LAST MONTH Kowloon - Canton Railway Corp invited prequalification bids for 12 construction contracts on Hong Kong’s WestRail link to Tuen Mun. According to project director James Blake, the five packages into which the route was split for design have been subdivided to provide more opportunities for local contractors to participate.

Formal tenders will be invited from prequalified bidders as soon as the project has been authorised by the Executive Council, expected in September. Worth HK$30bn, the 12 contracts are to be awarded by mid-1999. Two design-and-build tunnelling contracts are to be awarded soon, allowing work to start on the Tai Lam tunnel straight after authorisation.

KCRC has already started prequalification for mechanical and electrical equipment, with the aim of awarding these contracts by mid-1999. Seven consultancy contracts were awarded in June, together with purchase of simulation software from Comreco Rail.

  • MTR Corp has selected Maunsell to undertake feasibility studies for two major extensions envisaged under the 2nd Railway Development Study (RG 7.97 p461). The East Kowloon line would link Diamond Hill to Exhibition and Admiralty via Hung Hom, serving new developments on the former Kai Tak airport site. The North Island line would extend the Airport Railway’s Tung Chun line east along the Central and Wanchai reclamations to North Point. o

    CAPTION: Hong Kong’s Airport Railway was opened by SAR Chief Executive Tung Chee Hwa on June 21. Tung Chun line services began the next day, with Airport Express trains starting on July 6 when Chek Lap Kok airport was inaugurated by Chinese President Jiang Zemin