Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
LCQ1: Site for the Shatin to Central Link depot

    Following is a question by the Hon Tam Heung-man and an oral reply by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Ms Eva Cheng, at the Legislative Council meeting today (October 31):


     It has been reported that the train depot of the Shatin to Central Link (SCL) will be built on the land at the former Tai Hom Village site at Diamond Hill, with property development projects above the depot.  The Wong Tai Sin District Council has expressed its objection to the construction of the depot there and the concern that the construction of the depot will create a lot of noises and wall effect.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:

(a) it knows if a separate depot has to be constructed for SCL after the rail merger; whether the Government and the railway corporations have considered expanding the depots of the East Rail, Ma On Shan Rail or Mass Transit Railway to meet the needs of SCL; if they have, of the details, if not, the reasons for that;

(b) it knows if the former Tai Hom Village site at Diamond Hill is the only suitable site for the SCL depot; if so, how the Government will respond to the residents' objection to the construction of the depot; if not, what other sites are suitable for the SCL depot, and the criteria to be adopted by the Government for assessing the suitability of the final choice of the site for the depot; and

(c) the Government will conduct environmental impact assessment studies on the sites concerned before finalising the site for the SCL depot; if it will, of the details of the studies, and whether it will report the study results to the affected residents, the District Council concerned and the Legislative Council; if assessments will not be conducted, of the reasons for that?


Madam President,

(a) In a railway construction project, a depot is an essential facility for conducting maintenance works and for train stabling after operating hours. The Shatin to Central Link (SCL) is no exception.

     After the SCL commences operation, it will link up with the West Rail and the Ma On Shan (MOS) Rail to become part of the same railway network. During the planning stage of the SCL, the MTR Corporation Limited and the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) have reviewed several times the need for a SCL depot. In the SCL Merger Scheme submitted to Government in July 2005, the two railway corporations anticipated that, after the commissioning of the SCL, the existing 22 nos. of 7-car West Rail trains and the 18 nos. of 4-car MOS Rail trains would not be sufficient to cope with the railway demands brought about by the SCL. It is required to increase the train fleet to 53 nos. of 8-car trains ultimately.

     The two railway corporations have reviewed the feasibility of using the existing depot facilities, including the KCR Ho Tung Lau Maintenance Centre, the Tai Wai Maintenance Centre, the Pat Heung Maintenance Centre, and the MTR Kowloon Bay Depot. As the KCRC rolling stocks, signalling system and power supply system are incompatible with those of the MTR system, the SCL trains cannot use the Kowloon Bay Depot. Furthermore, the latter has already been fully utilised and there is no spare capacity for the SCL trains. As the Ho Tung Lau Maintenance Centre is located along the East Rail, the SCL trains running between the MOS Rail and the West Rail will not be able to access that depot. The Tai Wai Maintenance Centre and the Pat Heung Maintenance Centre can accommodate 37 nos. of 8-car trains. There is however no scope for the former to be further expanded. As regards the latter, there is only limited scope for further expansion and the additional capacity will be used by the future Northern Link. In view of the foregoing, it is required to construct a new depot to accommodate the remaining SCL trains.

(b) The topography of the Diamond Hill CDA site makes it possible to use "semi-depressed" design to provide the SCL depot with the stabling sidings at about 3m below ground. The walls of the depot can act as noise barriers. Due to the reduced height of the walls above ground, the depot would cause less visual intrusion. There are already existing noise barriers along the northern side of Lung Cheung Road. Constructing a depot at the southern side of the noise barriers should not cause much adverse noise impact to its surroundings.

     The railway corporations have previously proposed to provide a depot in the Kai Tak development area. However, owing to the high ground water level in the area, the chance of flooding is relatively higher. Any flooding would entail high risks to the railway facilities inside the depot. This depot has, therefore, to be constructed at grade. As the depot cannot afford to be constructed below ground, it would cause larger environmental impact to its surroundings. Furthermore, the depot would also impose constraints to the integration of the existing developments in Kowloon City and the future developments in Kai Tak.

     In view of the need for minimising the impact of the depot to its surroundings, we consider that it would be more appropriate to provide the depot at the Diamond Hill CDA site.

(c) During the further planning of the SCL, the railway corporation will need to carry out environmental impact assessments for construction works under the SCL project, including the depot site. At the same time, we will maintain dialogue with the local communities to discuss issues arising from the SCL project. After the SCL scheme is gazetted under the Railways Ordinance, we will consult again the relevant district councils and the public, and listen to their views with an aim of formulating a better and appropriate scheme for the railway.

Ends/Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Issued at HKT 12:29


Print this page