first_imgAs China resumes sovereignty over Hong Kong on July 1 it inherits from the British a mix of profitable and efficient railways and a rolling programme of expansion. Tim Runnacles* reviews the latest position,T V Runnacles is a Hong Kong-based independent consultant who has been advising the MTR Corporation on its Airport Railway during the last four years, as well as undertaking assignments in South Africa, Kazakstan and Malaysia. He had previously worked in the Hong Kong government’s Transport Department for 15 years.WITH ITS ALMOST unrivalled urban population density, Hong Kong’s 6·4 million people rely heavily on public transport. Rail plays a significant role in this, with five systems controlled by four operators, ranging from the 1·4 km Peak Tram funicular to the 43·2 km network of the MTR Corporation (Table I). Further lines are under construction or planned, and with a buoyant economy and unexpectedly fast population growth, China’s new Special Administrative Region faces strong arguments for continuing expansion of the network.The foundation for the current expansion plans was the former Hong Kong government’s Railway Development Strategy published in December 1994 after several years of studies (RG 2.95 p83). Supplementing the previously-committed Airport Railway, the Strategy identified a package of ‘Priority A’ projects costed at HK$56bn which were scheduled for completion by 2001. These were:last_img

China inherits a rail success story

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