Kwun Tong Line

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Kwun Tong Line
觀塘綫
MTR M-Trains.jpg
Metro-Cammell trains on a viaduct near Kowloon Bay Station
Overview
Type Rapid transit
System MTR
Locale Districts: Yau Tsim Mong, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon City, Wong Tai Sin, Kwun Tong, Sai Kung
Stations 15
Ridership 604,600 daily average
(weekdays, September 2014)[1]
Operation
Opened 1 October 1979
Technical
Track gauge 1,432 mm (4 ft 8 38 in)
Electrification 1.5 kV DC
Route map
Kwun Tong Line.svg

Whampoa
Ho Man Tin     
Sha Tin to Central Link
to Tuen Mun
East Rail Line
to Hung Hom
Tsuen Wan Line
to Central
Yau Ma Tei
Mong Kok     
Prince Edward     
Tsuen Wan Line
to Tsuen Wan
Shek Kip Mei
Kowloon Tong     
East Rail Line
to Lo Wu or Lok Ma Chau
Lok Fu
Wong Tai Sin
Sha Tin to Central Link
to Wu Kai Sha
Diamond Hill     
Choi Hung
Kowloon Bay Depot
Kowloon Bay
Ngau Tau Kok
Kwun Tong
Lam Tin
Tseung Kwan O Line
to North Point
Yau Tong     
Tiu Keng Leng     
Tseung Kwan O Line
to Po Lam or LOHAS Park
Kwun Tong Line
Traditional Chinese 觀塘綫
Simplified Chinese 观塘线

The Kwun Tong Line is one of the ten lines of the MTR network in Hong Kong. It starts at Yau Ma Tei in West Kowloon and ends at Tiu Keng Leng in Tseung Kwan O, Sai Kung. It is indicated in green on the MTR map. During the morning rush hour, the Kwun Tong Line utilises 27 trains on the tracks and keeps a 2.1 minute train interval. It currently travels through 15 stations in 27 minutes along its route.

Route map[edit]

Geographically accurate map of the MTR Kwun Tong Line

History[edit]

The Kwun Tong Line operates over the majority of the track used by the "Modified Initial System", and can so be said to be the first MTR line to enter service. Its construction was approved in November 1975 and service commenced on 1 October 1979. The line ran between Shek Kip Mei Station and Kwun Tong Station, and each train consisted of four cars. The line was extended to the south twice: the first time to Tsim Sha Tsui on 31 December 1979, and the second to Central Station on 12 February 1980 (named Chater at the time), crossing Victoria Harbour for the first time through the first underwater rail tunnel in Hong Kong.

When the Tsuen Wan Line started service in May 1982, it took over the section of the Kwun Tong Line south of Argyle (present-day Mong Kok). Waterloo (present-day Yau Ma Tei) station became the terminus of the Kwun Tong Line and both Argyle and Prince Edward stations became cross-platform interchange stations with the new line.

When the Hong Kong government decided to build a second harbour crossing in 1984 (which would be known as the Eastern Harbour Crossing), it awarded a franchise for the construction of a mixed rail and road tunnel under the harbour. Consequentially, the Kwun Tong Line was extended over the harbour again through the new tunnel on 6 August 1989. This time the terminus was Quarry Bay, a transfer station with the Island Line. An intermediate station, Lam Tin, was opened on 1 October of the same year.

The first derailment in MTR history (excluding ex-KCR lines) took place at Kowloon Bay Station in 1994. The seventh carriage of a train pulling into the station at about 60 kph jumped the tracks on 28 January 1994, on a section of track adjacent to the MTR headquarters building. Nobody was injured but train services were disrupted. The incident was blamed on a bolt in the train's suspension system which had worked itself loose, causing the weight load to be concentrated on the rear wheels of the carriage.[2]

As part of a project to reduce congestion at Quarry Bay, the Kwun Tong Line was briefly extended to North Point on 27 September 2001. This station did not last as the terminus for long as the Tseung Kwan O Line would take over the cross-harbour portion of the route in 2002. The Kwun Tong Line was meanwhile diverted in two phases: to Yau Tong Station on 4 August 2002 and two weeks later (18 August 2002) to Tiu Keng Leng, its present eastern terminus.

