A key milestone on the Shatin to Central Link (SCL) project has been achieved with the breakthrough of the 11-kilometre tunnel for the Tai Wai to Hung Hom Section which will form the backbone of Hong Kong’s East-West rail corridor. The MTR Corporation held a ceremony today (8 September) to celebrate this major project achievement with local community members from various districts, representatives of government departments and contractors.
“SCL is a strategic railway that will bring a new level of travelling convenience to the people of Hong Kong by better connecting existing railway lines and expanding the coverage of the railway network. The East-West Corridor will extend MTR service to the Kowloon City and Kai Tak areas. It will also allow people to travel directly between east and west of the New Territories without interchanging,” said Mr Lincoln Leong, Chief Executive Officer of MTR Corporation, who joined the guests at the ceremony to celebrate this major milestone of the project.
“It has never been easy in realizing these social benefits. We are lucky to have a group of dedicated community representatives, tolerant neighbours and professional builders. They have contributed to this achievement through their continuous cooperation and constructive support, which helped us in overcoming many challenges during the tunnelling works,” Mr Leong continued.
Projects Director of MTR Corporation Dr Philco Wong appreciated the efforts of the tunnelling teams of the contractors and our staff, “The construction of this strategic railway through the Lion Rock and complicated ground conditions in Wong Tai Sin and Ma Tau Wai areas has not been an easy feat. With the support from the community, our projects team has risen on top of various challenges during the past 4 years. We very carefully snaked through the underground landscape within touching distance of existing railway tunnels, underground utilities and building foundations, thereby moving a significant step towards the completion of this very important railway project.”
The Tai Wai to Hung Hom Section of the SCL is an extension of the existing Ma On Shan Line from Tai Wai Station through East Kowloon to connect with the West Rail Line at Hung Hom Station. It includes construction of a tunnel, new stations and extension of existing stations in Sha Tin, Wong Tai Sin, Kowloon City and Yau Tsim Mong districts, to form the East-West Corridor.
Construction of the SCL is entrusted to the Corporation by the HKSAR Government under the Concession Approach. The East-West Corridor’s main construction works commenced in mid- 2012. Due to the varied geography and geology as well as complicated ground conditions of different areas, the tunnels were built by a combination of construction methods, involving excavation by four tunnel boring machines, open excavation, mining, cut-and-cover construction and blasting deep below the Lion Rock. The final breakthrough came when the tunnel boring machine Princess Iron Fan arrived at Ho Man Tin Station in mid-August 2016. To date, more than 77 per cent of the overall works for the East-West Corridor have been
“Our next challenge is the installation of the tunnel railway systems, and to carefully plan and implement our works that interface with existing rail lines, with a view to delivering the EastWest Corridor for passenger service in 2019. This will greatly enhance connectivity of the entire railway network of Hong Kong as part of Rail Gen 2.0, to deliver Hong Kong’s new generation of rail travel,” Dr Philco Wong added.
In addition to the East-West Corridor, the SCL project also includes the 6-kilometre Hung Hom to Admiralty Section, which is an extension of the East Rail Line from Hung Hom Station via a new cross-harbour railway tunnel to Wan Chai North and Admiralty to form the North-South Corridor, which is expected to be commissioned in 2021.
About MTR Corporation
MTR Corporation is regarded as one of the world’s leading railway operators for safety, reliability, customer service and cost efficiency. In its home base of Hong Kong, the Corporation operates nine commuter railway lines, a Light Rail network and a high-speed Airport Express link on which more than 5.5 million passenger trips are made on a normal week day. Another 5 million passenger trips are made on the rail services it operates outside Hong Kong in the Mainland of China, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Australia. In addition, the Corporation is involved in a range of railway construction projects as well as railway consultancy and contracting services around the world. Leveraging on its railway expertise, the Corporation is involved in the development of transit-related residential and commercial property projects, property management, shopping malls leasing and management, advertising media and telecommunication services.