Launch date set for Hong Kong MTR’s new South Island Line
Long-awaited train line opening will see all 18 districts reached with some 170,000 people served per day
The new MTR extension linking the southern part of Hong Kong Island to Admiralty will open on December 28, according to the corporation’s senior officials.
Announcing the launch date yesterday, MTR Corporation chief executive Lincoln Leong Kwok-kuen said he hoped the new line would enhance development of the southern districts and boost convenience for commuters.
“With the opening of the South Island Line, MTR’s railway service will reach all 18 districts of Hong Kong. Passengers can enjoy more seamless and convenient journeys as they travel to different corners of the city,” he said during a tour of the expanded Admiralty station.
The stop also serves as an interchange station for several other lines.
“We chose December 28 because it is between two big holidays and all schools will be closed. We [expect] passenger traffic to be less than that of normal weekdays,” Leong added.
The HK$16.5 billion line, operated with driverless three-carriage trains, will run from South Horizons in Ap Lei Chau to Admiralty via new stations at Lei Tung, Wong Chuk Hang and Ocean Park. It is expected to serve some 170,000 people per day.
The frequency of train services during peak periods will be about three minutes per train. To cater for the expected increase in passenger numbers, the train service during non-peak hours on the Island Line will be increased by 72 trips a week from Mondays to Thursdays, and on the Kwun Tong line by 26 trips on Sundays.
The expanded Admiralty station will include 17 additional escalators and five new lifts. Increasing the gross floor area from the current 30,000 square metres to 65,000 square metres, resulted in an extra three levels for the station.
“To make it easier for passengers to find their way to the South Island Line platforms, directional signs in green will be displayed prominently,” operations director Adi Lau Tin-shing said, adding that more staff would be deployed for crowd control.
Philco Wong Nai-keung, MTR Corp’s projects director, said the budget overrun of the Admiralty expansion was revised from HK$1.3 billion to HK$850 million, bringing the total cost of the upgrade to HK$4.2 billion.
The fare for the four-minute journey from Admiralty to Ocean Park will be HK$5.30, while that for the 11-minute journey to South Horizons will be HK$6.70.
An open day on December 24 will allow the public to view the four new stations and the Admiralty extension.
Separately, in a paper to the Legislative Council, the government is seeking extra funding of about HK$850 million for advance railway works on the Sha Tin to Central link, bumping up costs to HK$7.1 billion. This was compounded by the increased extension cost of Admiralty station – which is also part of the link – from unfavourable ground conditions and design changes.