Friday, September 25, 2020


Hong Kong's rail network mainly comprises public transport trains operated by the MTR Corporation Limited(MTRC) The MTRC operates the metro network of Hong Kong and the commuter rail network connecting the northeastern and northwestern New Territories to the urban area. 


The operations of the territory's two leading railway companies, MTRC and the Kowloon- Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) , were merged in 2007 on grounds of economies of scale and cost effectiveness. The Hong Kong Government has an explicit stated transport policy of using the railway as its transport backbone. 

In addition to the MTR network, there are several smaller railways run by different operators, including the Peak Tram and the Hong Kong Tramways. 

The Mass Transit Railway (MTR) is a major public transport network serving Hong Kong. Operated by the MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL), it consists of heavy rail, Light rail and feeder bus service centred on an 11-line rapid transit network serving the urbanised areas of Hong Kong Island Kowloon, and the New Territories. The system included 230.9 km (143.5 mi) of rail in 2018 with 163 stations, including 95 heavy rail stations and 68 light rail stops . The MTR is one of the most profitable metro systems in the world; it had a farebox recovery ratio of 187 per cent in 2015, the world's highest. The MTR was ranked the number one metro system in the world by CNN in 2017. 

Under the government's rail-led transport policy, the MTR system is a common mode of public transport in Hong Kong, with over five million trips made in an average weekday. It consistently achieves a 99.9 per cent on-time rate on its train journeys. As of 2018, the MTR has a 49.3 per cent market share of the franchised public transport market, making it the most popular transport option in Hong Kong. The integration of the Octopus smart card fare-payment technology into the MTR system in September 1997 has further enhanced the ease of commuting on the MTR. 

Construction of the MTR was prompted by a study, released in 1967, commissioned by the Hong Kong Government in order to find solutions to the increasing road congestion problem caused by the territory's fast-growing economy. Construction started soon after the release of the study, and the first line opened in 1979. The MTR was immediately popular with residents of Hong Kong; as a result, subsequent lines have been built to cover more territory. There are continual debates regarding how and where to expand the MTR network. 

The existing railway network in Hong Kong has a total route length of about 263 kilometres. The Legislative Council passed in June 2007 the Rail Merger Ordinance which provides the legal framework for the post-merger corporation to operate both the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) system and Kowloon-Canton Railway (KCR) system. The post-merger Corporation, i.e. the MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL) has been granted a 50-year franchise to operate the MTR and KCR systems with effect from December 2, 2007. Other fixed track systems include the Tramway and the Peak Tram. MTR: MTR is a heavily patronized railway network consisting of 10 heavy rail lines, Airport Express and the Hong Kong Section of Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL). The heavy rail lines include Kwun Tong Line, Tsuen Wan Line, Island Line, Tseung Kwan O Line, South Island Line, Tung Chung Line, Disneyland Resort Line, East Rail Line, West Rail Line and Tuen Ma Line Phase 1. The East Rail Line was commissioned in 1910. The first passenger train of Kwun Tong Line started operation in late 1979, followed by the subsequent expansion of the network to include Tsuen Wan Line (1982), Island Line (1985), the Eastern Harbour Crossing connecting Lam Tin to Quarry Bay (1989), Tung Chung Line (1998), Tseung Kwan O Line (2002), West Rail Line (2003), Ma On Shan Line (2004), Disneyland Resort Line (2005), bifurcation of East Rail Line to boundary crossing at Lok Ma Chau (2007), bifurcation of Tseung Kwan O Line to LOHAS Park Station (July 2009), extension of West Rail Line to Hung Hom Station interchanging with East Rail Line (August 2009), extension of Island Line to Kennedy Town Station (December 2014), extension of Kwun Tong Line to Whampoa Station (October 2016), South Island Line (December 2016) and Tuen Ma Line Phase 1 (February 2020). The network currently has 96 stations. By end 2019, the heavy rail lines carry an average of about 4.68 million passenger trips per day.


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