MTR corporation announces section of Sha Tin - Central link to open in June

  • The Tuen Ma will begin service next month, but the cross-harbour part of the project is still under construction
  • It is Hong Kong’s most expensive rail project - and has been delayed several times

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The MTR corporation announced that a key section of the link between Sha Tin and Central will open in June. Photo: SCMP / Felix Wong

A key section of the Sha Tin to Central link will fully open on June 27. This comes after it has already been delayed many times, and has used up more and more money. The city’s transport minister said the government will learn lessons from this project.

On Friday, Secretary for Transport Frank Chan Fan said they completed tests on the Tai Wai-Hung Hom section of the link. These tests are important for opening it next month.

It is Hong Kong’s most expensive rail project – costing HK$90.7 billion so far. But this project had many problems with poor work, and people tried to hide these issues. Many groups have investigated what the MTR Corporation and its contractors did wrongly.

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The cross-harbour part of the project is still a work in progress. It will connect Hung Hom and Admiralty.

Chan said, “We are trying to catch up with construction of the north-south bound section of the [Sha Tin to Central link] and do our best to open it.”

MTR Corp CEO Jacob Kam Chak-pui said, “After months of tests, the Tuen Ma Line is fit for operation. It will connect the east and west of the New Territories, and save travel time.”

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The Tuen Ma line has been delayed twice already because they needed to fix many construction problems and scandals. It will be the city’s longest rail corridor running about 56km through 27 stations.

The first section of the Tuen Ma line opened in February last year. It connects Wu Kai Sha and Kai Tak through Tai Wai, Hin Keng, and Diamond Hill. The part opening next month is from Kai Tak to Hung Hom through Sung Wong Toi, To Kwa Wan, and Ho Man Tin.

As for the cross-harbour section, it will be delayed even more. This was because it is connected to the East Rail line, which had signalling system errors in September last year.

Kam said they are still working hard on fixing this.

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