West Island Line

West Island Line

The West Island Line is a proposed line of the Hong Kong MTR metro system. Currently planned as an extension to Island Line, the construction of the West Island line also depends on reclamation and redevelopment of Western District.

Original proposal

Route and stations

The MTR Corporation Limited (MTRC) submitted its first proposal for the West Island line in May of 2002. The West Island line would be an extension of the Island Line. Construction of the new West Island line would be divided into two phases.

Phase one would begin at the already existing Sheung Wan station. A further two stations, Sai Ying Pun and University would be added to extend the length of the Island Line. University will also serve as an interchange for the South Island Line. Phase two would include an extension to Kennedy Town. The construction of phase two, which will include a depot near Kennedy Town station, is subject to the land availability of the western reclamation.

On 21 January 2003, the Executive Council of Hong Kong gave MTRC permission to proceed with further planning on Phase 1 of West Island Line. However, the first proposal has some major drawbacks. Specifically, construction of West Island Line as heavy railway type tunnels and stations would not include Kennedy Town if there is no Western reclamation. There would also be great environmental impact and traffic management challenge if West Island Line goes under Des Vouex Road West.

Preliminary scheme

In order to respond to the criticism directed towards the original proposal, the MTRC started a feasibility study of the lines in mid-2003 to look for cost-effective options to improve the system. The study also evaluated the external benefits of the project and its impact on other modes of public transport. The company derived a modified proposal in November 2003.

Alignment and stations

The West Island line took the western section of the South Island Line in the previous proposal, and becoming a medium capacity rail line from Sheung Wan to Wong Chuk Hang.
* Sheung Wan (Interchange to Island Line)
* Sai Ying Pun
* University
* Cyberport
* Wah Fu
* Aberdeen
* Wong Chuk Hang (Interchange to South Island Line)

Revised alignment scheme

Alignment and stations

The corporation handed in the Revised Alignment Scheme in end-March 2004. West Island Line in the previous proposal was separated into two parts: the northern part of which became an extension to Island Line, and the southern part which remained a line of its own.

Island Line extensionA short extension from Sheung Wan to Sai Ying Pun, in which the latter station provides a transfer to the West Island Line.

West Island Line - Running from Sai Ying Pun to Wong Chuk Hang
* Sai Ying Pun (Interchange to Island Line)
* University
* Kennedy Town
* Queen Mary Hospital ("Future Stop")
* Cyberport
* Wah Fu
* Tin Wan ("Future Stop")
* Aberdeen
* Wong Chuk Hang (Interchange to South Island Line)

Interchange stations

West Island Line would have interchanges at Sai Ying Pun (with Island Line) and Wong Chuk Hang (with South Island Line).

Sai Ying Pun:West Island Line on upper island platform, Island Line on lower island platform. Transfer by short escalator ride.

Wong Chuk Hang:Double island platform with three tracks. South Island Line (West Section) trains uses the center track while South Island Line (East Section) trains use those on the two sides. Convenient cross-platform transfer can be made in both directions.

cheduled opening

If an agreement can be made between the government of Hong Kong and MTRC to start building the line, the scheduled opening time for West Island Line and South Island Line would be in 2009/2010.

Construction cost

According to the summary report of the new lines, the construction cost including the South Island Line would be between HK$14.6-16.5 billion. MTR asked for government funding of less than half of the total cost. The remaining cost and the operational cost would be be covered by MTR.

Deferral of the scheme

On 28 May 2004, the Panel of Transport of Legislative Council held a meeting to consider the development of West and South Island Lines alongside with the highway link (Route 4).

Residential, environmental, and some professional organisations support building the lines instead of highway. Rail links are more environmentally friendly, and will help ease congestion of the Aberdeen Tunnel. The lines can also help sustainable development and will preserve the shoreline along western and southern Hong Kong Island.

Other transport operators and various organisations oppose the rail link, claiming that the rail link could lead to severe competition between different modes of transport, and that reduction of road transport might eventually cause job losses. Some panel members stated that the projected population growth in the south cannot support the new lines, and that the government should have a thorough plan on how to develop the Southern District before implementing the rail links.

