The good and the bad of mtr

The MTR Corporation runs the most valuable metro railway in the world. It recorded a full-year profit of HK$17 billion (S$3 billion) last year. A rise in passenger numbers, advertising within its stations and the building of commercial and residential properties above new stations to fund railway expansions were among the factors that contributed to the operator's growth over the years.

In 2017

Rail lines: 11 Stations: 93 Route length: 230.9 km Passenger journeys on time: 99.9 per cent


Some key delays

Oct 25, 2018: Trains were delayed on two rail lines - Tseung Kwan O Line and Kwun Tong Line - making it the second delay in a month.

Oct 16, 2018: Unprecedented six-hour disruption on four key lines - Island, Tsuen Wan, Kwun Tong and Tseung Kwan O lines - after a software and settings issue.

Aug 5, 2017: Services on the Kwun Tong line disrupted by a signalling fault.

May 2017: Thousands of passengers were stranded after an overhead cable snapped near Hung Hom station, disrupting service on the East Rail Line.

April 27, 2014: Service disruption on East Rail Line caused by the breakdown of a router of the data network transmission at Fo Tan Railway House.

 

Scandals

  • There was an uproar in May over sub-standard work on the HK$97.1 billion Sha Tin to Central link. Reports of the subcontractor cutting corners, shoddy work and accusations of safety lapses led to the departure of four managers and the early exit of chief executive Lincoln Leong Kwok-kuen. An inquiry is ongoing to look into the Hung Hom MTR Station site for the future Sha Tin-Central link. The commission is investigating if steel reinforcement fixing works at the station - which is still under construction - has been carried out in line with specifications. The hearings are scheduled to end next month.
  • Previously, the West Kowloon terminus project was plagued by budget overruns and delays, including reports that the major residential-commercial complex next to the terminus was sinking due to the construction of the rail station. The terminus is the Hong Kong section of the newly launched controversial high-speed rail plugging the territory more deeply into the mainland's transport network. The project has run into fierce opposition over a joint checkpoint, where part of the West Kowloon station was effectively ceded to the mainland for faster immigration procedures.

Claire Huang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 26, 2018, with the headline 'The good and the bad of mtr'. Print Edition | Subscribe