The West Rail will start running in the second half of the month after operational problems were ironed out, KCRC chairman Michael Tien Puk-sun has confirmed. Mr Tien said six weeks of trial runs had been successfully completed and the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation would submit an application today for the new rail link's operational licence. KCRC officials would have breathed a sigh of relief at the successful completion of the trial runs as they have been under intense pressure since being unable to launch the service in September as planned. Mr Tien said the KCRC's board of directors would meet on Friday to set the date for the launch. He revealed that there would be several days of trial runs with passengers before the full service was launched, and proceeds from ticket sales would be going to charity. The 40.5-km West Rail will provide a much-needed link between growing population centres in the northwest New Territories and urban Kowloon. Linking Shamshuipo in West Kowloon with Tuen Mun, it will have nine stations: two in Shamshuipo, one in Tsuen Wan, four in Yuen Long and two in Tuen Mun. Meanwhile, the Light Rail's new Tim Shui Wai extension opened yesterday. Mr Tien said the KCRC had assigned about 30 buses to deal with any problems that could arise during the initial period of operation. The 4.4 km-long extension, which cost $1.15 billion, has 11 stops and will carry about 80,000 to 100,000 passengers per day.