, 2007, 12:00am
 

Today will see the last train journey of the century-old Kowloon-Canton Railway, which merges with the MTR tomorrow. These photographs tracing the history of the railway are from the British Library, the University of Hong Kong and the book A Century of Commitment - The KCRC Story, published by the KCRC.

1898

The United Kingdom's Imperial Railway Administration signs a preliminary agreement in May with the Beijing government to build a railway line from Canton to Kowloon

1910

The British section between Tsim Sha Tsui and the border crossing at Lo Wu opens in October

1954

The colonial government decides to replace steam with diesel locomotives, a fatal explosion with one of the steam engine trains pushing the changeover

1962

Mobilisation of all civil servants and KCRC staff in May to curb a sudden influx of refugees from the mainland in light of Mao Zedong's new 'Great Leap Forward' policy. Trains operate all day to repatriate those captured

1962

The last steam train ceases operation, marking an end of the steam engine era

1975

The old KCRC Tsim Sha Tsui terminus migrates in November to Hung Hom; the government decides not to keep the old station as a heritage site

1983

The new era of an electrified train system begins in July and the last diesel train passes into history

1983-84

The unstable new system creates eight serious blunders, each leading to service disruptions of up to four hours

1988

The first phase of the Light Rail Transit system opens in September

1990

The government receives the first profits, amounting to HK$125 million, from KCRC's operation

1998

In February, the Legislative Council approves HK$29 billion in funding for the construction of West Rail

2002

The KCRC comes under fire in February for paying HK$100 million extra to West Rail telecommunications contractor Siemens, which failed to complete work on time

2004

West Rail is plagued by a string of service disruptions caused by signal failures

2005

A train compressor comes loose in December. More cracks are later found in mountings of other compressors. An investigation concluded it was caused by substandard welding by the manufacturers

2006

KCRC acting chief executive Samuel Lai Man-hay and 20 general managers start a coup in March to drive out chairman Michael Tien Puk-sun. Mr Lai resigns eight days later

2006

The KCRC signs a merger agreement with the MTR Corp in April

2007

The two railway services merge on December 2

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