MTR has announced it has commenced trial operations on the 26km Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL), connecting Hong Kong with the high-speed rail network in Mainland China.
The latest milestone was marked by a Main Works Completion Ceremony at the newly-built West Kowloon station, with representatives from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and MTR Corporation. UK Government Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry was also taken through the project during a meeting with senior MTR representatives earlier in the day.
XRL is now over 99% completed and services will commence on the high-speed rail line later this year. In overseeing the project from start to finish, MTR has used its expertise in infrastructure delivery to integrate the new track into the existing Chinese high-speed network and introduce new rolling stock to the line.
Including XRL, MTR has simultaneously been constructing five major rail infrastructure projects in Hong Kong.
Jeremy Long, CEO European Business, MTR Corporation, said:
“MTR Corporation has an acknowledged reputation around the world as a leading developer of rail infrastructure projects, and the completion of the XRL will represent a major achievement. Responsibility for design, strategic planning and construction of new stations, overhead power lines, tunnels and bridges have all fallen under MTR Corporation’s management during this process, and the experience we have gained from this project can readily be applied to similar projects in international markets.”
Mrs Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of HKSAR, said:
“While the completion of the Project is approaching, it is important to remember that it has been a joint effort, with great professionalism and a spirit of striving for excellence being shown by the engineering teams and regulating departments involved, which together have overcome the challenges they faced. With the considerable time and effort invested, we are now in a position to witness their achievements today, and I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the colleagues of various government departments and the MTR team for their endeavours.”
Professor Frederick Ma, Chairman of the MTR Corporation, said:
“We are thrilled to see this project coming to fruition. The construction of this cross-boundary railway connection has never been an easy feat. We have overcome various challenges during the past few years and it is exciting to see that the railway is ready to proceed to its trial operations. In the coming months, we will continue to make our best endeavours to get ready for commissioning the rail service this September.”
Notes to Editors
• MTR Corporation is acknowledged as one of the world’s leading operators of metro, commuter and airport rail systems and has a successful international consulting business. It is also an acknowledged world leader in Rail + Property development, and manages shopping malls, retail units, apartments and other major buildings along some of its lines.
• In the UK, MTR Crossrail is the operator of the Crossrail concession (which will be renamed the Elizabeth line when fully open),and is currently running TfL Rail services between Liverpool Street and Shenfield. MTR will begin running services between: Heathrow and Paddington in May 2018; Paddington and Abbey Wood in December 2018; Paddington and Shenfield in May 2019; and full through services (including to Reading) in December 2019.
• MTR has operated South Western Railway, one of the largest UK franchises, as a joint venture with First Group since August 2017. As part of this, First MTR South Western Trains Limited will deliver new trains, redeveloped stations, and a range of other enhancements which will improve both rail services and customer experience.
• MTR was a joint venture partner in London Overground Rail Operations Ltd (LOROL), which held the concession from November 2007 until November 2016.
• Elsewhere in Europe, MTR runs the Stockholm Metro, the Stockholm Pendeltåg commuter railway and provides open access MTR Express services between Stockholm and Gothenburg.
• Around the world, MTR: runs metro, commuter rail, light rail and infrastructure, develops and manages significant rail-related property and is delivering new rail lines and major upgrade projects in Hong Kong; operates lines in Beijing, Shenzhen and Hangzhou in Mainland China; is lead shareholder in a joint venture operating the Melbourne train system and leads a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) consortium which will deliver and operate the Sydney Metro Northwest in Australia.
• Listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, MTR has a market capitalisation of approximately £27 billion, and is included on the FTSE4Good and Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes. It won over 50 awards in 2016 for quality, customer service and sustainability.