28 January 2000
Railway corporations join hands in West Rail groundbreaking
Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation and MTR Corporation jointly turned the first shovel today (Friday) for the construction of two KCR West Rail stations in Sham Shui Po which will interchange with the MTR network.
KCR West Rail's Nam Cheong Station in Sham Shui Po, the southern terminus of West Rail Phase I, will be the first wholly integrated KCR and MTR station in Hong Kong.Passengers will be able to interchange between West Rail and the MTR Tung Chung Line, which in turn links up with the entire MTR network.
West Rail's Mei Foo Station will also link up with MTR Tsuen Wan Line by a dedicated pedestrian walkway.
Speaking at the ceremony, KCRC's Senior Director for Capital Projects, Mr James Blake, said the joint groundbreaking was symbolic of a greater integration of the KCR and MTR networks.
"The integration of the two networks will enable passengers from all over Hong Kong to make more effective use of Hong Kong's excellent railway systems," he said.
"West Rail will be of immense benefit to residents.But we are also acutely aware of how disruptive it can be to build a major railway in one of the most densely populated areas on earth.We will do whatever is practically possible to make sure that disruptive impacts are kept to the minimum, " Mr Blake said.
Chairman of Sham Shui Po District Council, Mr Tam Kwok-kiu, said that the Sham Shui Po District Council would continue to work closely with the railway corporations to ensure that construction impacts to the community are minimised and residents concerns are fully addressed.
Also speaking at the ceremony, MTR Corporation Project Director, Mr Russell Black, said the construction of the subway under Lai Wan Road and Mount Sterling Mall connecting to existing MTR Mei Foo Station is very challenging because the work is carried out above an operating MTR station, in a densely populated area, and under a tight programme.
" We always believe that responsible project management must not lose sight of the human dimension of the project. We will strive to minimise the disturbance to the MTR passengers, nearby residents, shop operators and shoppers in the Mall, " said Mr Black.
The KCR West Rail is scheduled to come into operation by the end of 2003 to provide a speedy, reliable, comfortable and environmentally friendly rail service to approximately 340,000 passengers a day between urban Kowloon and Tuen Mun in the North West New Territories.