The cost of the controversial Western Corridor Railway could be cut to as little as $36.2 billion, according to a study. The 20,000-word report, commissioned by Airport Consultative Committee member Francis Cheung King-fung, said the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) had over-estimated the cost by nearly $44 billion. The KCRC's estimate of up to $80 billion could be cut through redesigning routes, mainly by connecting with the MTR and the soon-to-be-completed Airport Railway. The report said the railway's link between Yuen Long and Tuen Mun should be dropped, while the Mei Foo to West Kowloon route duplicated the MTR. 'After the redesign of routes, the cost could be cut substantially and the Government could only inject $10 billion, with the rest raised by the company, whose costs could be covered by on-line property development,' he said. Mr Cheung said the KCRC had overestimated future demand for freight, projected to be 40 million tonnes in 2021. 'The company obviously ignored the negative impact of the rapid railway development in the mainland and also possible direct transport between China and Taiwan,' he said. Mr Cheung, who has long been an adviser to Beijing on infrastructure issues, also suggested the railway should not be built by the KCRC. The report said the Government should form a new company, along the same lines as the MTRC, to avoid it becoming an 'independent kingdom' outside government control. In addition, a committee similar to the Airport Consultative Committee should be set up to monitor the works' progress. 'There are several railway projects planned by the Government, including the MTR's extension to Tseung Kwan O and the KCR's new route to Ma On Shan. A new body is necessary to give advice,' Mr Cheung said.