Additional Stations added to new MTR Extensions will serve new residential developments
We first covered the government’s updated Railway Development Strategy 2014 (RDS2014) in our 2017 article. Carrie Lam’s Policy Address in October 2019 identified the fast tracking of New Territories rail lines to service residential developments. After much delay, the government has finally given approval for the detailed design and planning of the first two projects, the Tung Chung and Tuen Mun South extensions. The plans for both lines have been updated from RDS2014 to incorporate additional stations to serve new residential areas. The projects’ construction will be financed and managed by MTR under the ownership model and construction will start in 2023.
Tung Chung Extension
The Tung Chung line (TCL) extension will see the line being extended 1.3km from the existing Tung Chung line terminus to a new Tung Chung West station to serve the Yat Tung estate. The estate currently has housing for 56,000 residents in existing, commissioned or under construction blocks with a further 26,600 residents expected by 2030. The residents of these estates, which have grown since the completion of the original Tung Chung line, currently have to take a bus to the MTR station.
To the east of the existing Tung Chung station, a further intermediate station (Tung Chung East) will be constructed to serve the Tung Chung New Town Expansion (TCNTE) project. The Tung Chung East station was not envisaged in the RDS2014 study so it is good to see that plans are being adjusted to suit the changed environment. The TCNTE project commenced in 2017 and will ultimately house 126,000 residents, with first residents expected in 2024. This project is currently providing 130 hectares of reclaimed land to accommodate 49,600 residential flats as well as 500,000 square metres of office space, 327,000 square metres of retail and 50,000 square metres for hotels.
At the Hong Kong terminus of the TCL, an overrun tunnel will be constructed to allow faster turnaround of both Airport Express and Tung Chung line trains at the terminus and thereby increase the overall capacity of the both the Tung Chung and Airport Express lines. Construction of the 460m overrun tunnel and a new ventilation building beneath Lung Mo Road in Central will be integrated with the overrun tunnel for the future North Island Line (another RDS 2014 project).
The cost of the TCL project will be HK$18.7 billion in 2016 prices with completion of the Tung Chung stations by 2029 and the Airport railway line overrun tunnel by 2032. It is estimated that the project will generate economic benefits of HK$61.4 billion and save local road users 792 million hours over 50 years. In June 2020, the design and planning of the extension was awarded to an Atkins Arup Joint Venture.
Tuen Mun South Extension
The second project announced will see the West Rail line extended south to Tuen Mun Ferry Pier. This 2.4km line will include two new stations at Tuen Mun Area 16 and Tuen Mun South. The station at Tuen Mun Area 16 is additional to the RDS2014 study and will serve approximately 49,000 residents whilst 60,000 residents will benefit from the Tuen Mun Ferry pier station. The project development will also consider the future extension of the line to the potential Tuen Mun West development area at the current River Trade Terminal. According to the RDS2014, due to the existing infrastructure the extension will likely be elevated above the Tuen Mun River Channel and also involve reprovision of the existing Tuen Mun Swimming Pool to facilitate the construction of the A16 station.
The cost of the TMS project will be HK$11.4 billion in 2015 prices with completion by 2030. It is estimated that the project will generate economic benefits of HK$28 billion and save local road users 300 million hours over 50 years. Design and planning of the project is currently out to tender.
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