THE HONG KONG regional government has given the go-ahead for construction of a 10·3 km elevated rail line to serve the Ma On Shan development area in the east of the Kowloon peninsula. Costed at HK$6·7bn, the ’medium capacity’ link will interchange with Kowloon - Canton Railway Corp’s East Rail main line at Tai Wai, south of Sha Tin.

With stations at Lee On estate in Ma On Shan, Sha Tin Tau and Shek Mun, the line is due to be opened by mid-2004. It will be worked by a fleet of 24 four-car trains, to be based at a depot in Tai Wai. Peak headway will be 2·5 min, with an estimated daily patronage of 240000.

At the same time, the government authorised construction of the East Rail re-extension from Hung Hom to a site near the former KCR terminus at Tsim Sha Tsui East, where it will interchange with MTR Corp’s cross-harbour Tsuen Wan line. The short extension is costed at HK$2·4bn, and is due for completion by the end of 2003. From Hung Hom it will pass over the approach to the cross-harbour road tunnel, and then descend steeply into a tunnel below Salisbury Road. The route would then continue underground to a terminus below Middle Road, Tsim Sha Tsui.

  • On January 13 the Hong Kong government confirmed that the Airport Railway and the new airport at Chek Lap Kok would open on July 6. Originally scheduled for completion in mid-1997, the opening had already been postponed to April 29 1998 following a delay in agreeing a funding package for the works. o