- Kowloon-Canton Railway
Infobox Public transit
name = Kowloon-Canton Railway (KCR)
imagesize = 150px
October 10 1911
December 2 2007(operation taken over by MTRCL)
system_length = km to mi|120.5|wiki=yes|abbr=yes
lines = 4 (3 railway lines, 1 light rail system)
stations = 33 railway stations, 68 light rail stations
ridership = about 1.49 million (2006)
track_gauge = RailGauge|sg (
operator = MTR Corporation Limited
The Kowloon-Canton Railway (KCR; Traditional Chinese: 九廣鐵路) refers to a railway network in
Hong Kong[Legislative Council information paper CB(1)357/07-08(01), THB(T) CR 8/986/00] which is now combined with The MTRRailway system, comprising rapid transitservices, a light railsystem and feeder bus routes within Hong Kong, and intercity passenger and freight train services to the rest of China. Since 2 December 2007, the network has been operated by the MTR Corporation Limitedunder a 50-year service concession, which is extendable. Ownership has continued to be held by its previous operator, the government-owned Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation.
Before the rebranding in 1996, "Kowloon-Canton Railway" or "KCR" referred to the railway that runs between
Kowloonin Hong Kongand the city of Canton (now Guangzhou) in mainland China. When Hong Kong was under British rule, the section of this railway that lies within the territory of Hong Kong was known as the "British Section", which largely corresponded to the present-day East Rail Line. The Chinese Section of the original Kowloon-Canton Railway in mainland China is called the Guangshen Railway.
In 2006, the local KCR passenger train network (i.e. intercity services excluded) recorded an annual ridership of 544 million. On
2 December 2007, it was taken over by MTR Corporation Limited.
The original Kowloon-Canton Railway was opened in 1911 as a rail link between
Kowloonin Hong Kong, then a British crown colony, and the Chinese city of Canton (now Guangzhou). [The remaining section, i.e., the Chinese Section, corresponds to the present-day Guangzhou-Shenzhen Section of the Guangshen Railway Corporation (Simplified Chinese: 广深铁路).] The founding member of the former KCR network, the British Section of the Kowloon-Canton Railway, was opened in 1910. Trains were steam-hauled. From the one line railroad, the KCR network was expanded to 3 railway lines and a light railway system, with 32 railway stations and 68 light rail stations.
In the past few years the subject of invasive
marketinghas arisen with the advent of televisionscreens on carriages. The first few weeks saw several hundred complaintsas the volumelevel was turned up to maximum in order to help generate revenue from marketing. After several weeks of complaints the company eventually backed down and introduced two 'quiet cars' to the rolling stock offering a peaceful respite for passengers. Other complaints included windowadvertising which blocked the views outside and made some passengers travel sick. Although windows continue to be obscured making viewing of the exterior difficult and travel less comfortable for passengers, the company has responded to complaints by reducing the size of the advertisements.
Opened in 1910 as a single-track system, the British Section of the original Kowloon-Canton Railway (roughly corresponds to the present-day
East Rail Line). With the Chinese section opened in 1911, through-trains ran from the southern terminus in Tsim Sha Tsuiacross the border to the southern Chinese city of Canton (now Guangzhou).
At first trains on the British Section ran northwards from a temporary terminus at Kowloon Point through the eastern
New Territoriesup to the border with China at Lo Wu. The permanent southern terminus, Kowloon Station in Tsim Sha Tsui, opened slightly later in 1914.
narrow gauge railwayoperating works trains was used in the construction of the standard gaugeBritish Section. The narrow gauge materials were later used to build the now-defunct Sha Tau Kok Railway. After the communist takeover in mainland Chinain 1949, through-trains were no longer able to cross the border until the service was resumed in 1979.
An expanding network
The British Section of the original Kowloon-Canton Railway was originally operated by a department within the
Hong Kong Government. Following the government's plan to corporatise the operation of the railway, the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation(KCRC) was established in December 1982, with the government remains as the sole shareholder.
