10 October 2000
KCRC responds to Spur Line study
 
Commenting on a study carried out by the Hong Kong-China Relation Strategic Development Research Fund on the Sheung Shui - Lok Ma Chau Spur Line, a Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation spokesman said today (Tuesday), "We are pleased to note that the study has accepted most of our arguments as to why the alternative routes are not practicable.
The spokesman said, "The study has accepted that none of the alternative routes in the south are feasible because of the social impact on the villages of Yin Kong and Tsung Pak Long and serious disruption to boundary-crossing road traffic via Man Kam To.
"The study has also agreed that the Lo Wu route is not acceptable because it would seriously affect existing East Rail services. Neither is the northern route because of the significant impacts on the Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse, Shek Wu Hui Sewage Treatment Works and the Ho Sheung Heung village.
Responding to the suggestion that due consideration be given to the River Beas route and an option to tunnel through Long Valley, the spokesman said, "We have carefully considered both alternatives and come to the same conclusion that neither are practicable.
"The River Beas route would require the reprovisioning of the sewage treatment facilities, relocation of East Rail tracks and would cause serious social impact on 4,000 villagers in Ho Sheung Heung and Tsung Yuen.
"Even if land is available for the relocation of these essential infrastructure facilities, it would delay the completion of the Spur Line by about five years to 2009. By then, Lo Wu overcrowding would be well beyond the tolerable limit."
Regarding the tunnel option, the spokesman said Long Valley is located very close to the existing East Rail alignment. In branching off from East Rail, the Spur Line must pass over existing railway tracks. By the time the Spur Line is able to come down from an elevated structure to ground level, the railway has already cleared Long Valley.
"Moreover, construction of a 2-metre high wall on both sides of the tracks to protect the railway tunnel from flooding risk in this low-lying area would become a big visual intrusion.
"Because of these reasons, we are not able to take up either of these options," the spokesman said.