13 October 2001
KCRC welcomes Government’s resolve to push ahead with railway development
Commenting on the 2001 Policy Objective for the Transport Bureau, Chairman of the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC), Mr K Y Yeung, said that KCRC welcomed Government’s resolve to push ahead with its ambitious railway development programme.
"We share Government’s aim of building an efficient and environmentally friendly transport system. This means that, over time, mass transit rail will assume a larger share of the public transport market. To the extent that mass transit trains are a much larger, more reliable, safer and environmentally cleaner form of transport than road vehicles, this aim must ultimately be for the greater good of the greatest number of people in the community," he said.
Mr Yeung noted that the Corporation was moving full steam ahead with expanding its railway network that would more than double its track lengths by the end of the decade.
"KCRC is committed to completing all our new projects on time and within budget," he said.
Civil construction of West Rail, Phase I, is nearing completion, and the East Rail Extensions are making good progress.
As for West Rail, Phase I, about 87% of the civil engineering works, 99% of the tunnels, 91% of the viaducts and 55% of the station structures have been completed. All major milestones have been reached on time or ahead of time, and operational readiness planning has begun in earnest.
"There are strong indications that West Rail will be able to start running a few months ahead of its target opening date of December 2003," he said.
Civil engineering works on two of the East Rail Extensions are also on target. Construction of the 11.4 kilometre Ma On Shan Rail viaduct began in February and that of the one-kilometre extension of East Rail to Tsim Sha Tsui began in April. KCRC has proposed a tunnel option for the construction of the Lok Ma Chau Spur Line and aims to commission the new line for service by mid 2007. Consultations with community and other interested groups are now in full swing.
In July this year, the Corporation submitted proposals for the Kowloon Southern Link and a bid for the Shatin to Central Link. It was now planning to build the former and waiting for the Government to make a decision on the award of the latter.
Mr Yeung said these new railway projects would also give a strong impetus to the local economy. West Rail is providing up to 11,000 job opportunities and East Rail Extensions 4,000.