West Island Line

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
West Island Line
Type Heavy rail (rapid transit)
System MTR
Locale Districts: Central and Western
Stations 3

28 December 2014 (HKU and Kennedy Town)

29 March 2015 (Sai Ying Pun)
Track gauge 1,432 mm (4 ft 8 38 in)
Electrification 1.5 kV DC
Route map
South Island Line and West Island Line proposal.svg

Colour legend
West Island Line

Kennedy Town
Left arrow
South Island Line (West)
to Wong Chuk Hang
Sai Ying Pun
Sheung Wan
Island Line
to Chai Wan
Down arrow

The West Island Line is the three-station western extension of the Hong Kong MTR's Island Line. Construction of the line began on 10 August 2009, and the two westernmost stations on line opened on 28 December 2014; the intermediary Sai Ying Pun Station opened on 29 March 2015.[1][2] The first train went into service that day at 6:00 a.m. Hong Kong time.

Original proposal[edit]

Alignment of Original Scheme

The MTR Corporation Limited (MTRC) submitted its first proposal for the West Island line in May 2002. The West Island line would be an extension of the Island Line. Construction of the new West Island line would be divided into two phases.

Phase one would begin at the already existing Sheung Wan station. A further two stations, Sai Ying Pun and University would be added to extend the length of the Island Line. University will also serve as an interchange for the South Island Line. Phase two would include an extension to Kennedy Town. The construction of phase two, which will include a depot near Kennedy Town station, is subject to the land availability of the western reclamation.

On 21 January 2003, the Executive Council of Hong Kong gave MTRC permission to proceed with further planning on Phase 1 of West Island Line. However, the first proposal has some major drawbacks. Specifically, construction of West Island Line as heavy railway type tunnels and stations would not include Kennedy Town if there is no Western reclamation. There would also be great environmental impact and traffic management challenge if West Island Line goes under Des Voeux Road West.

Preliminary scheme[edit]

Alignment of Preliminary Scheme, with option A for South Island Line

To respond to the criticism directed towards the original proposal, the MTRC started a feasibility study of the lines in mid-2003 to look for cost-effective options to improve the system. The study also evaluated the external benefits of the project and its impact on other modes of public transport. The company derived a modified proposal in November 2003.

2002 Alignment and stations[edit]

The West Island line took the western section of the South Island Line in the previous proposal, and becoming a medium capacity rail line from Sheung Wan to Wong Chuk Hang.

2004 revised alignment scheme[edit]

Alignment of Revised Alignment Scheme

The corporation handed in the Revised Alignment Scheme in end-March 2004. West Island Line in the previous proposal was separated into two parts: the northern part of which became an extension to Island Line, and the southern part which remained a line of its own.

A short extension from Sheung Wan to Sai Ying Pun, in which the latter station provides a transfer to the West Island Line.

West Island Line – Running from Sai Ying Pun to Wong Chuk Hang

Final scheme[edit]

Alignment of the final scheme

On 25 February 2005, the Panel of Transport of Legislative Council had a meeting discussing West and South Island Line. MTR has submitted a revised scheme on 22 February and an introduction to the scheme was conducted in the meeting.

In the scheme, West Island Line included only the extension to Island Line. The rest became the west section of South Island Line. The new West Island Line would run from Sheung Wan to Kennedy Town:

The scheme was gazetted in October 2007 and given final authorisation in March 2009.[2] Construction of the 3-kilometre extension started on 10 August 2009, for completion in 2014.[2] The cost of the line is estimated to be HK$15.4 billion.[2]

Project details[edit]

Construction cost[edit]

According to the summary report of the new lines, the construction cost of the West Island Line would be HK$15.4 billion (as at Dec 2008). MTR asked for government funding of less than half of the total cost. The remaining cost and the operational cost would be covered by MTR.

Deferral of the scheme[edit]

On 28 May 2004, the Panel of Transport of Legislative Council held a meeting to consider the development of West and South Island Lines alongside with the highway link (Route 4).

Residential, environmental, and some professional organisations support building the lines instead of highway. Rail links are more environmentally friendly, and will help ease congestion of the Aberdeen Tunnel. The lines can also help sustainable development and will preserve the shoreline along western and southern Hong Kong Island.

Other transport operators and various organisations oppose the rail link, claiming that the rail link could lead to severe competition between different modes of transport, and that reduction of road transport might eventually cause job losses. Some panel members stated that the projected population growth in the south cannot support the new lines, and that the government should have a thorough plan on how to develop the Southern District before implementing the rail links.

However, some panel members suggested that the new lines could help promote tourism in the area. They asked the government to moderate the various modes of transport upon the new lines' inaugurations so as to relieve concerns from the transport operators.

Government officials stated that the low ridership of KCR West Rail Line and its rail incidents warrant extra planning on the new rail lines to ensure enough ridership and appropriate, cost-effective system design. Therefore, the West Island Line and South Island line project was deferred, and "green lights" have been given to the detailed planning of the highway.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "West Island Line targets to open in December 2014, 90% of works complete" (PDF). MTR Corporation. 29 May 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d http://www.mtr.com.hk/eng/corporate/file_rep/PR-09-093-E.pdf

Papers from Government and Legislature

News reports

Press releases

External links[edit]