However, some panel members suggested that the new lines could help promote tourism in the area. They asked the government to moderate the various modes of transport upon the new lines' inaugurations so as to relieve concerns from the transport operators.

Government officials stated that the low ridership of KCR West Rail Line and its rail incidents warrant extra planning on the new rail lines to ensure enough ridership and appropriate, cost-effective system design. Therefore, the West Island Line and South Island line project was deferred, and "green lights" have been given to the detailed planning of the highway.

February 2005 scheme

On 25 February 2005, the Panel of Transport of Legislative Council had a meeting discussing West and South Island Line. MTR has submitted a revised scheme on 22 February and an introduction to the scheme was conducted in the meeting.

Alignment and stations

In the scheme, West Island Line included only the extension to Island Line. The rest became the west section of South Island Line. The new West Island Line would run from Sheung Wan to Kennedy Town:
* Sheung Wan
* Sai Ying Pun
* University (Interchange to South Island Line (W))
* Kennedy Town

West Island Line would use heavy rail system.

Discussions on the new plan

The MTR claimed that the latest scheme would have the advantage of having a short journey time: 14 min from Kennedy Town to Tsim Sha Tsui. The total cost of the project, including the South Island Line, would be around HK$15 billion, and MTR was still asking the government to fund half of the construction cost. Panel members have urged the MTRC and the government to make a final agreement on the construction of the West Island Line as soon as possible.

MTR claimed that there is a substantial need of rail transport in Western District. If an agreement could be made, the new line could start operating in 2012. On 30 June 2005, The HKSAR Government Executive Council had given the green light for further planning of and preparations for the West Island Line (WIL), which will involve the extension of the existing MTR Island Line from Sheung Wan to Kennedy Town with two intermediate stations at Sai Ying Pun and University.

ee also

* Future projects of the MTR


Papers from Government and Legislature
* From Highways Department Hong Kong. Retrieved 27 February 2005.
* From Panel of Transport, Legislative Council. 21 February 2005. Retrieved 27 February 2005.
* From Panel of Transport, Legislative Council. 21 February 2005. Retrieved 27 February 2005.
* From Panel of Transport, Legislative Council. 25 February 2005. Retrieved 5 March 2005.

News reports
*zh icon " [http://hk.news.yahoo.com/050630/12/1e2fh.html 地鐵建西環線 堅尼地城7分鐘到中環 最快2012年通車] ". (1 July 2005). Ming Pao, p. A1. (Link dead as of 04:41, 15 January 2007 (UTC))
*Yung, Chester and Chung, Danny. " [http://www.thestandard.com.hk/stdn/std/Metro/GG01Ak01.html Western on the MTR track] . (1 July 2005). The Standard.
*zh icon " [http://hk.news.yahoo.com/050915/60/1gowj.html 建西港島綫 地鐵求注資30億] ". (16 September 2005). Yahoo! News, source: Sing Tao Daily (Link dead as of 04:41, 15 January 2007 (UTC))
*zh icon " [http://hk.news.yahoo.com/060321/12/1m9em.html 西港島線3車站位置再諮詢] ". (22 March 2006). Yahoo! News, source: Ming Pao (Link dead as of 04:41, 15 January 2007 (UTC))

Press releases
*PDFlink| [http://www.mtr.com.hk/eng/corporate/file_rep/Press%20statement%20WIL-SIL_eng.pdf MTR Corporation welcomes Government's decision on West Island Line and South Island Line] |31.4 KiB . (30 June 2005). From MTR Corporation.
* [http://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/200506/30/06300276.htm MTRCL to proceed with preparations for West Island Line] . (30 June 2005). From Information Services Department, Government of Hong Kong.

External links

* [http://www.mtr.com.hk/eng/projects/future_wil_sil_intro.html MTR West Island Line and South Island Line Introduction]
* [http://www.legco.gov.hk/yr04-05/english/panels/tp/papers/tp_rsi.htm Papers from Legislative Council concerning West Island Line and South Island Line]


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