Buses pick up slack amid crippled services

Top News | Stella Wong 18 Sep 2019

Two train services remain canceled today and the East Rail line services crippled.

There were no chaos during last night's peak hours at the interchange station in Kowloon Tong as most commuters found alternative routes to go home and beefed up bus services took up the slack.

At 6.40pm traffic on Hong Chong Road and in the Cross-Harbour Tunnel, Hong Kong bound, was busy as some roads were closed to traffic to facilitate emergency repair works.

The service between Hung Hom and Mong Kok East stations was shut down for the entire day from about 8.30am.

After the incident, the East Rail service between Mong Kok East and Lo Wu ran at six-minute intervals, while the one between Mong Kok East to Lok Ma Chau station ran at 18-minute intervals.

West Rail line services were also affected, but they resumed to normal before noon.

At 8.45pm, the service between Mong Kok East and Lo Wu was at four-minute intervals, while between Tai Po Market and Lok Ma Chau, it was 12-minute intervals. The MTR provided free shuttle buses running between Tai Wai and Diamond Hill stations.

An English major at Chinese University was among those whose journeys were affected in the morning.

She had to take the West Rail line from Hung Hom to Tsim Sha Tsui East and change to other lines to reach Kowloon Tong station to get back to the East Rail line.

"I have a class that starts at 10.30am. The professor dislikes students for being late. But now, I can only arrive at school at 11am at the earliest," she said.

Another affected passenger, Chan, said he would be late for work for at least 30 minutes.

During evening peak hours, the MTR and bus operator KMB bolstered services and offered shuttle buses.

The Transport Department coordinated bus operators to arrange four special bus routes starting from 5.30pm to facilitate passengers to interchange with the East Rail line at Mong Kok East or Tai Wai station.

Waiting time was longer than usual as more people were waiting for trains during evening peak hours at the interchange stations, especially at Kowloon Tong, Admiralty, North Point and Tai Wai stations.

Passengers were advised to allow more travel time for journeys and pay attention to the latest traffic news.

Meanwhile, at least 21 MTR intercity through-train services were canceled yesterday and today due to the incident.

Shanghai-Kowloon through train number Z99 scheduled to arrive in Hung Hom station at 1.01pm today and Z100 scheduled to depart from Hung Hom station at 3.15pm today are canceled.

The MTR said passengers could get ticket refunds within 30 days.

stellast.wong@singtaonewscorp.com

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