Sha Tin to Central Link

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Sha Tin to Central Link
Shatin to Central Link proposal final.svg
Type Heavy rail
System MTR
Locale Districts: Sha Tin, Wong Tai Sin, Kowloon City, Wan Chai, Central and Western
Termini Tai Wai (through service to Ma On Shan Line)
Hung Hom (through service to West Rail Line)
Admiralty (transfer to Island Line)
Stations 8 (Phase 1)
2 (Phase 2)
Opened 2018 (Phase 1)
2020 (Phase 2)
Owner MTR Corporation
Operator(s) MTR Corporation
Depot(s) Tai Wai, Hung Hom
Line length 17 km (11 mi)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Electrification 25 kV AC, 50 Hz
Route map
Bold font indicates existing station on the line
Normal font indicates existing station
Italic font indicates station under construction or planning

 North South Corridor (East Rail Line
Sha Tin
 East West Corridor (Ma On Shan Line
Tai Wai
Tai Wai Depot
Hin Keng
Kowloon Tong
Diamond Hill
 Kwun Tong Line 
Kai Tak
To Kwa Wan
Ma Tau Wai
Mong Kok East
 Tsuen Wan Line 
Yau Ma Tei
Ho Man Tin
Hung Hom(Through Train terminus)
Tsim Sha Tsui
East Tsim Sha Tsui
4th cross-harbour railway tunnel
 Island Line 
1st cross-harbour railway tunnel
 East West Corridor (West Rail Line
 Island Line 
 South Island Line (East) 
 Tsuen Wan Line 

Shatin to Central Link (abbreviated SCL, Chinese: 沙田至中環線) is a railway expansion under construction in Hong Kong. The scheme is divided in two sections. The Tai Wai to Hung Hom segment will connect the Ma On Shan Line and West Rail Line, forming the East West Corridor. The remaining Hung Hom to Admiralty segment will become an extension of East Rail Line, forming the North South Corridor.

The proposed route roughly follows the original East Kowloon Line, which was proposed in the late 1960s. The railway will be operated by the MTR Corporation Limited and the final draft proposal was issued to the government by the end of 2007. Construction started in 2012 and operation will begin in 2018 for the East Kowloon section, while the cross-harbour section to Admiralty Station (phase 2) is expected to be completed in 2020.[1]

Originally, construction and operation were awarded to the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) after a bidding process in 2002. However, as the Hong Kong Government leased KCRC's transport operations to the MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL), KCRC's sole rival in the bidding, the railway will be operated by the MTRCL upon completion of construction using a similar 50-year concession model as the KCR network. Ownership and development rights are retained by the government. As of 2010, the entire project was estimated to cost $60 billion, and this rose to $79.8 billion by 2012.[2][3]


On 25 June 2002, the government announced that the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) had won its bid against the MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL) to build and operate the Shatin to Central Link. The route was originally planned to go from Tai Wai Station to Central West Station (a proposed station located under the Mid-Levels).

The KCRC announced modifications to the proposal in 2005, with the East Kowloon portion of the line joining KCR Ma On Shan Rail (Ma On Shan Line) at Tai Wai and West Rail (West Rail Line) at Hung Hom, and the cross-harbour portion joining KCR East Rail (East Rail Line) at Hung Hom. However, the KCRC's proposal had not yet been finalised.

At the same time, the MTRC submitted a new proposal to the government. According to the proposal, Kwun Tong Line would be extended from Yau Ma Tei Station to Whampoa Station in Whampoa Garden. Also, the route of Shatin to Central Link will be built according to the original proposal instead of the KCRC's modified proposal.

On 11 April 2006, MTRC signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with the Hong Kong Government, the owner of KCRC, to merge the operations of the territory's two railway networks. According to the memorandum, the current MTR lines may be fully integrated with the Shatin to Central Link. Also, the government intends to choose the KCRC's modified proposal to build the railway, that is, extending the current East Rail Line to the Hong Kong Island. However, final decisions will not be made before conducting further studies on the proposal with the MTRC.

On 12 July 2007, both companies announced the new proposal.[4]

KCRC's original proposal[edit]

KCR's original bid

Ma On Shan Rail Extension (Tai Wai to Central West)[edit]

Originally, the KCRC chose to extend the current Ma On Shan Line from Tai Wai to Central West via stations in East Kowloon and northern shore of the Hong Kong Island in the original bid for the line.

