West Rail Line: Wikis

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West Rail Line
西鐵綫

A West Rail Line train arriving at Kam Sheung Road Station

A West Rail Line train arriving at Kam Sheung Road Station

West Rail Line.svg
No. of stations 12
Type Heavy rail
Districts Yau Tsim Mong, Sham Shui Po, Tsuen Wan, Yuen Long, Tuen Mun
Opened 20 December 2003
Voltage AC 25000 V, 50 Hz
Gauge 1435 mm
Unknown route-map component "uCONTg" Unknown route-map component "uCONTg"
Light Rail
Unknown route-map component "uABZld"
Unknown route-map component "uBHFq" + Hub
Unknown route-map component "uABZrd"
Urban railway Unknown route-map component "uLUECKE"
Unknown route-map component "KBFa-ELEV" + Hub
Unknown route-map component "uLUECKE"
Tuen Mun (Light Rail)
Unknown route-map component "uABZld" Unknown route-map component "mhKRZ" Waterway turning to right
Urban railway
Urban station on track + Hub
Station on elevated + Hub
Siu Hong (Light Rail)
Unknown route-map component "uLUECKE" Elevated
Unknown route-map component "uABZld" Unknown route-map component "mhKRZ" Unknown route-map component "uABZa" Unknown route-map component "uCONTl"
Urban railway Unknown route-map component "uLUECKE"
Station on elevated + Hub
Urban station on track + Hub
Tin Shui Wai (Light Rail)
Unknown route-map component "uLUECKE" Elevated Waterway turning to left Unknown route-map component "uCONTl"
Unknown route-map component "uLUECKE" Station on elevated
Long Ping
Urban railway
Unknown route-map component "uKBFe" + Hub
Station on elevated + Hub
Yuen Long (Light Rail)
Elevated Unknown route-map component "exSTRrg" Unknown route-map component "exCONTl"
 Northern Link Arrow Blue Right 001.svg
Station on elevated + Hub
Unknown route-map component "exKBHFe" + Hub
Kam Sheung Road
Elevated end
Track turning from left Junction to right
Non-passenger station on track Straight track
Pat Heung Depot
Track turning left Junction from right
Enter tunnel
Unknown route-map component "tSTR"
Tai Lam Tunnel
Unknown route-map component "tBHF"
Tsuen Wan West
Unknown route-map component "CHRISBOT" Unknown route-map component "tKRZt"
Unknown route-map component "tBHFq" + Hub
Unknown route-map component "tSTRlg"
Unknown route-map component "tBHF" + Hub
Hub Abbreviated in this map
Mei Foo (Tsuen Wan Line)
Continuation to right Track turning from right Unknown route-map component "tSTR" Abbreviated in this map
Right side of cross-platform interchange Unknown route-map component "tCPICr" Abbreviated in this map
Nam Cheong (Tung Chung Line)
Continuation forward Unknown route-map component "tSTR" Abbreviated in this map
Unused express railway Unknown route-map component "tBHF" Abbreviated in this map
Austin West Kowloon Terminus
Unknown route-map component "CHRISBOT" Unknown route-map component "tKRZt"
Unknown route-map component "BLg" + Unknown route-map component "tBHFq"
Unknown route-map component "tSTRrf"
Tsim Sha Tsui (Tsuen Wan Line)
Unknown route-map component "BLr" + Unknown route-map component "tKBHFxa"
Unknown route-map component "BLrf"
East Tsim Sha Tsui
Exit tunnel
Express railway Right side head station of cross-platform interchange Unknown route-map component "xCPICre"
Hung Hom (East Rail Line)
Straight track Unknown route-map component "exSTR"
Through Train terminus
Straight track Unknown route-map component "exCONTf"
 East-west Line Arrow Blue Down 001.svg
Continuation forward
 East Rail Line Arrow Blue Down 001.svg

The West Rail Line (Chinese: 西鐵綫) (formerly called KCR West Rail, Chinese: 九廣西鐵) is one of the MTR lines in Hong Kong. It starts at Hung Hom Station in Yau Tsim Mong and ends at Tuen Mun Station in Tuen Mun. Only four of its stations, East Tsim Sha Tsui Station, Mei Foo Station, Austin Station and Tsuen Wan West Station were built underground, with the others above ground.

Currently the West Rail Line only provides a local service, and resembles a metro more than a commuter railway. However the line was built in commuter railway standard, in the expectation that it would accommodate other trains in the future.

The railway line was originally built by the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) and was operated as part of that operator's three line network prior to its merger with the MTR Corporation (MTRC). Operation was taken over by the MTRC on 2 December 2007, after the merger took effect. The line is still owned by the KCRC, although it is now leased to the MTRC.

