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Arup AECOM Joint Venture (JV) has secured a preliminary design consultancy contract from Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway (MTR) to conduct the planning and design for the proposed Northern Link main line project.

Work will include the development of the scheme into an engineering design, preparing the construction programme and gazette plans, as well as determining the cost estimate.

As agreed, the Arup AECOM JV will work closely with MTR’s Capital Works team to deliver the works.

The proposed Northern Link will benefit the north-west and northern part of the New Territories by improving connectivity and facilitating the development of the area.

MTR Capital Works director Roger Bayliss said: “The award of this contract marks a significant step forward for the Northern Link project.

“Moreover, residents from the New Territories North will enjoy the transport convenience through the railway network linking up the east and west as the project continues to develop. We will actively engage the local communities during the preliminary design of the project.”

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MTR stated that the works associated with the Northern Link such as ground investigation and survey of current utilities have been initiated.

Last December, MTR secured the Government of Hong Kong’s approval to advance with the detailed planning and design of the Northern Link project.

As part of the project, a new railway station at Kwu Tung between Sheung Shui Station and Lok Ma Chau Station, along the Lok Ma Chau Spur Line, will be constructed.

A 10.7km railway line will also be laid to connect Kam Sheung Road Station on the Tuen Ma Line (TML) and the new Kwu Tung Station.

The construction of Northern Link’s main line is expected to begin in 2025, with completion expected by 2034.

Last month, MTR, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government and Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) signed four principal agreements for the TML’s operation.