HONG Kong operator MTR signed a project agreement with the Hong Kong government on February 28 for the financing, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of the Tung Chung Line Extension (TUE), allowing work on the project to begin.

The TUE project includes the diversion of a 1.2km section of line between the existing Tung Chung station and Sunny Bay station, and the extension of the existing Tung Chung Line westwards by 1.3km. The project also includes the construction of two new stations, Tung Chung East between Tung Chung and Sunny Bay, and Tung Chung West which will become the new terminus of the line. The agreement also covers the construction of the Airport Railway Extended Overrun Tunnel (ARO).

The line will increase operational efficiency and capacity on the Tung Chung Line and Airport Express Line.

The TUE project will be funded by a financial contribution from the “Rail plus Property” development model and MTR’s internal resources. With the project agreement in place, the tendering for the key contracts of TUE will be completed soon, at which point the project will proceed to the construction stage.

It is expected that the construction of the TUE will commence in the middle of 2023 for target completion in 2029, while the construction of the ARO is due to start in 2025 for completion in 2032.

“The project will enhance both the expanse and the capacity of the railway network in North Lantau, reinforcing the role of railways as the backbone of public transport in the area,” says MTR CEO, Dr Jacob Kam. “The TUE works will be conducted on an operating railway. The corporation will attach great importance to the community’s needs in drawing up the alignment, station design and future operation schemes, staying true to the positioning of the project as a community railway.

“We will strike a balance between construction efficiency and the commuting needs of local passengers during the construction period. Our team will strive to put the railway extension into service as soon as possible.”

The Tung Chung Line Extension is the first of the projects in Hong Kong’s Railway Development Strategy 2014 to reach the agreement stage.

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