With the departure of the first South Island Line Train from South Horizons Station for Admiralty Station this morning (28 December 2016), the convenience and comfort of MTR railway service was officially extended to the Southern District.
The 7-km South Island Line comprises four new stations and an expanded interchange at Admiralty Station. It offers the 350,000 people living and working in the Southern District reduced journey times as well as seamless connections to the MTR railway network which now covers all 18 districts of Hong Kong. The frequency of train service during peak periods for SIL will be approximately 3.5 minutes, while train service during non-peak periods will be approximately 4.5 minutes.
Mr Lincoln Leong, Chief Executive Officer of MTR Corporation arrived at South Horizons Station early this morning to welcome passengers who were eagerly awaiting their chance to experience the new fully automatic train operation. He was joined by representatives of the Southern District community for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the station concourse before inviting passengers to board the first train.
Mr Leong said:
“Today is a special and memorable day for all of us as the MTR network officially extends to the Southern District with the opening of the South Island Line. With the Kwun Tong Line extension to Ho Man Tin and Whampoa stations have been opened in October, this is the second new railway service that we have opened within this year. I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the Southern District community for their immense support and patience during the construction of this new line. My profound gratitude also goes to the engineering specialists, contractors and their construction workers, and operations staff for their dedication throughout the planning, construction and commissioning phases.”
To welcome guests and passengers on the maiden train service from South Horizons Station, Mr Adi Lau, Operations Director of MTR Corporation made the first announcement on the opening train.
In the initial stage of operations, additional staff and service assistants have been deployed at stations to help passengers familiarise themselves with the new facilities. At Admiralty Station, giant eye-catching South Island Line directional signs with a light green colour are displayed in prominent positions from concourse to platform levels. At the same time, additional signs indicating the Tsuen Wan Line in red and Island Line in blue have been installed to guide passengers to interchange to other lines.
Mr Lau added:
“For the initial period, train operations staff will be deployed on the trains to monitor the fully automatic train operations. I would like to thank passengers in advance for their patience and understanding should teething problems occur during the initial period of operations”
To prepare for the South Island Line’s opening, more than 700 MTR and contractor staff worked overnight to change more than 33,000 signs and information boards throughout the MTR network as well as update digital information and fare collection software to incorporate the new line and its stations.
Construction of the South Island Line began in 2011. The medium-capacity line extends railway service from Admiralty Station to the south side of Hong Kong Island through tunnel and viaduct sections to serve new stations at Ocean Park, Wong Chuk Hang, Lei Tung and South Horizons. The connectivity of the community is also enhanced by the addition of pedestrian facilities such as walkways and footbridges.
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