subway and light rail
Hong Kong features no less than five varieties of fixed guideway urban
rail transit: the subway, a subway-like commuter rail line, streetcars,
light rail, and two airport rapid rail lines.
Photos from Mathew Lau. New carriages, 1999
The subway, opened in 1979, is run by the MTR(Mass
Transit Railway). The system consists of eleven lines,
including the Kwun Tong
("Cantonese") line, Tsuen Wan, Island and Tung Chung. Of
these, 3 lines came about due to the MTR=KCR merger in 2007.
of the system are below ground. Extensions to all eleven lines are
under construction or in the planning stages.
In 2002, the new 10
km, 7 station
Tseung Kwan O line opened, bringing Hong Kong's subway to 5 lines
and 80.4 km and 49 stations.
A 3.2 km Penny's
Bay subway to the New Hong Kong Disneyland started in
2005. It is now known as the Disneyland Line.
In August 2009. the Kowloon Southern Link opened. The link connects Nam
Cheong with East Tsim Sha Tsui and includes an intermediuate station
Address: Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway Corp.
P.O. Box 9916
General Post Office, Hong Kong
MTR's 25th Anniversary Home Page and Club
Vincent Yung's Hong
Kong Railway Information
HONG KONG MTR
MTR Corporate Page
New Hong Kong subway line comes in 40% under
Souvenier subway tickets
Tour of the MTR
MTR also runs the 35.3 km, 5 station airport express. Most of the line parallels
the MTR's Tung Chung subway line. Both trains have screened station
platforms. The AE also has a baggage car, and business class seats with
a personal TV screen attached to the back of the forward seat.
Coupled with the airport express is a similar line, the
14 km, 11 station Lantau Line. Eight 8 km are underground and the
remainder is elevated, including the spectacular trip over the new Tsing Ma suspension bridge. Rolling stock is similar to the
airport express but with less amenities to accomodate a more urban,
rapid transit operation.
A page about the new MTR line
to the airport
Railway Technology - Hong Kong
Mass Transit Railway Corporation Hong Kong Airport Railway
Airport Express photos
KCR (Kowloon- Canton Railway)
December 2007, the
KCRC operated both a commuter line which resembles a subway and could
be classified as an S-Bahn, and the light railway. It has since been
absorbed by the MTR. The commuter line,
known as East Rail, opened in 1910 and was electrified in 1983. It
consists on 15 stations on a 35.2 km route, and connects Kowloon with Lo
Wu on the mainland. The new 1.2 km extension of the
line to Tsim Sha Tsui became the first underground section on the KCR.
A 7.4km spur line linking Sheung
Shui to Lok Ma ("No Hands") Chau opened in 2007. The
alignment will begin with a
4.3km underground tunnel, with Kwu Tung station being at the tunnel
entrance. In Lok Ma Chau, the line interconnects
new Shenzen metro.
Ma Chau and Tsim Sha Tsui are located in the Frontier
line also has a spur that services the racetrack (Racecourse Station)
during racing season.
The 20 km, 9 station West Rail
line opened in 2003, including two
underground stops. Two West Rail extensions are currently under
construction, one on each end of the line.
new 9 station, 30 km West Rail line, which began construction in 1988,
December 2003. It connects the North West New Territories (Tuen Mun)
with Kowloon. Also included will be a peoplemover from Kowloon to
Since originally writing this essay in 2002, an extension to the East
Rail Line was added which has become its own line, known as the Mah On
Shan Line. It has 8 stations, is 11.4 km and opened
Incredible West Rail photos
Great, detailed history from the Hong Kong Railway Society
of the KCR
Tuen Mun Light Railway
The light rail line, run by the Kowloon Canton Railway Corp, opened for
business in 1988. Much in the way of the Shaker Heights light rail
lines in Cleveland, the systems was built, in part, to serve the Tuen
Mun development, also built and run by the KCRC.
The 11 route system consists of
36.2 km and 68 stops, and is mostly at grade. Most of the routes are
spurs off of two main branch lines.
Other upgrades and extensions include integrations with the KCR West
Line, also under construction, via a 1.7 km, 4 station loop to Tin Shui
Wa terminus. Another 2.65 km, 5 station extension is planned. Though
construction on the latter extension hasn't begun, it is expected to be
complete for the opening of the KCR West Rail line.
In May 2013 a train at Tin shui Wei derailed injuring 77
Very brief info on the new LRT
page on the new LRT with photos
Photos from LRTA
The 16 km, 8 route streetcar system was built by the British in 1904.
