Hung Hom to Mong Kok East MTR service suspension

Thursday, December 17, 2020

East Rail service between Mong Kok East and Hung Hom stations will be suspended on ten selected Sundays between January and October next year to make way for Shatin to Central rail link construction works.

In a statement released yesterday, MTR Corp said the suspension was to make way for critical bifurcation works to connect the existing East Rail Line with the new railway section in Hung Hom Station and on Hong Kong Island.

The works involve track reconfiguration for connection to the new section, laying 875 meters of railroad tracks, installing 1 kilometer in total of overhead lines as well as modification of part of the equipment of the existing signalling system, according to the MTRC.

It explained that although their project team has been making use of the two-hour non-traffic hours at midnight to carry out concerned works, some critical works of different phases, given their complexity, must be conducted for longer hours and therefore had no choice but to temporarily suspend service.

The railway operator also said it will reserve sufficient time to check the equipment, signalling system and railroad tracks after the bifurcation works to ensure the service on the next day will not be affected.

If the bifurcation works goes smoothly, the number of service suspensions can be reduced from 10 days to eight days, MTRC said, adding that their target to open the harbor-crossing section of the East Rail Line in 2022 remains unchanged.

“The bifurcation works are an essential step for the extension of the East Rail Line across the harbour to Admiralty Station, [and doing so] on an existing running line are very challenging,” James Chow So-hung, MTR’s projects construction divisional general manager, said.

“After prudent assessment and planning, the works are scheduled for Sundays so as to minimise the inconvenience caused to passengers,” he added.

The first two Sunday closures will be on January 10 and February 21 next year, while the remaining eight Sunday closures will be between April and October. MTRC said it will announce each suspension date at least one week in advance.

“Free shuttle bus service running between Hung Hom and Kowloon Tong stations will be provided on days of service suspension,” a spokesman for the MTRC said.

“But passengers are advised to take alternative routes as the unpredictable road traffic conditions and reduced capacity of shuttle buses compared to trains will cause passengers’ journey time to be much longer,” the spokesman added.

Sammy Wong Kwan-wai, MTR’s chief of operating, said passengers may use their mobile application to plan their journeys ahead.

“We will try our best to facilitate passengers’ journeys by advance announcement and on-site assistance. We thank passengers in advance for their cooperation as the service adjustment may inevitably cause inconvenience to them,” Wong said.

The MTRC also said it will also communicate closely with relevant government departments on providing appropriate assistance during the works.