Mass Transit Railway (MTR) will construct a $799.7m West Island Line (WIL) in Hong Kong pending funding approval from the Legislative Council.

The project includes construction of 3km-long extension line from Sheung Wan Station of the existing MTR Island Line to a new station at Kennedy Town via two new intermediate stations at Sai Ying Pun and the University of Hong Kong.

MTR Corporation chief executive officer Mr C K Chow said that the West Island Line is not only a transport extension, but is also a community railway.

“The West Island Line will also act as a catalyst in rejuvenating the district,” Chow said.

The project also includes various community facilities like re-provisioning of the David Trench Rehabilitation Centre, the Kennedy town swimming pool, centre street cooked food centre, provision of lifts and escalators at Sands Street and centennial campus of the University of Hong Kong.

The new line will take eight and 14 minutes to travel from Kennedy Town to Sheung Wan and Tsim Sha Tsui respectively.

The project will start in mid-2009 and be complete by 2014.

The project is expected to bring HK$62bn of economic, social and environmental benefits to the community over 50 years of operation.