In the line of duty
MTR Corporation will soon put new mainland-made trains into service on the Kwun Tong line.
The company has paid HK$1.1 billion for 10 trains from the Changchun Railway Vehicles Company. Four have arrived in Hong Kong and are undergoing tests, while the rest will arrive next year.
For the first time, closed-circuit cameras will be installed in carriages to improve passenger safety.
'The system is aimed at ensuring passenger safety and tackling emergencies,' MTR's chief of operations Morris Cheung Siu-wa said. 'It will not be used to control commuters or assist prosecution of people who break the law, such as eating on the train.'
A spokeswoman for the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data said the MTR should consider alternatives that did not invade people's privacy.
She suggested the company put up notices to let passengers know they were being recorded, and why. The video tapes should be securely stored and regularly erased.
The new trains look more spacious than the existing ones in service in Hong Kong.
New features include improved handrails, lighting and air conditioning.
Three LCD monitors in each compartment will provide passengers with audio-visual infotainment.
The new floor is designed to reduce noise, and rubber seals around the doors should ensure even quieter journeys.
Each train will also have two silent compartments, like the East Rail Line.