Ma On Shan Line

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Ma On Shan Line
Ma On Shan Line elevated section near Shing Mun River in Tai Wai
Type Rapid transit
System MTR
Locale Districts: Sha Tin
Stations 9
Ridership 150,600 daily average
(weekdays, September 2014)[1]
Opening 21 December 2004
Line length 11.4 km (7.1 mi)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Electrification 25 kV AC 50 Hz
Route map
Ma On Shan Line.svg
Ma On Shan Line
Traditional Chinese 馬鞍山綫
Simplified Chinese 马鞍山线

The Ma On Shan Line (formerly called Ma On Shan Rail, Chinese: 馬鞍山鐵路, abbreviated as 馬鐵) is a branch line of the East Rail Line in Hong Kong. Originally, the railway was operated by Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC). It is now operated by MTR Corporation as one of the ten lines of the MTR, after the merger of operations on 2 December 2007.

The Ma On Shan Line is coloured brown on the MTR map.


KCRC estimated the construction cost of Ma On Shan Rail would be HK$10 billion.[2] The line starts at Tai Wai station in Tai Wai, Shatin and ends at Wu Kai Sha Station, Wu Kai Sha, totalling 11.4 km or 16 minutes of journey time. It has nine stations, with a maintenance depot at Tai Wai. Construction began on 12 February 2001[3] and the line opened on 21 December 2004,[4] 3 days earlier than the proposed opening date.[5] When it was operating as part of the KCR system, the interchange with the East Rail Line at Tai Wai did not have ticket gates between the Ma On Shan line and East Rail Line platforms. A trip from either line to the other counted as one ride. It is estimated the line handled 190,000 passengers in the first year of service.

Most of the line, including stations, was built on a viaduct on land which had been reserved for the purpose of a railway from the outset of the development of Ma On Shan New Town.[6] Although currently the trains are only in four-car configuration, most platforms have provision for eight-car trains for when patronage increases.

The fare for a trip on the line varies from HK$3.2 to HK$5.8 depending on the distance travelled. The fare from Ma On Shan to East Rail Line stations in Kowloon varies from HK$6.2 to HK$8.4.

Over a thousand passengers went to Tai Wai to take the first train on the first day of service. However, just an hour after service commenced, one train suffered minor door defects, causing a three-minute delay. After the opening of the Ma On Shan Line, the usage of buses and taxis in the area decreased by as much as 50%. It was reported that some bus routes operated by KMB saw a decrease of ridership by one-third just a few days after the railway opened.

Line name mistake[edit]

Since this line used to be owned by KCRC and was called "Ma On Shan Rail" ("馬鞍山鐵路", a.k.a. 馬鐵), therefore it is often mistaken as "Ma On Shan Rail Line" ("馬鐵綫"). Moreover, the former other two lines operated by KCRC were East Rail and West Rail, and were renamed as East Rail Line and West Rail Line, respectively, just by adding the word "line" into the line name, making people mistaken the line's name.

Driving directionality[edit]

Road and rail traffic in Hong Kong move on the left, but Ma On Shan Line is an exception. This line is aligned to the east of East Rail Line, and the two southbound tracks are immediately next to each other at their connection in Tai Wai. This design is to speed up passenger interchange to the East Rail Line to Kowloon during the morning commute. Therefore, the Ma On Shan Line moves on the right.

Rolling stock[edit]

Although the Ma On Shan Line is, in the Hong Kong context, classified as a "medium-capacity system", it is capable of passenger volumes up to 32,000 passengers per hour per direction (PPHPD),[7] which is comparable to the passenger capacity of a full rapid transit or "metro" system.[8]

KCRC has arranged 18 sets of Kinki Sharyo EMU SP1950 trains, built by Kinki Sharyo, which run on the system in a four-car configuration. The train is the same model (with different contract code, SP1900) as those serving on the high capacity East Rail Line and West Rail Line, which in comparison run with twelve-car and seven-car configurations, respectively. This model has the maximum running speed of 130 km/h (81 mph), but trains will only reach a maximum service speed of 100 km/h (62 mph); travelling between Shek Mun Station and Tai Shui Hang Station, when it is on ground level between Tate's Cairn Highway. In fact, most of the time the trains on the line only travel between 55–75 km/h (34–47 mph). The Tai Wai Depot maintains the trains servicing this line.



The stations of this line are as follows. All of them are in the Sha Tin District:

Livery and Name District Connections Opened
Ma On Shan Line
Wu Kai Sha Sha Tin 21 December 2004
Ma On Shan
Heng On
Tai Shui Hang
Shek Mun
City One
Sha Tin Wai
Che Kung Temple
Tai Wai      East Rail Line

Future development[edit]

Since the early planning stages of the Ma On Shan Line, the system has been designed to be capable of joining with the West Rail Line. According to the latest modified proposal of the Sha Tin to Central Link, the Ma On Shan Line will be extended from Tai Wai Station to Hung Hom Station via East Kowloon. The extension will connect to the West Rail Line at Hung Hom and continue on to the northwest New Territories. Eight-car trains will run on the conjoined line, and so the platforms of the Ma On Shan Line are presently being lengthened.[9]


  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. ^ "二零零四年度第七次會議紀錄初稿 (lit. 2004 7th Conference Record (sketch))" (in Chinese). District Council of Sha Tin, Hong Kong. 25 November 2004. Retrieved 7 August 2009. 
  3. ^ "Construction of Ma On Shan Rail commences". Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation. 12 February 2001. Retrieved 7 August 2009. 
  4. ^ "The Financial Secretary inaugurates MOS Rail today". Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation. 21 December 2004. Retrieved 7 August 2009. 
  5. ^ "Ma On Shan Rail Charity Ride received overwhelming response". Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation. 19 December 2004. Retrieved 7 August 2009. 
  6. ^ "Land set aside for light rail system". South China Morning Post. 17 May 1986. 
  7. ^ "MTR train frequencies of railway lines in different periods, number of cars on each train, train carrying capacity, train loading rates and number of seats" (pdf). MTR. Retrieved 2014-08-23. 
  8. ^ Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Transport Committee, ed. (2005). Integrated Transport: The Future of Light Rail and Modern Trams in the United Kingdom. The Stationery Office. p. 216. Retrieved 2014-02-22. 
  9. ^ "First Pair of Automatic Platform Gates Installed on Ma On Shan Line" (PDF). Press releases. MTR Corporation. 21 November 2014. 

External links[edit]