Contents

History

A railway to the northwestern New Territories from the urban area in Kowloon was proposed in the early 1990s. Both the MTR and the KCRC submitted plans to the government, but ultimately the KCRC's proposal to Tin Shui Wai new town was selected. However, several major accidents on Tuen Mun Road made residents in Tuen Mun request a railway connection within the centre of the new town of Tuen Mun. This made the route in the final proposal deviate from the original plan (which terminated at the centre of Tin Shui Wai new town), to terminate near Tuen Mun Town Centre.

The first phase of construction included a double-track commuter railway connecting Tuen Mun station and Nam Cheong stations. This system has been in operation since 20 December 2003.

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Initial operation

Originally, the KCRC expected the West Rail to have a daily ridership figure of 300,000 passengers, but poor onward connections between stations and the areas they serve (only access to 30% of the population of the entire Yuen Long and Tuen Mun districts) meant that the number of commuters choosing to use the West Rail line remained far short of the goal after opening (only 100,000 passengers by May 2004). Large-scale property developments along the West Rail were originally planned to generate new passenger demand but were delayed by government policy. The delay in constructing the West Rail itself was a problem, residents were already accustomed to other methods of transport which were already heavily developed. The KCRC was also blamed for its route planning and forceful reduction of bus services, which has mainly been provided by Kowloon Motor Bus after operations began. However, the HKSAR government later provided compensation to KMB because of this.[1]

Furthermore, due to the frequent breakdowns, the chairman of KCRC, Michael Tien, announced that if the performance of West Rail did not improve, he would considered resigning. Although monthly passes were introduced on 1 August 2004, and the daily ridership increased to 150,000, there was still a long way to go before the KCRC's goal of 200,000 passengers was met.

Since 20 December 2004, the further discount of 20% was cancelled due to the quick recovery of the economy and a ridership increase to 170,000. The monthly pass concession was extended for another half year.

A Sightseeing Bus service was run as a temporary additional service of the West Rail Line in the northwest New Territories. This service was launched on 26 September 2004 and ended on 28 November.[2]

Improvement of signalling system

In August 2005, Michael Tien announced that 90% of breakdowns of the signalling system are due to failure of axle counters. 45% of the whole line is elevated, which makes power lines easier to be hit by lightning, therefore causing such breakdowns. The average distance between two stations is three kilometers, which results in a longer time for engineers to repair the signalling system. The most serious breakdown occurred on 21 July 2005 and caused a delay of up to 40 minutes, which exceeds the total journey time of 30 minutes.

For this reason, KCRC decided to throw over $10 million to improve the signalling system, including hiring foreign railway experts and finding solutions to decrease down time.

Kowloon Southern Link

On 16 August 2009, the Kowloon Southern Link from Nam Cheong to East Tsim Sha Tsui Station was opened. Simultaneously, the segment between East TST and Hung Hom Station was transferred from the East Rail Line to the West Rail Line, so both services now meet and terminate at Hung Hom.

Route description

The track is mostly above ground and runs from east to west. It starts at Hung Hom Station at ground level, then goes underground, passing through East Tsim Sha Tsui and Austin Stations, and then to Nam Cheong station at ground level (although the track is completely covered and sealed at this point), and it is located right of West Kowloon Highway. Then the track goes beneath the ground passing Mei Foo station and Tsuen Wan West. After Tsuen Wan West, the track goes into the hills before emerging before Kam Sheung Road station. The rest of the track was constructed on a viaduct where there is room for an emergency passage.

Fare system

West Rail Line Day Pass and the Boarding Pass

The fare system of the line generally follows the other lines on the ex-KCR network. Octopus cards and single ride tickets are available. All persons aged between 12 and 64 are charged the adult fare, while children (and full-time students) aged 11 or below, and elderly aged 65 or above are entitled to a concession fare. After the rail merger, passengers using Octopus cards interchanging at Mei Foo or Nam Cheong stations to the Tsuen Wan Line or Tung Chung Line may enjoy fare concessions. The total fare is calculated from the starting and ending stations in the whole journey, regardless of the interchange station the passenger used.

