MTR will add 530 train trips per week on three lines to speed up system

Company says waiting times will be reduced on Tung Chung, Kwun Tong and Tsuen Wan lines

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 16 November, 2012, 6:00am

The MTR Corporation said yesterday it would add another 530 train trips each week to the Tung Chung, Kwun Tong and Tsuen Wan lines by the end of the month, in the third phase of its HK$1 billion service enhancement project.

The additional trips mean that the system will carry 1.3 million more passengers a week on its trains. The railway company has bought more trains, hired more drivers, and built more lifts and toilets in its stations.

Under the new arrangement, passengers on the Tung Chung, Kwun Tong and Tsuen Wan lines will find waiting times shortened.

More trains will leave for Tung Chung during the evening peak hours from November 26, said head of operations Francis Li Shing-kee. Currently, half the trains terminate at Tsing Yi, but after the changes kicked in two-thirds of them would reach Tung Chung.

He said that from November 24, trains on the Tung Chung Line would also run more frequently - every 6-1/2 minutes - on weekends. They currently run every eight to 10 minutes.

On the Kwun Tong and Tsuen Wan lines, from 9.30am to 7.30pm on Saturdays, trains will run every 2-1/2 minutes instead of the current three minutes. And those from 7.30pm to midnight would run every four minutes instead of the current five, Li said.

The MTR Corp has already increased train frequency on the Island, Tseung Kwan O and West Rail lines. But it did not do so for the East Rail and Ma On Shan lines.

Sha Tin district councillor Yau Man-chun said trains on the East Rail line were often crammed, and it was urgent for the service to address the needs of passengers in the area. "There are more and more mainland travellers on the East Rail. Sometimes it's really difficult to get on a train."

Yau said the district council had brought up the issue with the MTR Corp but had yet to receive a positive response. When queried, Li said the service on the East Rail line "could still satisfy residents' needs".

Meanwhile, train services from Yau Ma Tei and Prince Edward were interrupted yesterday from 7.40am to 9.15am because of a signal failure. The MTR Corp said a signal wire was damaged.

Li apologised to the affected passengers but said minor problems could not be avoided on the train system, which runs 7,000 trips daily. "We hope the passengers will understand," he said.

Li said the increased train trips would not affect system maintenance.

The MTR Corp is also building toilets in its stations at Mong Kok, Admiralty and Prince Edward. The toilets will be completed by 2015.