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Hong Kong's future railway development blueprint

     The Secretary for Transport and Housing, Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, announced today (September 17) the Railway Development Strategy 2014 (RDS-2014) which provides a framework for planning the further expansion of Hong Kong's railway network up to 2031.

     Speaking at a press conference, Professor Cheung said the RDS-2014 has taken on board views gauged during the two stages of a public engagement exercise and the overall recommendations made by the consultant afterwards. It recommends that seven new railway projects be implemented on or before 2026.

     The seven projects, with a preliminary total cost estimate in the order of $110 billion (in 2013 prices), are the Northern Link and Kwu Tung Station, the Tuen Mun South Extension, the East Kowloon Line, the Tung Chung West Extension, Hung Shui Kiu Station, the South Island Line (West) and the North Island Line. Among these projects, the East Kowloon Line is a new proposal after considering feedback during the public engagement exercise to tie in with the future transport needs of the Kwun Tong North area.

     Professor Cheung said, "When these seven recommended projects are completed, the total length of Hong Kong's railway network would grow to over 300 kilometres, covering areas inhabited by about 75 per cent of the total population and about 85 per cent of job opportunities. The expanded railway network would help shorten journey times of commuters, bringing direct economic benefits of $3 billion to $4 billion a year.

     "As to environmental benefits, roadside air pollutants and greenhouse gases would be reduced by 2 per cent to 4 per cent per year. The new railway projects would also bring strategic social and economic benefits, such as integrating land planning, releasing the development potential of peripheral areas, strengthening connectivity among districts, creating job opportunities and relieving road traffic congestion."

     The RDS-2014 does not recommend three projects consulted upon during the public engagement - namely the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Western Express Line, the Coastal Railway between Tuen Mun and Tsuen Wan, and the Siu Sai Wan Line - for taking forward before 2031 due to insufficient economic and financial case.

     Professor Cheung reiterated that the RDS-2014 is a strategic blueprint. The taking forward of individual projects will be subject to the outcome of detailed engineering, environmental and financial studies relating to each project, as well as updated assessment of demand and availability of resources at the time.

     Members of the public may read the RDS-2014 and the executive summary of the consultancy report online at the Transport and Housing Bureau's website (

Ends/Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Issued at HKT 19:29


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