16 August 2006
Kowloon Southern Link's Tunnel Boring Machine launched
 
The 80-meter long tunnel boring machine (TBM) tailored made for the Kowloon Southern Link (KSL) was launched today, representing an important milestone of this strategically important project.
A ceremony was held at the work site of the TBM launching shaft at the junction of Canton Road and Austin Road this morning to mark the occasion.
Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation's (KCRC's) Chief Executive Officer Ir James Blake said at the ceremony, "The Corporation is committed to constructing this railway with minimal disruption and inconvenience to the busy pedestrian and road traffic in the Tsim Sha Tsui area."
According to Ir Blake, this would be achieved by adopting the slurry type TBM, Xiaolongnu (Little Dragon Girl), that named after the legendary character created by the highly acclaimed writer, Mr Louis Cha Leung-yung in one of his best selling novels "The Return of Condor Heroes".
Ir Blake said, "The name is most befitting because the machine will do her work with the agility and effect of a super kung fu fighter, yet with a feminine touch of tenderness and softness as she tunnels her way through soft ground and hard rock.
"Xiaolongnu is of German design with parts manufactured in Germany and China. Being state of the art technology, she will excel herself by working quietly beneath the surface of Canton Road and Salisbury Road, allowing road traffic and pedestrian movements to continue throughout the area of construction work below ground."
The name Xiaolongnu was selected through a naming competition jointly organised by KCRC and the contractor, Link 200 Joint Venture, earlier. Open to all the residents of Hong Kong, the competition received overwhelming response with over 800 entries.
Xiaolongnu will commence excavation at a vertical shaft within the site of West Kowloon Station at the corner of Canton Road and Austin Road with the retrieval shaft located in front of Sheraton Hotel at Salisbury Road.
Each of the TBM drive will be about 1.1 km in length. Including re-assembly of Xiaolongnu for the second drive, the TBM excavation works are expected to be completed in January 2008.
Also officiating at today's ceremony were Permanent Secretary for Environment, Transport and Works Mr Joshua Law, Chairman of Yau Tsim Mong District Council Mr Henry Chan, and KCRC Senior Director, Capital Projects Mr K K Lee etc.
KSL will link up East Rail and West Rail via the existing Tsim Sha Tsui Station and Nam Cheong Station. Upon completion in 2009, the HK$8.3 billion KSL will provide Northwest New Territories residents a direct access to Tsim Sha Tsui.
 
Permanent Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works Mr Joshua Law (left) and Chief Executive Officer of KCRC Ir James Blake (right) unveil the name of the tunnel boring machine adopted for Kowlooon Southern Link project.
 
Ir Blake said KCRC was committed to constructing the Kowloon Southern Link with minimal disruption and inconvenience to the busy pedestrian and road traffic in the Tsim Sha Tsui area.
 
A group photo of the Officiating Guests of the ceremony in front of the mock up of the tunnel boring machine, Xiaolongnu. From left: KCRC Senior Director, Capital Projects Mr K K Lee, KCRC Chief Executive Officer Ir James Blake, Permanent Secretary for Environment, Transport and Works Mr Joshua Law, Yau Tsim Mong District Officer Miss Amy Chow, Chairman of Yau Tsim Mong District Council Mr Henry Chan, KCRC Board Members Mr Ng Leung-sing and Mr Abraham Shek, and representative of the contractor Link 200 Joint Venture Mr Mark Ashton.