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2015 and Beyond

Investing for the Future

Growing patronage combined with a maturing and expanding network will invariably place greater strain on our assets and on our ability to meet important safety and service criteria in our transport operations in future. With this in mind, we are carefully assessing the costs and benefits of various measures to meet the long-term needs of our business and our stakeholders.

Optimising our Assets

We strive to optimise our assets by regularly evaluating their performance. Our plan for asset renewal over the next 50 years is updated regularly to incorporate information about all assets owned by the Company, including their condition and performance records, operating and maintenance cost trends, and asset replacement strategies

 

Science Fact, Not Fiction

What if MTR could identify equipment failures before they actually happen? It sounds like science fiction, but in fact we believe that it’s a plausible reality for the not-too-distant future as a result of advances in sensor technology, big data and cloud computing.

The possibilities are truly amazing. State-of-the-art sensor technology installed on our trains and other equipment would act just as our five senses do to collect operational data in real time. All of the data would be sent to the brain of the system — a cloud server — where real-time data can be compared against pre-set alarm thresholds using sophisticated analytics and artificial intelligence.

Although we don’t have a timetable for this system of predictive maintenance, our vision would allow us to identify failure patterns and solve problems before they occur, thereby providing safer and more cost-effective train services.

 

New Signalling Systems

We have initiated the process to replace fixed block signalling equipment across our network with advanced Communications Based Train Control (CBTC) technology. We anticipate that over time this investment will reduce lifecycle costs of these systems.

Many of our lines are already operating at full capacity during rush hours. Upgrading the signalling systems will help to relieve some congestion by minimising headway (the time interval between two trains), maximising train throughput (the number of trains that can pass through a station in a specified time) and improving train service reliability. However the long-term solution to congestion involves construction of additional lines that will enhance the overall robustness of our network.

Upgrading our Stations

We are investing in our stations to minimise crowding and improve customer service. Two of our busiest stations — Mong Kok Station and Kowloon Tong Station — have been selected as model stations for our work programme, which is intended to give all stations in our network a new look and feel by redesigning station layouts for improved accessibility, and installing additional lifts, escalators and CCTV systems to relieve congestion and improve security. We also plan to improve information signage and provide public toilets at interchange stations.

Upgrading our Trains

In addition to procuring 78 new 8-car trains, we are planning to give all of our trains a makeover with new external car designs, seating options and overhead hand grips for a more aesthetically pleasing, comfortable and secure ride.

Latest Technologies

Our Asset Strategy 2030 plan focuses on adopting advanced technologies such as cloud computing, smart sensor technology and sophisticated analytics that will bring about the “internet of things” while providing the best possible assurance against security threats and cybercrime.

New Railway Lines

We recognise that in order to connect and grow communities in parts of Hong Kong that are underserved by an efficient mass transportation system, we must continue to explore opportunities to expand our network. For this reason, we are working with the Government to investigate options for construction of additional lines.

Railway Development Strategy

The Government’s Railway Development Strategy 2014 (RDS-2014) is the first major update of Hong Kong’s plan for railway development since 2000. Based on recommendations from advisors and views collected from the public, the strategy provides a blueprint for railway development up to 2031. It considers various factors such as transportation benefits, land use planning, economic returns, environmental impacts, engineering feasibility and financial viability, and recommends the following seven projects for development:

 

New Railway Development Projects

  1. Northern Link and Kwu Tung Station — A major regional line formed by linking Kam Sheung Road Station on the West Rail Line to a new station at Kwu Tung on the Lok Ma Chau Spur Line.
  2. Hung Shui Kiu Station — A new station on the West Rail Line between the existing Tin Shui Wai Station and Siu Hong Station.
  3. Tung Chung West Extension — A new line formed by extending the Tung Chung Line westward with a new station at Tung Chung West.
  4. Tuen Mun South Extension — A new line formed by extending the West Rail Line southward from Tuen Mun Station to a new station at Tuen Mun South.
  5. East Kowloon Line — A new line running in the northern East Kowloon area connecting Diamond Hill Station on the Kwun Tong Line (and the future Shatin to Central Link) and Po Lam Station on the Tseung Kwan O Line.
  6. South Island Line (West) — A new line linking the South Island Line (East) to the West Island Line.
  7. North Island Line — A new railway line on the northern shore of Hong Kong Island formed by extending the Tung Chung Line eastward and the Tseung Kwan O Line westward.

Should construction of these new lines go ahead, the coverage of our railway network would increase to 75 per cent of Hong Kong’s homes and 85 per cent of its places of work.