Light rail services halted for two hours due to equipment failure

Third time in two months that electrical failure disrupted train services

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 January, 2014, 10:40am
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 January, 2014, 3:47am

Light rail services across eight stations in the Yuen Long and Tin Shui Wai areas were disrupted on Wednesday morning causing droves of passengers to be transferred to shuttle buses.

Services at Hang Mei Tsuen, Tong Fong Tsuen, Ping Shan, Shui Pin Wai, Fung Nin Road, Hong Lok Road, Tai Tong Road and Yuen Long were brought to a standstill at around 6.15am.

Routes 610, 614, 615, 751 and 761P were diverted.

Failure of overhead line equipment was said to have caused the two hour stoppage, which occurred near Hung Tin Road and Castle Peak Road, the MTR Corp said.

The captain had to evacuate the twin-carriage train after smoke was seen billowing from the roof. No one was injured.

Free shuttle bus services were being offered to passengers from the Hung Tin Road Emergency Platform to Yuen Long and Tin Shui Wai stations.

Services resumed at 8.30am.

"There have been many problems [with the Light Rail] recently," said one passenger, after the incident. "But I'm not going to stop using it. We residents of Tin Shui Wai don't really have a choice; it's one of the easiest and cheapest ways to get around."

This is the third time in two months that an electrical failure has affected the company’s train services.

Last month, a power failure on the Tseung Kwan O line halted MTR services for nearly five hours, plunging the city’s transport network into chaos.

A day later, a light-rail train in Tin Wu, Tin Shu Wai, burst into flames, sparking the evacuation of 160 rush-hour passengers. 

On Wednesday morning, transport and housing secretary Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-Leung said he had reminded the company to inspect its railway systems for ageing or the need for upgrading.

He noted that the overall number of service disruptions was lower than average last year but admitted they had recently become “a bit more frequent”.

The Transport and Housing Bureau will request a report on the incident from the MTR Corp, Cheung added.