Vandalism pushes end of work on rail section further down the road

Top News | Sophie Hui 5 Dec 2019

The completion date for the Hung Hom to Admiralty section of the Sha Tin to Central Rail Link will be delayed until the first quarter of 2022.

The MTR Corp and the Transport and Housing Bureau announced the change from the 2021 deadline in a document sent to lawmakers of the railways subcommittee, saying the delay was due to emergency repairs and checks arising due to vandalism of the East Rail Line.

As of the end of September, the overall work for the Sha Tin to Central Rail Link was 91 percent complete, while 99 percent of the works for the Tai Wai to Hung Hom section had also been completed.

Since the East Rail Line is part of the North-South Corridor link, the rail operator needs to upgrade its signaling system for the construction project. However, facilities at the East Rail Line have been vandalized multiple times since October.

"The project team was unable to carry out the train test of the new East Rail Line signaling system as scheduled, subsequent conversion work for the nine-car trains, and track bifurcation works," the government said.

"As the new signaling system is a crucial part of the North-South Corridor, the MTRC expects the commissioning date for Hung Hom to Admiralty section to be delayed to early 2022."

The operator also reported to the Highways Department that facilities at University station and nearby railways had been severely damaged last month, including a newly installed signaling system, as well as the electrical and mechanical systems for the North-South Corridor.

"Since the facilities were severely damaged, unrepairable, and had to be repurchased, replaced and retested, the MTRC was still assessing comprehensively the impact of the incidents," the government said.

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