12 December 2003
West Rail to Open on 20 December 2003
The Managing Board of the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation has approved a proposal by management that West Rail should open for passenger services from 20 December 2003.
Announcing this today (Friday), the Chairman of the Corporation, Mr Michael Tien, said this decision followed the completion of six weeks’ fault-free trial operations, during which average daily punctuality reached 99 per cent while average daily service delivery reached 99.6 per cent.
"This was well above the minimum criteria of 95 per cent punctuality and 97.5 per cent service delivery.
"All statutory inspections have been completed. The Chief Inspector of Railways has also advised that West Rail is in a safe and sound condition for passenger operations," he said.
Mr Tien said an opening ceremony will be held at 10:00 am on 20 December at the Kam Sheung Road Station. The railway will start passenger services at 2:00 pm on the same day.
Before the official opening, the Corporation would set aside two days for trial rides by members of the public to familiarise them with the various features of the system.
These trial rides will be held on 17 December from 10:00 am to 12:45 am the following day, and on 18 December from 5:45 am to 12:45 am the following day.
There will be no train service on 19 December when the railway will be closed for final preparations for its opening on the following day.
"A flat fare of $15 for adults and $7.5 for children and senior citizens will be charged for all journeys during the trial rides. There will be no time limit and passengers will be able to alight at and visit any station they wish as long as they do not go through the exit gates.
"All proceeds will be donated to charity," he added.
Meanwhile, a new Transport Division, which consolidates all transport operations of the Corporation including West Rail, Light Rail, Bus, East Rail and the future East Rail Extensions, has come into operation with effect from today.
Mr Y T Li, Director, East Rail, has taken up his appointment as Acting Senior Director, Transport; while Mr Jonathan Yu, Director, Light Rail, has become Director of Operations of the new division.