Most of the current double axle, double decker rolling stock
was built in the 1980's. The line consists of a city center loop and an
east-west route across Hong Kong Island's north shore. It is the only
tram system in the world to maintain a full double decker
fleet. Included in the system's features is the open balcony
Dim Sum tourist tram. Bring your appetite.
a virtual tram ride)
BS Hong Kong Tram Photo Gallery
Images ofHong Kong trams from
Hong Kong is also home to the Peak Tramway. Built in 1988, the tram climbs a 373-metre
gradient (1305 feet) to Victoria Peak. It's been described as a "must
see" by many Hong Kong visitors. The lower station is on Garden Road
across from the American Consulate.
General links of interest
Getting Around Hong Kong
Public Transport in Hong Kong
Hong Kong Rail Engineering
According to one source, here is a list of future
extensions that are either planned or under construction:
1) West Island Line
This is an extension of the Island Line from Sheung Wan to
the west with 3 more stations (from east to west): Sai Ying Pun,
University (a.k.a. University of Hong Kong, HKU) and Kennedy Town.
Construction started in August 2008, and service is due to begin
in 2014. All these are underground stations. Sai Ying Pun and
stations are built deep in the hillside, so some of the entrances would
use high-speed escalators to serve passengers up the Mid-Levels.
The name of University station is still tentative and there
has been a heated debate for the station name between students of HKU
and Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). The current University
station is on the East Rail Line and is located at one of the entrances of
CUHK. University station would also be a proposed interchange station
with South Island Line (West section).
2) South Island Line (East section)
This is a new medium-capacity system to connect the Southern
District with the CBD. It starts from Admiralty to South Horizons, a
private housing estate on Ap Lei Chau with intermediate stations at
Ocean Park, Wong Chuk Hang and Lei Tung. The line aims to relieve the
traffic congestion of Aberdeen tunnel, and to promote tourism to the
It has been rumored that the system would run rubber-tyre
trains but MTR has not decided the type of train yet. The station
length would be shorter than conventional systems in MTR. The new line
has been gazetted and would start construction in 2011. The new line
would open in 2015.
3) Express Rail Link
This is part of the China's high speed railway network and one
of the sections of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong high speed rail
link. The Hong Kong section of the link consists of a new terminus
station at West Kowloon, which is located in between Kowloon and Austin
stations. The terminus would serve trains with speed up to 350km/h, and
they run through a direct tunnel to Shenzhen without any intermediate
station in Hong Kong. It is proposed that short-haul "shuttle trains"
would be run between Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Guangzhou, and long-haul
trains to major cities in China such as Beijing and Shanghai.
The line has also been gazetted and construction starts
later this year. The link is expected to open in 2015, which is about
4-5 years later than the mainland section of the line.
4) Shatin to Central Link
This proposed rail line is part of a line dated back to the very first
proposal of the Hong Kong mass transport system in 1960s. There are 2 parts
for this line:
- the connection of West Rail Line and Ma On Shan Line
through Eastern Kowloon (a.k.a. East Kowloon Line in 1960s). When this
happens in 2015, trains will run from the eastern side of Wu Kai Sha to
the western side of Tuen Mun as a single line. This is tentatively
called the "East-West Corridor". The stations (from north to south)
from Tai Wai are Hin Keng, Diamond Hill (change with Kwun Tong Line),
Kai Tak, To Kwa Wan, Ma Tau Wai, Ho Man Tin (change with Kwun Tong
Line) and back to Hung Hom.
- the extension of East Rail Line across the harbour to
Admiralty. Starting from Hung Hom, there is an intermediate station
called Exhibition near the HK Convention and Exhibition Center. This is
also a proposed interchange station with North Island Line. The line
terminates at Admiralty and interchange with Tsuen Wan Line, Island
Line and South Island Line (East section). MTR still plans to extend
the line one stop to Central South, but the build of this station
depends on the re-development of Central Government Offices just above
the planned station site. The whole cross-harbour section is
tentatively called "North-South Corridor". This section is planned to
complete in 2019.
MTR hopes that this line can be gazetted towards the end of
this year, and construction starts in late 2010.
5) Kwun Tong Line Extension
This is a eastward extension of Kwun Tong Line from Yau Ma
Tei to Whampoa. One intermediate station at Ho Man Tin will be built
for interchange with the Shatin to Central Link. Whampoa would have one
platform only because of the physical constraints in the Whampoa Garden
area, so half of the trains in peak hours would terminate at Ho Man Tin
instead. This would also be completed in time with the "East-West
Corridor" in 2015.