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September 21, 2014

Hong Kong plans $110bn investment for rail network expansion

Hong Kong Transport and Housing Secretary Anthony Cheung has announced an estimated $110bn future rail expansion plan as part of the Railway Development Strategy 2014 recommendations.

By Samseer M

Hong Kong Transport and Housing Secretary Anthony Cheung has announced an estimated $110bn future rail expansion plan as part of the Railway Development Strategy 2014 recommendations.

According to a blueprint released by the Hong Kong Government, a total of seven new railway projects are expected to be completed by 2031.

This is expected to significantly speed up passenger flow, reduce dependence on road-based transport, ease road congestion and decrease vehicle-induced air pollution.

"A total of seven new railway projects are expected to be completed by 2031."

The new projects include the Northern Link & Kwu Tung station, Tuen Mun south extension, East Kowloon Line, Tung Chung west extension, Hung Shui Kiu station, South Island Line (West) and North Island Line.

The projects are believed to expand Hong Kong’s railway network from 270km in 2021 to more than 300km by 2031, which will cover areas inhabited by 75% of the population, as well as increasing the number of stations from 99 to 114.

Work on the individual railway projects will move ahead, based on the results of detailed engineering, environmental and financial studies. Factors such as updated passenger transport demand assessment and resources availability will also be taken into consideration.

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Cheung said that impact of the new projects on other public transport will also be assessed before the individual projects are completed.

The government will also develop service rationalisation proposals to help achieve better coordination.

Hong Kong’s railway network currently carries over 4.5 million passengers a day and accounts for 40% of all local public transport passenger trips, as well as nearly 60% of cross-boundary passenger land trips.

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