27 December 1999
KCRC geared up for millennium rollover
The Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) is all geared up for the millennium rollover with both East Rail and Light Rail extending their hours of operation on the night of transition to year 2000.
For the convenience of those who are out and about to celebrate the arrival of the next millennium, East Rail will provide an all night service between Hung Hom and Sheung Shui.Light Rail will also extend its service with last vehicles for all routes departing at about 3 a.m. on New Year's Day.
All railway and other Y2K-related systems of KCRC are fully ready for the rollover. But, as an extra precaution, East Rail trains will pull into stations along the route at least one minute before midnight and stay there for at least two minutes to roll over to the next millennium.
During this short break, the fabulous KCR Millennium Ambassador, Miss Cecilia Cheung, will make a broadcast via the public address system in each station, inviting passengers to join her to do a count down to year 2000.After the rollover, Miss Cheung will make good wishes to passengers.
To avoid people stranded in lifts, all lifts in East Rail stations will stop operating for 20 minutes from 11.50 pm to 12.10 am. But, escalators will continue running.Notices about these special arrangements will be posted up at stations.
The Corporation will deploy about 600 additional staff to deal with the millennium rollover.Extra staff will be deployed to monitor the operation of essential railway systems and to assist passengers of both East Rail and Light Rail.Additional staff will be assigned to man the train services hotlines.For East Rail, the telephone number to call is 2688-1882 and for Light Rail, it is 2468-7788.
A special control centre will be set up at KCRC Headquarters in Fo Tan to co-ordinate all Y2K-related activities inside and outside the Corporation.The centre will keep in close touch with operational control centres of both East Rail and Light Rail. It will also liaise closely with the Emergency Transport Control Centre of the Transport Department, CLP Power, Cable & Wireless HKT and other relevant outside organizations. The KCRC bus fleet will be on full standby to deal with any emergency.
For inter-city services, East Rail staff will stay in touch with the Guangshen Railway Company Limited in a bid to ensure that the railway lines for through trains to the Mainland will stay trouble free after the rollover. Thorough checks will be made before the first through train departs from Hung Hom on New Year's Day.
On the technical side, staff of the Information Technology Services Department (ITSD) will monitor closely the operation of all Y2K-related systems and will carry out health checks on all essential administrative systems immediately after the rollover.ITSD staff will also adopt special measures to protect the Corporation's Internet operation from attacks by Y2K-related computer viruses.
General Manager, Information Technology Services, Mr. Danny Tang, who heads the Corporation's Y2K steering group, is satisfied with all the KCRC arrangements for the rollover.
"KCRC systems have undergone a series of rigorous Y2K evaluations and tests. Judging by these results, KCRC is fully ready for a smooth transition to the next millennium.
"The chance of a major hiccup is remotely slim.In any event, we have worked out comprehensive contingency plans to deal with every conceivable situation," Mr. Tang said.