HONG KONG MTR Corp announced on September 4 that it had awarded an HK$1·1bn contract to Nishimatsu Construction for civil engineering work on the Quarry Bay Congestion Relief Works. This includes a 1·75 km extension of the Kwun Tong line westwards to North Point station where there will be cross-platform interchange with the Island line.
The twin-bore tunnels, expanded station and turnback tracks beyond North Point are intended to relieve congestion on the existing interchange passageways linking the two lines at Quarry Bay. In the longer term, MTR hopes to extend the new tunnels westwards to create a duplicate Island line serving the Wanchai and Central reclamations on the north shore of Hong Kong Island (RG 7.97 p461).
- One of the world’s largest multi-modal contactless smart card ticketing systems went live in Hong Kong on September 1, with the introduction of Creative Star’s Octopus network. Adult tickets have an initial encoded value of HK$100, and users must pay an HK$50 deposit to cover the card and a potential negative balance of up to HK$35. Over 200000 users were carried on the first day by the six operators: MTR, KCR East Rail, KCR Light Rail, Citybus and KMB bus services, and the Hongkong & Yaumati Ferry. o
CAPTION: MTR Corp took delivery of the first Adtranz-CAF EMU cars for its Airport Express line on September 5 (right). Meanwhile, the urban Tung Chun line version (left) is being tested at up to 135 km/h along the north coast of Lantau island