Kwun Tong Line
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Kwun Tong Line
Metro-Cammell trains on a viaduct near Kowloon Bay Station
|Locale||Districts: Kowloon City, Yau Tsim Mong, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon City, Wong Tai Sin, Kwun Tong, Sai Kung|
Tiu Keng Leng
|Ridership||604,600 daily average
(weekdays, September 2014)
|Opened||1 October 1979|
|Line length||16.4 km (10.2 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,432 mm (4 ft 8 3⁄8 in)|
|Electrification||1.5 kV DC|
|Kwun Tong Line|
The Kwun Tong Line is one of 11 lines of the MTR network in Hong Kong. It starts at Whampoa 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 travels through 17 stations, taking 31 minutes, along its route.
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: firstly to Tsim Sha Tsui on 31 December 1979, and secondly to Central Station on 12 February 1980 (named Chater at the time), crossing Victoria Harbour 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. At 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.
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.
Although not in regular service, the tunnel linking the Kwun Tong Line to the Eastern Harbour Crossing continues to be maintained and can be utilised in the event of 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. This was the first time since 2002 that the Lam Tin to Quarry Bay tracks were utilised for regular service.
Kwun Tong Line Extension
In 2011, the MTRC commenced a 2.6 km extension of 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 future Shatin to Central Link. The extension opened for service on 23 October 2016. After that, all trains terminate at Whampoa during off peak hours. During peak hours, half of the Kwun Tong Line trains terminate at Ho Man Tin station.
Kwun Tong Line is mostly underground, and runs from the west to the east. It begins at Whampoa station, joins the Tsuen Wan Line 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.
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||23 October 2016|
|Ho Man Tin||East West Corridor (2019)|
|Yau Ma Tei
|Yau Tsim Mong||Tsuen Wan Line||31 December 1979|
|Tsuen Wan Line[a]|
|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|
|Ngau Tau Kok|
|Lam Tin||1 October 1989|
|Yau Tong||Tseung Kwan O Line||4 August 2002|
|Tiu Keng Leng||Sai Kung||18 August 2002|
Most of the Kwun Tong Line stations were built between late 1970 and early 1980. Platforms and concourse are relatively narrow with a few escalators. After the increase of commercial development under Energising Kowloon East project, Kowloon Bay Station, Ngau Tau Kok Station, Kwun Tong Station have been having overcrowding issue since 2000. In accordance to Legislative Council document, the loading of Kwun Tong Line train has reached 94%, under the standard of 4 persons (standing) per square metre ("ppsm"). But in the standard of 6 ppsm, the train loading is 56%.  Online journalism HK01 reported that the Urban Renewal Authority has proposed MTR to expand Kwun Tong Station. The Authority would voluntarily provide lands in Kwun Tong Town Centre Project which is nearby to the station, but MTR will be responsible for the expansion cost. Also, the future Environmentally Friendly Linkage System shall be shorten interval if MTR agrees to expand the existing station.
- "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.
- "Island Line". Highways Department The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. 14 April 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
- Ball, Steve (9 February 1994). "Bolt blamed for MTR derailment". South China Morning Post.
- 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.
- MTR Kwun Tong Line Extension
- "Capacity and Loading of MTR Trains" (PDF). Legislative Council Panel on Transport Subcommittee on Matters Relating to Railways. Retrieved 14 August 2016.