Hong Kong’s MTR renames new station to mark Song dynasty link
Station on future Sha Tin-Central link renamed Sung Wong Toi, as To Kwa Wan moves further down the track
A station on an under-construction rail link in Hong Kong has been renamed to mark the area’s role as a safe haven for the last two emperors of the Song dynasty more than 700 years ago, it was announced on Monday.
What had been known as To Kwa Wan station will now be known as Sung Wong Toi station. A nearby station on the future Sha Tin-Central line – which had been dubbed Ma Tau Wai – will take the name To Kwa Wan instead.
The HK$79.8 billion project links Tai Wai, east Kowloon and Admiralty. The stations’ former names had been used since a public consultation for the project in 2008.
Sung Wong Toi station will take its name from a local landmark not far from the city’s old Kai Tak airport.
The Sung Wong Toi boulder, literally the “Terrace of the Song emperors”, stands as a memorial to the last two emperors of the Song dynasty, who fled from Fuzhou to what is now Hong Kong to escape invading Mongol troops in 1277.
At a topping-out ceremony to mark the structural completion of the two stations, Permanent Secretary for Transport and Housing Joseph Lai Yee-tak said the stations were renamed in response to concerns of the local community, who wanted a name that reflected their proximity to a Song dynasty monument. Residents had also pointed out that the newly christened To Kwa Wan station is near To Kwa Wan Market.
Lai said: “We hope these names will add a local touch to the stations, and they will become an integral part of the local community.”
In a document to Legco’s subcommittee on matters relating to railways, the MTR Corporation said it had considered views from the local community about the naming and had made reference to the geographical locations, historical significance and the local naming practice.
The company and the Transport and Housing Bureau said the changes would better reflect the characteristics of the local district and would also be a commemoration of archaeological finds at the station construction site, dating to the Song and Yuan dynasties.
The construction of the new 17km link, which has 10 stations and connects existing railway lines to form east-west and north-south corridors with six interchange stations, began in 2012.
The MTR said earlier this month that the Hung Hom to Tai Wai section, or the east-west section, was due to be finished by the middle of 2019, while the remaining section, which would cross the harbour from Hung Hom via a tunnel to Admiralty, was due to be completed by 2021.
The MTR is expected to update the government with its latest cost estimate, which lawmaker Michael Tien Puk-sun said he expected to overrun by at least HK$10 billion.