Failed doors send MTR riders to next stop

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 December, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 December, 2007, 12:00am

More than 600 MTR commuters were delayed during yesterday's morning rush hour when a southbound train failed to open its doors at Admiralty station.

Both the government and lawmakers demanded that the MTR Corporation submit a report on the incident - the first service disruption since its merger with the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation on December 2. However, the report would not be made public.

At 9.06am yesterday, a train heading to Central from Tsuen Wan stopped at Admiralty, but the train and screen doors failed to open. It departed for Central after about 30 seconds.

Flora Tse, one of the 600 unfortunate commuters, said she was very upset about the incident.

'All passengers waiting to get off the train were stunned when the train started again. During the whole time there was never any broadcast telling us what had happened.'

Ms Tse said passengers appeared to be lost when they finally managed to get out of the train. Most began making phone calls and some blamed the MTR for making them late for work. 'I was late myself because of the blunder. I filed complaints to the MTR customer hotlines and they didn't mention anything to make it up to us,' she said.

'At least they should propose to waive my charge on that trip.'

The MTR said the sensor that controls the opening and closing of doors had failed because the train had not stopped within the detectable ranges of the sensor.

On top of that, the train driver had failed to notice any irregularity and failed to open the door manually.

A spokeswoman said the incident had no safety implications, but stressed that the corporation would enhance guidelines for its staff.

In 2005, a train on the Island line also skipped Admiralty station, stranding over 200 passengers.

An MTR technician said that usually the sensor's failure rate should be lower than 1 per cent as the trains stopped automatically with the doors opening after a fixed number of wheel turns, but minor wear-and-tear of the components or a slip on the track could upset the system.

Legco transport panel chairman Andrew Cheng Kar-foo said the public expected a more efficient system after the merger and that the MTR should quickly find the cause of the problem and its remedy.

The Transport and Housing Bureau demanded the MTR submit a report on the matter.