The following is a list of proposed stations in the KCRC's original bid for the line:

  • Tai Wai (大圍, Interchange to      East Rail Line)
  • Tsz Wan Shan (慈雲山)
  • Diamond Hill (鑽石山)
  • Kai Tak (啟德, original site of Hong Kong International Airport)
  • Ma Tau Wai (馬頭圍)
  • To Kwa Wan (土瓜灣)
  • Ho Man Tin (何文田, Interchange to      Kwun Tong Line)
  • Whampoa Garden (黃埔花園)
  • Hung Hom (紅磡, Interchange to      East Rail Line and      West Rail Line)
  • Exhibition (會展, Interchange to      Island Line)
  • Admiralty (金鐘)
  • Central West (中環西)

KCRC's modified proposal[edit]

KCR's 2004 modified proposal

In 2004, the KCRC sent a modified proposal of the railway to the government. According to the proposal, Ma On Shan Line will be extended to East Kowloon and join West Rail Line at Hung Hom. In addition, the cross-harbour portion will become an extension of East Rail Line, running from Mong Kok to Central South.

Ma On Shan Rail East Kowloon Extension (Tai Wai to Hung Hom)[edit]

Ma On Shan Line will be extended from Tai Wai to Hung Hom via East Kowloon. The extension will join West Rail Line at Hung Hom to the northwest New Territories via the Kowloon Southern Link and the current route of West Rail Line, forming an East-to-West railway corridor. Also, the KCRC had decided not to build stations in Tsz Wan Shan and Whampoa Garden. However, both stations will be linked by the Automatic People Mover from Diamond Hill and Hung Hom respectively.

The following is a list of proposed stations of the Ma On Shan Rail East Kowloon Extension:

Cross-harbour Extension (Mong Kok to Central South)[edit]

According to the proposal, a new Mong Kok East station will be relocated a few hundred metres to the south of the current Mong Kok East station. Also, a new underground tunnel will be built to link between Mong Kok East and Hung Hom, which will join the cross-harbour tunnel to the northern shore of Hong Kong Island, forming a North-to-South railway corridor.

The following is a list of proposed stations of the Cross-harbour Extension:

MTRC's proposal[edit]

MTR's original bid

Shatin to Central Link (Tai Wai to Central)[edit]

The following is a list of stations proposed in the MTRC's original bid for the line:

An underground train depot would have been built beneath the passenger terminal of the former Kai Tak International Airport, adjacent to Prince Edward Road East in Kowloon City, however, under the Kai Tak redevelopment plan released by the government in October 2006, the depot would have to be constructed in another district instead of the Kai Tak Airport site.[5]

Kwun Tong Line Extension (Yau Ma Tei to Whampoa)[edit]

In addition, the MTRC had previously proposed extending the Kwun Tong Line to Whampoa Garden. As the KCRC had decided not to build a station in Whampoa Garden on the Shatin to Central Link, the MTRC sent this proposal again to the government.

The extension would run from the current Yau Ma Tei terminus to:

MTR-KCR merger proposal[edit]

Merger proposal

As the MTR and KCR were merging, the two companies announced the new proposal on 12 July 2007. Under this proposal, the depot for the Sha Tin to Central Link would have been built underneath the former Tai Hom Village site between Kai Tak and Diamond Hill stations.

East-west Line[edit]

The stations will be:

North-south Line[edit]

The original Causeway Bay North (銅鑼灣北) station was cancelled due to potential effects on traffic during the construction of the station.

Kwun Tong Line extension[edit]

MTR-KCR revised proposal[edit]

Revised proposal

The MTRC announced a revised proposal on 11 March 2008. The government will fund all of the required HK$37.4 billion for construction.[6] The Executive Council approved the construction cost of HK$79.8 billion in March 2012[3] and construction began on 22 June 2012.[7] Under the final proposal, the former Hung Hom Freight Yard located on the East Rail Line will be converted into stabling sidings for Sha Tin to Central Link trains, and new access tracks will be constructed to link the Sha Tin to Central Link with the former Hung Hom Freight Yard.[8]

East-west Line[edit]

For the section assigned to East-west Line, the stations will be:

Construction was started in 2012 and is expected to be completed in 2018.

North-south Line[edit]

The original Causeway Bay North (銅鑼灣北) station was cancelled due to potential effects on traffic during the construction of the station.

Central South (中環南) has not been cancelled, but excluded in the modified plan because no suitable sites have been found at this stage. Construction will be completed in 2020.

Kwun Tong Line extension[edit]

Construction will be finished in 2015.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Background – Shatin to Central Link". MTR Corporation. Retrieved 2012-03-29. 
  2. ^ "Gazettal of Shatin to Central Link". Press releases. Hong Kong Government. 26 November 2010. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "行會拍板港鐵沙中綫上馬 (lit. Executive Council has approved Sha Tin to Central Link.)". Sing Tao Daily. 28 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-29. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Diamond Hill eyed for train depot", The Standard, 13 November 2006.
  6. ^ "政府全資374億建沙中線(A4)". Ming Pao. 12 March 2008. 
  7. ^ 政務司司長出席沙中線動工典禮致辭全文 (in Chinese). Hong Kong Government News Archives. 22 June 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2012. 
  8. ^ "Shatin to Central Link FAQ". MTR Corporation. Retrieved 18 June 2014.