30 September 2000
KCRC set for an unprecedented expansion
The Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) is set for an unprecedented expansion, said KCRC Chairman and Chief Executive Mr K Y Yeung today.
Speaking at the KCR 90th Anniversary Charity Dinner, Mr Yeung said construction of West Rail had reached its peak, and the tendering process of the construction contracts for two East Rail Extensions ?namely the Ma On Shan Rail and Tsim Sha Tsui Extension ?had begun.
Mr Yeung noted in the Railway Development Strategy 2000, the Government proposed to invite KCRC to operate three out of six new railway lines, namely the Northern Link, Kowloon Southern Link and the Port Rail Line.
He said, "We are also interested in the Sha Tin to Central Link and the Regional Express Line proposed in the Railway Development Strategy 2000 and we are now studying the feasibility of these projects. Looking ahead, the Corporation is set for an unprecedented expansion.?/span>
Mr Yeung said to support the West Rail and East Rail Extensions projects, KCRC had successfully raised two major bonds, the first in July 1999 and the second in March 2000, for a total of US$2,000 million, all within a space of nine months.
He said, "The Corporation’s credit story and reputation in the world’s debt capital markets is now well established. I have heard it said by a bond trader that if MTRC is Serena Williams, KCRC is Venus Williams.
Mr Yeung said KCRC had not neglected its responsibility to the community and was actively involved in charitable activities, adding that KCRC was awarded the Top Donor Award by The Community Chest of Hong Kong last year.
Tonight, Mr Yeung presented two cheques of $1 million each to Mrs Betty Tung in her capacity as President of both The Community Chest of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Red Cross. Mr Yeung also presented a $1 million cheque to Mrs Nellie Fong in her capacity as Chairman of Lifeline Express.
The $3 million was raised by KCRC through a number of fundraising activities, including tonight’s charity dinner. Earlier this year, KCRC issued charity commemorative tickets to mark Hong Kong Red Cross 50th Anniversary and Miss Hong Kong Pageant 2000. In July, KCRC organised a charity walk ?the Walkalong for Light ?to raise funds for Lifeline Express.
In the past 90 years, the Kowloon-Canton Railway had gone through several stages ? the replacement of steam-driven engines by diesel locomotives in the 50s; double tracking in the 70s; electrification of the system in the 80s; and, in the 90s, the upgrading of the signalling system and train refurbishment.
Since 1997, KCRC’s role had expanded from that of a mere railway operator to a planner, designer and builder of major new railway systems.