With the development and urbanisation of the
New Territories, the British Section has become an important corridor to connect the new towns in eastern New Territories with urban Kowloon. Electrification and conversion to a dual-track system was completed in 1984. Since then, the suburban rail has become much more metro-like. Frequent service is provided, and in the 1990s trains were refurbished to provide less seats and more standing places.
In 1984, the KCRC accepted the government's invitation to build and operate a light rail system in northwestern New Territories. The Light Rail Transit (known later as the KCR Light Rail, and now simply the Light Rail) was opened in 1988.
The KCRC won a bid in 1996 to build a "Western Corridor Railway", later branded as the KCR West Rail and opened in 2003. The British Section of the original Kowloon-Canton Railway was renamed KCR East Rail, and the LRT became KCR Light Rail. The names "Kowloon-Canton Railway" or "KCR" has become to refer to the network operated by the KCRC. The KCR Ma On Shan Rail was opened in 2004 as a branch line to the KCR East Rail.
Takeover by MTRCL
Various proposals to merge the KCRC and the other railway operator in the territory, the
MTR Corporation Limited(MTRCL) has been on government's agenda since the 2000s. In 2006, the government, as the sole shareholder of the KCRC, decided that the two railway networks should be merged with the MTRCL being granted a service concession to operate the KCR network for an initial period of 50 years. The decision was passed by the Executive Council on 11 April 2006, and was later approved by the Legislative Council and the minority shareholders of the MTRCL [cite web| url=http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2006-04/11/content_4412550.htm| title=HK railway merger proposal gets green light| author=Dan, Liu, editor; Xinhua| date= April 11 2006| accessmonthday=April 11 | accessyear=2006| ] (the government, which had a 75% stake in the MTRCL, did not vote).
It was later decided that the merging of the corporations' two rail networks would take place on December 2, 2007. Since then the KCRC has become a holding company. Under the service concession, the MTRCL pays the KCRC a fixed annual sum of HK$750 million, and from the fourth year after merger of the two networks, a sliding percentage scale share of annual revenue above HK$2.5 billion earned from the KCRC network.
As part of the merger, the
KCR East Rail, KCR West Railand KCR Ma On Shan Railwere renamed East Rail Line, West Rail Line and Ma On Shan Line. The KCR Light Railis known simply as the Light Rail. Mong Kok Station on the East Rail was renamed Mong Kok East Station.
Express Rail Link proposal
2 August 2007, Chief Executive Donald Tsangannounced that, considering the technical requirements, passenger forecast, Hong Kong's future economic development and the closer trade ties between Hong Kong and Guangdong, the new Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link will adopt the dedicated-corridor option after the 10th Plenary of the Hong Kong/Guangdong Co-operation Joint Conference. The Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation has submitted a detailed project proposal to the government. [http://www.news.gov.hk/en/category/infrastructureandlogistics/070802/html/070802en06001.htm] Because of the merger, however, it is unlikely the Rail Link will be built and operated by the KCRC.
Hung HomFreight Freight Terminus/Yard
Lo WuFreight and Marshalling Yard
Ho Man TinFreight Terminal
Sheung ShuiSlaughter House
Tai WaiMaintenance Centre
Ho Tung LauDepot
The KCR line runs under two tunnels:
Beacon Hill Tunnel- East Rail Line
Tai LamTunnel - West Rail Line
Hong Kong Railway Museum
List of areas of Hong Kong
List of MTR stations
List of rapid transit systems
Transport in Hong Kong
* [http://www.legco.gov.hk/yr04-05/english/panels/tp/tp_rdp/papers/tp_rdp0107cb1-609-4e.pdf Kowloon Southern Link (PDF)] Papers of Subcommittee on matters relating to railways, Legislative Council.
7 January 2005. Retrieved 28 February 2005.Other websites
* [http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Bay/9585/index.html History of KCR East Rail]
* [http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Bay/9585/index.html KCR East Rail Rolling Stock]
* [http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Bay/9585/index.html KCR West Rail Rolling Stock]
* [http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Bay/9585/index.html KCR LRV Rolling Stock]
* [http://www.kcrc.com/ Official Site]
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