THE Government gave strong indications yesterday it wanted the Kowloon-Canton Railway extended to Tsim Sha Tsui and West Kowloon and a new light-rail line costing billions of dollars built in Ma On Shan. The proposals differ markedly from what was recommended in last year's Railway Development Study, which favoured a Mass Transit Railway-style link between Ma On Shan and West Kowloon. The changes have not been finalised but could mean heavy lobbying by tycoon Li Ka-shing's Cheung Kong to build the Ma On Shan line and develop property along the route has finally paid off. The plans were outlined in a map of new railways presented to the Legislative Council's transport panel yesterday. But the map was not discussed at the meeting, which concentrated on the Government's measures to control traffic congestion. The Railway Development Study originally recommended the building of a new rail corridor between urban Kowloon and the northeast New Territories. The single line would have meant passengers could have travelled directly from West Kowloon to Ma On Shan. The line would have been linked with the Airport Railway, the MTR at Tsim Sha Tsui, the KCR at Hunghom and the MTR again at Diamond Hill before running through a new tunnel to the KCR's Tai Wai station and then on to Ma On Shan. But yesterday's map showed two separate lines. Ma On Shan would be served by a Ma On Shan Light Rail between the town and Tai Wai. There would be no rail link between Tai Wai and Diamond Hill and passengers heading from Ma On Shan to Kowloon would have to change to the KCR at Tai Wai. Sha Tin District Board member Lau Kong-wah said last night he was surprised to hear about the changes. 'If this is true that there will be no rail link between Tai Wai and Diamond Hill or Tai Wai to Cheung Sha Wan, then why should there be a link between Ma On Shan and Tai Wai?' he asked. 'The link between Ma On Shan and Tai Wai will not ease the traffic but worsen the problem, as Tai Wai railway station is already crowded with passengers. I wonder if it can take any more passengers from Ma On Shan.' According to the map, there would also be a new East Kowloon line. The Railway Development Study said this option would require a KCR extension to Tsim Sha Tsui and ultimately West Kowloon, while Ma On Shan and South East Kowloon from Hunghom to Diamond Hill would be served by medium-capacity rail lines. A Transport Branch spokesman said the map was not definitive, but acknowledged it did reflect the latest government thinking. The spokesman said plans had changed since the study was put out for public consultation in April 1993. A KCR spokesman was unable to comment on whether the firm knew of the proposed changes. 'We are awaiting the Government's announcement of its Railway Development Strategy,' he said. The MTR said it was willing to discuss any extension to its system. Cheung Kong was not available for comment.