The line also offers day passes and monthly passes.[3] Monthly Passes are stored in the Octopus Card, and allows the passenger to enjoy unlimited rides of the West Rail Line, Light Rail, MTR Buses, MTR Feeder Bus Route K16 and designated minibus routes within the month. They are sold at $400 and holders of the $300 monthly pass can continue to enjoy the $300 / month offer. Day Passes are in the form of a magnetic ticket, plus a paper folder which is called the "Boarding Pass" for the free interchange to MTR Bus and Light Rail. They are sold at $20, and the passenger can enjoy unlimited rides of the West Rail Line between Tuen Mun and Nam Cheong, Light Rail, MTR Buses and MTR Feeder Bus Route K16 within the service day. They need to use the ticket to pass through the entry / exit gates at West Rail Line stations. When travelling on buses, they need to present the ticket with the boarding pass when they board. When travelling on the Light Rail, they need to present the ticket with the boarding pass during ticket inspection. Holders of 10 West Rail Line Day Passes can exchange for a new West Rail Day Pass at West Rail Line Stations.

Stations

This is a list of all the stations on West Rail. The coloured boxes holding the station names represent the unique colour motif for the station. Unlike the former East Rail line inherited from KCR, the stations have platform screen doors regardless of the station's level with respect to the ground except for Hung Hom station, which was originally an East Rail line station only.

Livery and Name District Connection(s) Date opened
West Rail Line
Hung Hom3 Yau Tsim Mong      East Rail Line 30 November 1974
(as part of East Rail Line)
East Tsim Sha Tsui3 Tsim Sha Tsui Station for      Tsuen Wan Line 24 October 2004
(as part of East Rail Line)
Austin3 16 August 2009
Nam Cheong Sham Shui Po      Tung Chung Line 20 December 2003
Mei Foo      Tsuen Wan Line
Tsuen Wan West Tsuen Wan {{{2}}}
Kam Sheung Road Yuen Long Northern Link{{{3}}}
Yuen Long      Light Rail
Long Ping
Tin Shui Wai      Light Rail
Siu Hong Tuen Mun
Tuen Mun
Notes

* Proposed
# Under construction

2 Tsuen Wan West Station of the      West Rail Line and Tsuen Wan Station of      Tsuen Wan Line are not physically linked. However, green minibus route 95K is provided between the two stations (free transfer with an immediate West Rail Line journey record on the Octopus card). Journey time is 15-20 minutes Tsuen Wan Station on foot.

Major incidents

At 9:15 am on 14 February 2007, a passenger train broke down when one of the voltage transformers mounted on the train (EMU SP1900) roof exploded. It was suspected that the overheated transformer caused its insulating oil to vapourise, thus causing the explosion. The train borne circuit breaker, which was connected in parallel to the voltage transformer to the train pantograph, was not designed to isolate this kind of fault.

After the incident, all SP1900 EMUs have the voltage transformers replaced. The new voltage transformers are German-made dry type transformers, which will not catch fire even if they fail.

This incident occurred in a tunnel on the southbound section between Kam Sheung Road and Tsuen Wan West, about 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) from Tsuen Wan West. Around 650 passengers had to evacuate through the dark tunnel to the station, and around 340 people returned to the ground through a ventilation shaft at Chai Wan Kok. Eleven people were sent to hospital. Train services returned to normal after 4 hours[4].

As an apology, the West Rail was opened for free rides on 21 February 2007, the first working day after the Chinese New Year holiday[5].

Future development

The West Rail Line will be extended both to the south and north in the future. The Northern Link will go from Kam Sheung Road Station to Lok Ma Chau Station, and to Sheung Shui Station via Chau Tau Station.

In the latest Sha Tin to Central Link proposal, West Rail Line, which terminates in Hung Hom Station, will extend northwards to connect Ma On Shan Line in Tai Wai Station.

There were suggestions to use the tracks of the West Rail Line to accommodate the future Regional Express to Guangzhou via Shenzhen. However, dedicated corridor option has been decided during the Hong Kong/Guangdong Co-operation Joint Conference held on August 2007.

See also

References

  1. ^ Yeung, Rikkie (2008). Moving Millions: The Commercial Success and Political Controversies of Hong Kong's Railways. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. ISBN 9789622099630. 
  2. ^ KCRC Press release
  3. ^ "Day Pass . Monthly Pass" (PDF). Mass Transit Railway Corporation. December 2007. http://www.mtr.com.hk/eng/whatsnew/images/Monthly_Day_Pass_leaflet_all.pdf. Retrieved 2008-04-26. 
  4. ^ Cheng, Jonathan (15 February 2007). "KCRC in pledge on safety". Hong Kong Standard. http://www.thestandard.com.hk/news_detail.asp?pp_cat=11&art_id=38372&sid=12227018&con_type=3&d_str=20070215&sear_year=2007. Retrieved 2007-01-30. 
  5. ^ "Remarks of KCRC Chairman Mr Michael Tien on the West Rail Incident". KCRC. 15 February 2007. http://www.kcrc.com/html/eng/corporate/news_centre/press_release/2007/feb/upload/EA20070215.htm. Retrieved 2007-02-18. 

External links


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