MTR has broken through the 11km tunnel for the Tai Wai to Hung Hom section of the East-West rail corridor, which is a part of Shatin Central Link (SCL) project in Hong Kong.

The Tai Wai to Hung Hom Section of the SCL is an extension of the current Ma On Shan Line from Tai Wai station through East Kowloon. It will eventully connect with MTR’s West Rail Line at Hung Hom station.

The East-West rail corridor comprises a tunnel, new stations and extension of existing stations in Sha Tin, Wong Tai Sin, Kowloon City and Yau Tsim Mong districts.

MTR CEO Lincoln Leong said: “SCL is a strategic railway that will bring a new level of travelling convenience to the people of Hong Kong by better connecting existing railway lines and expanding the coverage of the railway network.

“The East-West Corridor will extend MTR service to the Kowloon City and Kai Tak areas. It will also allow people to travel directly between east and west of the New Territories without interchanging.”

MRT started the main construction for the East-West Corridor in mid-2012.

Because of the diverse geology and complicated ground conditions, the tunnels of the corridor were built using a combination of methods, including four tunnel-boring machines, open excavation, mining, cut-and-cover, and blasting.

So far, more than 77% of the overall works for the East-West corridor has been completed.

"This will greatly enhance connectivity of the entire railway network of Hong Kong."

MTR projects director Philco Wong said: “Our next challenge is the installation of the tunnel railway systems, and to carefully plan and implement our works that interface with existing rail lines, with a view to delivering the East-West Corridor for passenger service in 2019.

“This will greatly enhance connectivity of the entire railway network of Hong Kong as part of Rail Gen 2.0, to deliver Hong Kong’s new generation of rail travel.”

Apart from the East-West corridor, the SCL project includes the 6km Hung Hom to Admiralty section, which is an extension of the East Rail Line from Hung Hom Station via a new cross-harbour railway tunnel to Wan Chai North and Admiralty.

Once complete, the extension will be a part of the North-South Corridor, which is expected to be commissioned in 2021.

Image: The Hin Keng to Ma Chai Hang Tunnel works site. Photo: courtsey of MTR Corporation.