Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
West Rail (KCRC)
Currently the West Rail provides local service on its own. No inter-city service is offered, making it effectively more like a metro instead of a commuter railway, although it was built in commuter railway standard, and was expected to accommodate other trains in future.
A railway to the northwestern New Territories from the urban area in Kowloon was proposed in the early 1990s. Both the MTR and the KCRC submitted plans to the government, but finally the KCRC's proposal was selected. Originally the West Rail was not planned to reach the Tuen Mun town centre, but an accident at Tuen Mun Road has made the public requested for a station within the centre of the new town of Tuen Mun.
The track for the West Rail was laid underground only between Mei Foo and Kam Sheung Road stations. North of Kam Sheung Road station, the track emerges to the surface, and there is a depot between the tunnel portion and the station. The train is actually at ground level south of Mei Foo station, but the covered tracks makes most passengers feel like they are travelling undergound. The rest of the line built on a viaduct, which were constructed so that there is room for an emergency passage.
Originally, the KCRC expected to have around 120,000 passengers use the line every day, but unsatisfactory connection between stations and the areas they serve meant that the number of commuters chosing to use the West Rail remained far short of the goal after opening. The KCRC was also blamed for its route planning and forceful reduction of bus service, which had mainly been provided by Kowloon Motor Bus after operation.
Furthermore, due to frequent breakdown, the chairman of KCRC, Michael Tien, announced that if the performance of West Rail does not improve, he will consider resigning. Although one-month passes were introduced on 1 August 2004, and the daily passenger capacity was increased to 150,000, there is still a long way to go before the KCRC's goal of 200,000 passengers is met.
Michael Tien announced that further discount of 20% will be cancelled due to quick recovery of economy and the increase of passenger capacity to 170,000, but the one-month pass concession will be extended for a half year. e.g., from Tuen Mun to Nam Cheong, the new fare will be HK$14.4. The new faretable will be effective on December 20, 2004. If there is a drastic decrease of passenger capacity, other promotions may be started. Tien claimed that the probability of this situation will be low. The other reason is that the line made a loss of HK$200 million.
The West Rail will be extended both to the south and north in the future. A new branch will go from Kam Sheung Road to Lok Ma Chau , and to Sheung Shui via Kwu Tung . The southern link will be an extention from Nam Cheong station to the East Rail Hung Hom station via Tsim Sha Tsui East with an intermediate station to be called West Kowloon located east of Kowloon station on the Airport Express
The stations of this line are:
|Nam Cheong (南昌)||Sham Shui Po||Tung Chung Line|
|Mei Foo (美孚)||Sham Shui Po||Tsuen Wan Line|
|Tsuen Wan West(荃灣西)||Tsuen Wan||(See the notes below for details)|
|Kam Sheung Road (錦上路)||Kam Tin / Pat Heung|
|Yuen Long (元朗)||Yuen Long||Light Rail|
|Long Ping (朗屏)||Yuen Long|
|Tin Shui Wai (天水圍)||Tin Shui Wai||Light Rail|
|Siu Hong (兆康)||Tuen Mun North||Light Rail|
|Tuen Mun (屯門)||Tuen Mun||Light Rail|
- Tsuen Wan West Station does not have direct connection or interchange facilities to other railway lines, although there is a GMB route 95K connecting the station and Tsuen Wan Station of MTR.
- Kam Sheung Road Station would be expanded in the future, and act as an interchange station between the West Rail main line and the Northern Ring Line extension. For the time being, Kam Sheung Road still serves as a plain through station without any interchange facilities.
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