While now not in regular service, the tunnel linking Kwun Tong Line to Eastern Harbour Crossing is regularly maintained and can be utilized in the event of a disruption on the Tseung Kwan O Line. Such an incident occurred on 16 December 2013 when a train on the Tseung Kwan O Line broke down, halting train services on the entire line for several hours. To prevent cross-harbour train service from being disrupted, all Kwun Tong Line trains temporarily used the old tracks from Lam Tin to Quarry Bay, and terminated at North Point, as they did before the opening of the Tseung Kwan O Line.[3] This was the first time since 2002 that the Lam Tin to Quarry Bay tracks were utilised for regular service.[3]

Realignment of Kwun Tong Line upon the inauguration of Tseung Kwan O Line.

Route description[edit]

Kwun Tong Line is mostly underground, and runs from the west to the east. It begins at Yau Ma Tei station, and runs underneath Nathan Road parallel to the Tsuen Wan Line up to Prince Edward. The line then moves east, and splits from the Tsuen Wan Line. The line then emerges after Choi Hung station, and runs on a viaduct above Kwun Tong Road between Kowloon Bay and Lam Tin Stations.

After Lam Tin station, the line travels through a tunnel in a hill and emerges above ground level at Yau Tong Station (although the line is completely covered at this point). The line also converges with the Tseung Kwan O Line. The Kwun Tong Line travels through another tunnel beneath the Tseung Kwan O cemetery before terminating at Tiu Keng Leng, located in Tseung Kwan O.

Stations[edit]

The following is a list of the stations on the Kwun Tong Line.

Livery and name District Connections Opening date
Kwun Tong Line
Whampoa Kowloon City October 2016
Ho Man Tin      East West Corridor (2019)
Yau Ma Tei
formerly Waterloo
Yau Tsim Mong      Tsuen Wan Line[note 1] 31 December 1979
Mong Kok
formerly Argyle
     Tsuen Wan Line[note 2]
Prince Edward      Tsuen Wan Line 10 May 1982
Shek Kip Mei Sham Shui Po 1 October 1979
Kowloon Tong Kowloon City      East Rail Line
Lok Fu Wong Tai Sin
Wong Tai Sin
Diamond Hill
Choi Hung
Kwun Tong
Kowloon Bay
Ngau Tau Kok
Kwun Tong
Lam Tin 1 October 1989
Yau Tong      Tseung Kwan O Line 4 August 2002
Tiu Keng Leng Sai Kung 18 August 2002

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Yau Ma Tei Station is an unannounced interchange station. Changing trains in this station lacks the convenience of cross-platform interchange in Mong Kok Station; the platforms for the Tsuen Wan Line and Kwun Tong Line are on separate levels.
  2. ^ Mong Kok Station is not a transfer station to Mong Kok East Station (on the East Rail Line), but the two stations are connected by a footbridge. Walking time is around 10–15 minutes.

Future development[edit]

The MTRC commenced construction in 2011 to extend the Kwun Tong Line, from Yau Ma Tei to Whampoa via Ho Man Tin. The new Ho Man Tin Station will allow interchange between Kwun Tong Line and the East West Corridor of the new Sha Tin-Central Link. The extension is expected to be completed in October 2016.[4] Earlier plans revealed about the extension to Fortress Hill.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Weekday patronage of MTR heavy rail network from September 1 to 27 and September 28 to October 25, 2014" (PDF). Legislative Council. 29 October 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2015. 
  2. ^ Ball, Steve (9 February 1994). "Bolt blamed for MTR derailment". South China Morning Post. 
  3. ^ a b Cheung Chi-fai, Clifford Lo and Stuart Lau (16 December 2013). "Thousands hit in five hours of travel chaos after MTR power blackout". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  4. ^ MTR Kwun Tong Line Extension

External links[edit]