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.
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.